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Game 52: Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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Current Series

3 game series vs Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park

Miami Marlins
@ Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, Jun 1, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT
Citizens Bank Park

Mark Buehrle vs Kyle Kendrick

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to left field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 06/02 4:05 PM EDT
Sun 06/03 1:35 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are coming off their best month in team history, and their success has fueled them into a second place spot in the NL East division. Now they are looking to start a hot month of June, as the club begins the month with a three-game series on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Fish will look to take advantage of a Phillies team that has done better but is still struggling with various injuries.

Tale of the Tape

Marlins Stat (Rank) Phillies
.308 (20) wOBA .316 (13)
89 (24) wRC+ 96 (16)
3.60 (8) ERA 3.79 (12)
3.41 (2) FIP 3.67 (8)

Truth be told, as much as the Phillies have struggled this season, it certainly does not look like they should be floundering. Indeed, they are middle of the pack offensively, which is a surprise given that they are without their two best hitters. Part of the reason is the massive hot steak of Carlos Ruiz, who has turned into some sort of catching Superman at the plate (.371/.422/.615, .441 wOBA) and part of it is the fact that some of their bench players have compensated for a slew of struggles from reliable starters like Jimmy Rollins (.277 wOBA) and Placido Polanco (.286).

The Marlins are going at it from their usual angle of preventing runs while just getting enough Giancarlo Stanton home runs to make things work. Hey, it worked out in May, right? But seriously, as we mentioned earlier, a lot of the Marlins' offensive talents are on their way back to good results.

Stadium: Citizens Bank Park

Area Dimensions (ft)
Left Field 329
Left-Center 375
Center Field 401
Right-Center 369
Right Field 330

Five-Year Run PF*: 1.01
Five-Year Home Run PF*: 1.04

*Denotes five-year regressed park factors as calculated by Patriot here

Surprisingly, over the last few years, Citizens Bank Park has played fairly neutral despite its home run advantages. The left and right field lines are not terribly deep nor are they abnormally short, but it is the short left- and right-center power alleys that make home runs a little easier to attain. Expect fewer triples unless you run a ball into deep center field into their version of the old Bermuda Triangle in Sun Life Stadium.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Nationals ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.529 3.71 3.92 3.26 Buehrle Kendrick 4.10 4.37 4.35 .456

Mark Buehrle is very clearly Mark Buehrle, as evidenced by his performance so far this season. The guy has been exactly who we thought he was in almost every way, and right now, there is very little to complain or get excited about. When he goes out there tonight, expect it to look just like when he goes out in most evenings.

The Phillies will counter with Kyle Kendrick, whom we last knew as a terrible pitcher. It turns out that he has gotten better at being similar to Buehrle in that he tries his best to limit walks and does not get many strikeouts. This year, he has struck out almost 14 percent of his batters and walked just 6.2 percent of them, and the results have at least been better than his early days. Nevertheless, here's to hoping the Marlins crush him as they have in the past.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .350
2 Omar Infante .321
3 Hanley Ramirez .351
4 Giancarlo Stanton .373
5 Logan Morrison .364
6 Bryan Petersen .315
7 John Buck .300
8 Chris Coghlan .320

There is nothing abnormal about tonight's lineup, as Ozzie Guillen has run with this group ever since a slew of outfield injuries more or less left the Marlins with few choices. Still, the lineup has performed well, and there is little reason not to look at it again.

Notes

- Our good friends at The Good Phight have a few articles of interest. David S. Cohen asks why everyone is so concerned about Jimmy Rollins's slow start when it is a common occurrence in his career. WholeCamels interviewed Dr. Bradford Parsons to talk about Roy Halladay's injured latissimus dorsi muscle.

- Michael Baumann over at Crashburn Alley also had an interesting piece on Jonathan Papelbon's odd usage the other night with the Phillies up five runs.

Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Phillies 5-3