Thursday, April 15, 2010

Series Preview: Florida Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies 4/16 - 4/18

April 16, 2010


Game 1
7:05 PM ET, April 16, 2010
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.56 ERA)

Game 2
7:05 PM ET, April 17 2010
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 5.68 ERA) vs Jaime Moyer (1-0, 7.50 ERA)

Game 3
1:35 PM ET, April 18 2010
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Nate Robertson (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs Cole Hamels (2-0, 5.06 ERA)

Jorge Cantu brings his Major League record 10-game streak with a hit and RBI to open the season to Philadelphia (7-2, 2-1 Home) where he will have to face Roy Halladay in game one. Cantu has struggled against Hallady going 2-13 in his career, so he is going to have to bring his "A" game. Hallady has been nothing short of masterful (1 ER in 16 IP) in his first two games as a National League pitcher. Although he is winless (0-1, 5.00 ERA) against Florida in his career, Roy has never had the offensive fire power that he has now.

Philadelphia has the best two, three, and four hitters in the league right now. Placido Polanco (.475 avg), Chase Utley (.343 avg), and Ryan Howard (.357 avg) have combined for more RBIs (35) than the entire Houston (19), Baltimore (29), Cleveland (29) and Seattle (28) team. Add Jimmy Rollins (.391 avg), who was recently put on the disabled list, to the lead-off spot and you have to pray that your starting pitcher gets out of the first inning with minimal damage.

Florida will face Philadelphia's best three pitchers. After starting 12-0 in his career against the Marlins, Florida has been able to solve the mystery that is Jaime Moyer. Moyer is 1-4 in his last 5 against the Fish including 3 losses last year.Cole Hamels has had his share of problems against the Marlins posting a 2-6 record with a 4.48 ERA in 12 starts.

The Florida bats are starting to heat up. Seven out of the eight current starting position players are hitting over .300, but defense is still a major concern. Florida leads the Majors with 13 errors. Thats not including a couple of misplayed balls by Cameron Maybin in center field. That's one thing Florida cannot give up against the highest scoring team in the Majors: free hits.

Florida will have an opportunity to strike a blow and take an early division lead in a place where they went 7-2 last year. As we witnessed last season, it's not easy to play catch up and the end of the year. Florida will enter this series trailing Philadelphia by 1 1/2 games.

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