Coming off a three-game winning streak for only the second time since the All-Star Break, the Miami Marlins ran into a wall when they dropped by St. Louis to face baseball's best team in the Cardinals.
Sunday, starter David Phelps and the Fish will have to take down the Redbirds' young ace Carlos Martinez if they wish to avoid being swept for the 11th time this season -- second at the hands of the Cardinals.
The Marlins haven't had much success against the NL Central this season at all. They have won just two series and are a combined 7-14. The Fish will look to turn those tables beginning Sunday as 11 of their next 24 games are against the aforementioned division.
The veteran Phelps comes off of a 10-day rest to face a team he has only faced once before. The right-hander, born in St. Louis himself, is in desperate need of win. He hasn't won a decision since beating his former New York Yankees on June 16. He has had eight outings and collected five losses during that same stretch.
The opposite form of luck can be said for the Cardinals' Martinez. The 23-year-old righty is 9-2 with a 1.76 ERA in his last 15 games. He hoists a 1.18 WHIP during that span, having only allowed 19 earned runs in those appearances. The Fish have only a small sample size against him as he defeated the Marlins in seven innings of work back on June 23 in Marlins Park.
|MIAMI MARLINS||ST. LOUIS CARDINALS|
|Dee Gordon - 2B||Matt Carpenter - 3B|
|Miguel Rojas - 3B||Stephen Piscotty - LF|
|Derek Dietrich - LF||Jason Heyward - RF|
|Justin Bour - 1B||Randal Grichuk - CF|
|Marcell Ozuna - CF||Yadier Molina - C|
|Cole Gillespie - RF||Kolten Wong - 2B|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Mark Reynolds - 1B|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Pete Kozma - SS|
|David Phelps - RHP||Carlos Martinez - RHP|
Derek Dietrich gets the start for the Fish out of the the number three spot. Justin Bour hits behind him at number four coming off a game where he homered for the first time in nearly 100 at-bats.
The Cards shuffle up their lineup with Stephen Piscotty moving up to number two and the hot-hitting Randal Grichuk getting a chance at the cleanup spot.
- The Marlins will need to make Martinez throw a lot of pitches early in the game if they have a chance at winning this game. Martinez has 16 quality starts on the season and has gone at least seven innings on eight different occasions.
- Can Phelps give the Fish at least six or even seven quality innings? He hasn't gone passed six frames since the previously mentioned win against the Yanks on June 16.
Bold Prediction: Marlins squeak by Cardinals 4-3