|September 7: Marlins 6, Phillies 3 WP: Kim (9-6) LP: Durbin (7-4) S: Gregg|
|September 8: Phillies 9, Marlins 1 WP: Condrey (5-0) LP: VandenHurk (4-6)|
|September 9: Phillies 8, Marlins 5 WP: Moyer (13-11) LP: Willis (8-15) S: Myers (15)|
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I seriously thought about giving up after Wednesday. I think everyone did, including guys who are paid to do this. And, as it happens, I'll see little to none of this weekend's action: going out tonight, traveling to see my wife's family tomorrow, probably going to the bar to watch the Eagles on Sunday.
But what the hell. The players have to keep going, the manager has to keep going, and the whole season has, more than ever, a car-wreck fascination to it. So here we are again, hoping against logic that the exhausted, demoralized and endlessly self-sabotaging Phillies can outslug the Marlins and their own mistakes to regain a little momentum and some footing in the NL wild-card race.
They'll try to do so against a Marlns team that, aside from taking two of three from the Phils last weekend in Florida, has lost 17 of their last 19 games--most recently getting swept by the Nationals as the Phillies were collapsing in Atlanta. Still, it's hard to see these games as anything resembling easy. Florida leads the season series 8-7, for one thing, and their comeback from a 5-0 deficit last Sunday and celebration at its victorious conclusion was yet another reminder that no matter how moribund the Fish look against everyone else, they always give the Phils a battle.
Tonight's opener reprises the pitching matchup from last Saturday, when the Phils' six-game win streak (remember that? That was fun) ended at the hands of B.H. Kim and a 12-run Florida outburst. J.D. Durbin, who didn't record an out in that contest, will try to do better at home, where he's split four decisions with a 5.86 ERA in 2007. Kim wasn't great against the Phils in that game, allowing ten hits and four runs in five innings, but he did pick up the win. The onetime Arizona closer has a 4.06 career ERA against the Phillies, but in four starts the number balloons to 5.87.
The Phillies have elected to skip Adam Eaton this weekend to ensure that he'll face the Mets next week in New York, so Jamie Moyer pitches on Saturday with Kyle Lohse to follow on Sunday. The Marlins send Rick Vanden Hurk and Dontrelle Willis to oppose them, respectively.