Leiter, Phillies aim to turn the tides against Nicolino, Marlins

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Staff

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies will send right-hander Mark Leiter, Jr. to the mound Wednesday night in the hopes that he can turn the tides in this series against the Miami Marlins.

They will look to do so against lefty Justin Nicolino who has had his share of struggles this season both with command and injury.

The Marlins outfield handed two losses to the Phillies yesterday in the traditional double header with both their bats and gloves. They combined for five home runs in and some solid defense across the two games. Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run and robbed Cameron Perkins of what would have been at least a double that rolled to the wall. Christian Yelich also hit a home run and robbed Nick Williams of a homer to center field. Roberto Ozuna hit two home runs of his own. Ichiro pinch hit in game one and added a homer of his own.

The Phillies did not stray away from hitting their own home runs as Andres Blanco and Tommy Joseph hit one in each of the games while Rhys Hoskins, Cameron Rupp and Cesar Hernández each added their own home runs in the first game and Nick Williams hit another in the second.

Unfortunately, the Marlins offense was too great, and the Phillies fell 12-8 in the first game and 7-4 in the second bringing their record against National League East opponents to 24-24 this season.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Miami Marlins (62-62) Philadelphia Phillies (45-79)
LHP   Justin Nicolino RHP Mark Leiter
(2-1, 4.11 ERA) (1-3, 4.38 ERA)

Nicolino Career vs. PHI : (1-0), 5 G, 26.0 IP, 22 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO, 2.42 ERA ;

    Nicolino, 24, began this season in AAA with the Marlins affiliate in New Orleans where he posting a record of 1-3 with a 4.46 ERA in seven starts before being called up in mid-May. He landed on the disabled list from May 31 until June 19, and he was sent back to the minors on July 1.

    The Marlins recalled Nicolino on August 11 after he posted a 4-2 record and a 1.99 ERA in seven more games started for New Orleans. Since then, Nicolino has seen his walk rate and the amount of hits go up, but he has limited the amount of extra-base hits, guiding him to a 1.74 ERA so far this month.

    Nicolino has not been able to get deep into games, completing six innings in only one of his seven starts this season and only four of his 20 starts since his rookie season.

    Season Splits, By Month

    • May: 3 GS, 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 13 IP, 9 SO, 6 BB, .260/.351/.440
    • June: 2 GS, 0-0, 6.43 ERA, 7 IP, 5 SO, 1 BB, .412/.429/.676
    • August: 2 GS, 2-0, 1.74 ERA, 10 1/3 IP, 3 SO, 4 BB, .293/.348/.317

Leiter Career vs. MIA : (0-1), 3 G, 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO, 19.29 ERA

    Leiter, 26, was first called up earlier this season when Howie Kendrick was placed on the disabled list on April 18. Although Leiter impressed in spring training, he ultimately started the season in AAA Lehigh Valley. In his three stints there this season, Leiter holds a 2-1 record with a 4.20 ERA over 30 innings in seven games (five starts). He also posted a 38 to six strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    Leiter has filled a few roles for the Phillies already this season. He was called up as a middle reliever, but has also served as a starter four times already and as a long reliever, going three innings or more in three different games he did not start this season. He’s pitched two innings of relief in five other games this season.

    While Leiter is not known as a “strikeout pitcher”, he has been striking out many more batters this season with the improvement on his split-finger fastball. He has struck out 46 opposing batters over only 51 1/3 innings in the majors this year, and another 38 batters in 30 innings at AAA Lehigh Valley.

    Season Splits, By Month

    • April: 0 GS, 1 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 SO, 0 BB, .000/.000/.000
    • May: 0 GS, 10 G, 0-0, 5.74 ERA, 15 2/3 IP, 11 SO, 11 BB, .175/.309/.333
    • June: 2 GS, 3 G, 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 13 1/3 IP, 12 SO, 4 BB, .250/.304/.481
    • July: 1 GS, 2 G, 0-2, 4.50 ERA, 6 IP, 5 SO, 4 BB, .273/.414/.500
    • August: 1 GS, 4 G, 0-1, 4.70 ERA, 15 1/3 IP, 18 SO, 3 BB, .262/.328/.508

Starting Lineups:

Miami Marlins (62-62) Philadelphia Phillies (45-79)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1  2B  Dee Gordon  L 1  2B  César Hernández  S
2  RF  Giancarlo Stanton  R 2  SS  Freddy Galvis  S
3  CF  Christian Yelich  L 3  CF  Nick Williams  L
4  LF  Marcell Ozuna  R 4  LF  Rhys Hoskins  R
5  C  JT Realmuto  R 5  1B  Tommy Joseph  R
6  3B  Derek Dietrich  L 6  3B  Maikel Franco  R
7  1B  Tomás Telis  S 7  RF  Pedro Florimon  S
8  SS  Miguel Rojas  R 8  C  Jorge Alfaro  R
9  P  Justin Nicolino  L 9  P  Mark Leiter  R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • With Yacksel Rios making his major league debut last night, the Phillies have now had 13 different players make their major league debut this season: Drew Anderson, Rhys Hoskins , Andrew Knapp, Mark Leiter Jr., Ben Lively, Hoby Milner, Cameron Perkins, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Yacksel Rios, Brock Stassi, Jesen Therrien and Nick Williams. That is the most in the majors and marks their most in a single year since 1996 (16). That also includes the first players named Hoby, Jesen, Rhys, and Yacksel in major league history.
  • With yesterday’s home run, Marlins right-fielder Giancarlo Stanton extended his league for the Marlins record of home runs in August (13) and for most home runs in the second half of the season (20). He is hitting a home run every 6.6 at bats in the second half.
  • Phillies rookie catcher Jorge Alfaro has hit safely in all eight of his major league starts this season.

What’s Next:

  • Thursday, August 24, 2017: vs. Miami Marlins, 1:05 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park
    • RHP Vance Worley (2-3, 4.82 ERA) vs. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP