Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Games 7 and 8: Trying to leave Florida with a series win and regaining first place in the East.
The Phillies (86-68) will continue their final three games series with the third place Marlins (81-72) with two games tonight and tomorrow afternoon. The Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.82), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 14 in the day half of the day/night doubleheader, as he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. This would be only his third start in which he would go for more than five innings, but it would come at a good time for the Phils. He has faced the Marlins before, recording his second win as a Phil since the trade, as he would defeat them on September 8, going five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He will be going for his second straight long start while trying to improve on his previous start against the fish, while at the same time trying to end the fish’s nine game winning streak. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on September 14, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Marlins’ 8-7 win. He has faced the Phillies twice before, losing both starts, as he would go a combine total of only six and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to finally defeat the Phils.
The second game, the Phillies’ final game on the road, will be played Sunday afternoon at Dolphin Stadium, and will begin at 4:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter for this game will be the 45 years old Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 16, as he would only go five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 win.This would only be his second bad start in his last nineteen. Careerwise, he is 10-1 against the fish, losing his last start against them on August 5 as he would only be able to go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying for his eleventh win against the fish, trying to regain his dominace over the young Marlin batters, while going for his fifteenth victory overall. The Marlins will be sending to the mound Chris Volstad (5-3, 3.07), who will be coming off a win against the Astros on September 16 as he went eight innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-1 win. In his last two starts against the Phillies, he is 1-0 with a no-decision, which the Marlins would win, as he would go a combine total of nine innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to hurt the Phillies’ playoff hopes.
The Phillies’ offense just need to continue what they were doing in their recent seven games winning streak and at the beginning of last night’s game: score runs early, and then later on just keep on scoring, and mainly doing it by being as patient as they can when batting against the other team’s starting pitching. At the same time, the two starters, Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer, will have to go after the Marlins’ young batters, and doing so by throwing them mainly off-speed stuff and only using fastballs when they have the batters confused by the slower stuff, otherwise they are going to find themselves getting pounded by this fastball hitting team and forced to use up the bullpen.
The Phillies trail the Mets by a half game, as they prepare to face the Braves. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as they continue their series. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are still leading the Brewers by two games, although they are presently trailing the Reds at the moment. They are ahead of both the Marlins and the Astros by four and a half games as the Astros get ready to play the Pirates tonight. The Phillies will be trying to regain the lead in the East while trying to push back the challenge of the now hot Marlins while trying to bury the still slumping Brewers.