The Phillies: Currently in the middle of one of those schedule clusters during which they play the same teams a couple times in a row, the Phillies face the cooled off Marlins before hosting the Braves. Baseball does not seem to keep series previews in mind when plotting the schedule, as it does not always allow for much stuff to have happened in the short time before some teams play each other.
The Marlins: The Fish won a series against the Brewers, then split a four-game package with the Nationals in Washington. Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna survived an outfield collision that became an inside-the-park home run, and a few of their starters are doing a good job working their way back from rocky starts to the season.
Odubel Herrera: How many times can I list Odubel Herrera here. How many times will he continue to get on base. Who will stop Odubel Herrera.
Marcell Ozuna: He's been getting hot tips whispered in his ear from hitting coach Barry Bonds, and honestly, it's getting objectively obnoxious. Ozuna has hit safely in his last 15 games, and went 7-for-16 with a triple against the Nationals. He's a fast, tricky, singles-hitter who it would be best to stifle quickly.
Martin Prado: Prado continues to lurk in the Marlins background, maintaining one of the lowest swing-and-moss percentages (8%) in all of the sport. Never mind that he's been out-homered by Bartolo Colon.
Giancarlo Stanton: Stanton broke a home run drought last night by hitting a pitch 108 MPH out of the stadium. Before that searing hornet off the Nationals' Joe Ross, Stanton's last dinger came on May 6 against the... Phillies. So him heating up again is just impeccable timing.
Peter Bourjos: My man "Gorgeous" Bourjos got that pesky BA up over .200 thanks to three hits over the last series! Also, no walks. But this section isn't called "Heavy Walkers," is it? Yeah.
Carlos Ruiz: Chooch got his own average back up to .300 with three hits in two games against the Reds. Nobody's really sure what's happening with Cameron Rupp's leg right now, so we might see slightly more of Ruiz in the near future. So impressive has Chooch been so far this season, he is attracting the attention of - gasp -anonymous NL scouts!!
Adam Conley vs. Jerad Eickhoff
Conley chucked 13 scoreless innings over two starts, but saw that streak battered by the Brewers in his last start after giving up seven hits, two walks, and four earned runs in four innings of work. He was deemed to have lost all control by the time he was hurling a wild pitch and hitting a batter later in the game. The lefty isn't too good at going that deep into games - he's thrown over six innings in only two of seven starts - but to that end, he matches the recent struggles of Eickhoff.
After Jerad Eickhoff's thrown 75 pitches in a start, hitters have a .448/.484/.759 line against him, which, well, hm.— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) May 16, 2016
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Vince Velasquez
Chen has found success in - get this - keeping the ball down. He's also seen an uptick of over 2 MPH on his pitches (averaging 89.9 MPH), and just struck out 12 hitters in his last start against the Brewers. This was quite the difference from his start prior on May 4 against the Phillies, when he struck out no one and allowed eleven hits.
Velasquez enjoyed his own previous start as well, cruising through six innings until the Braves decided to start bringing bats with them to plate and tagged him for four runs in the seventh. No matter; these things happen, especially to young pitchers. Given this team's record in one-run games, pitchers should be permitted to give up a few runs and not consider the game lost. Even though that's pretty much exactly what I do.
Tom Koehler vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Koehler has allowed two earned runs since the 14-5 disaster he helped cause the Marlins on May 1 in Milwaukee, when he surrendered eight runs in 2.1 innings. He looked good against the Phillies, striking out eight over seven innings, but then came back out in Washington a few days later and walked five hitters (though some of those walks were simply him having no interest in throwing Bryce Harper a touchable pitch).
We saw Hellboy Prime reemerge in Hellickson's last start, firing away for seven clean innings and a highly efficient 93 pitches. It had been a few starts since we'd seen this version of him, with the seasoned right-hander appearing flimsy and exposed in his last two starts against the Cardinals and Marlins. In his last attempt to defeat Miami, Hellickson kept the Phillies in the game, allowing the Marlins to dot the scoreboard with a run here and a run there, but never getting into serious trouble.
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