Posted by Kevin Durso
The two games the Phillies have remaining against the Marlins were supposed to be played almost three weeks ago. A hurricane got in the way. With that, the Phillies pushed the games up to today, the first of two doubleheaders remaining for the Phillies.
The Marlins return with Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton, John Buck, and the rest. Granted, the Marlins have been incredibly shorthanded this season without Hanley Ramirez, and now Stanton and Morrison have been battling injury, really leaving the Marlins scrambling to put a roster together late. It should make for one interesting day at the ballpark.
Here are the pitching matchups for both games.
In Game 1, Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.29 ERA) takes on Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64 ERA).
Kendrick is making his fourth start of the season, and first appearance in almost a month. He made a start against the Marlins, and took a no-decision after allowing three runs in five innings.
Sanchez is coming off arguably his best start of the season, after allowing just a hit to the Pirates while striking out 11 in the Marlins’ win Saturday. He has made four starts against the Phillies this season, going 0-0 with a 3.25 ERA and 25 strikeouts.
In Game 2, Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.44 ERA) gets the start against Alex Sanabia (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
Lee took a no-decision last Saturday in a game the Phillies would eventually win in 10 innings, allowing two runs over seven innings.
Sanabia made a relief appearance last weekend against the Pirates, but that is his only action this season. He made 12 starts as a rookie last season. He has yet to face the Phillies as a starter in his career.
Prediction: September 15 (Game 1) – Phillies 7, Marlins 3 September 15 (Game 2) – Phillies 5, Marlins 1
I like the Phillies’ chances in both games today. The experience of Sanchez this season gives the Phillies an edge in the early going. Plus, with Kendrick starting, the Phillies could try to give him an early cushion. One of Kendrick’s starts came back in mid-July, and the Phillies handed him an easy win by jumping to a 7-0 lead. I’m thinking something similar happens today.
For an offense that managed just four runs in their three-game series against the Astros, this offense is due for a few big games.
Similarly, in the second game, it’s hard to bet against Cliff Lee. He had a stellar month of August, and opened September with a very respectable performance. He’s dominated the Marlins once already this season, and there’s no reason to doubt he won’t continue that.
The Phillies open a four-game series against the Cardinals, following their day/night twinbill against the Marlins, tomorrow.