The Phillies are putting out three pitchers whose narratives have been some of the most encouraging of the season during this series, and if Freddy Galvis can fire off a home run in each game, and Ryan Howard - who is getting three straight starts - can slip one in there too, than the Phillies have a real shot at only losing one of these games by a run or two.
Giancarlo Stanton, relegated to a simple pinch hitting role since returning from a groin injury, aims to be back in right field just in time to face the Phillies. What drives him to burn the Phillies so completely that he is able to will his beat-up groin back to the picture of health, just for a shot at humiliating this team far below his own in the standings? I wish I wanted anything as much as Stanton wants to be in the dugout when his team beats the Phillies. And that’s about the best he can do, because Stanton does not contribute much when the Fish play the Phils - he’s hitting .182 against the Phillies, with a .591 OPS and 17 SO in 14 games.
Dee Gordon: Gordon has been up to his usual crap, with eight hits, including a triple, in the last week and four stolen bases - three of which came in one game, two of which came in the same inning. The Braves are not good at stopping Dee Gordon.
Christian Yelich: Yelich has eight hits and three walks this week, probably because he doesn’t kneel during the national anthem, because that’s how that works.
Ichiro Suzuki: Some people might have thought Ichiro would cool it after hitting a career milestone this season, but now, he’s still a 42-year-old man hitting triples in MLB. And those people I mentioned who tried to stop him are currently being picked out of his cleats.
#Marlins Ichiro has his 258th career three-hit game. One more than Willie Mays had in his career.— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) September 13, 2016
Freddy Galvis: Galvis has three home runs in the last week and a third of the Phillies’ home runs (24) in the past month all by himself. We’ve talked about this.
Roman Quinn: Welcome to the show, Roman. You’ve set expectations ludicrously high with that two-double performance. This city will be good to you. Until the first time you don’t hit two doubles in a game. That’s already happened? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Tommy Joseph: Don’t forget Tommy Joseph, who is tied for third in Phillies home runs and will in all likelihood be one of the **four** hitters in this wilted lineup to hit twenty this year. One of which will, again, be Freddy Galvis. Of course, Ryan Howard is starting all weekend. So.
Tom Koehler vs. Adam Morgan, 7:05 p.m.
Jose Urena vs. Jeremy Hellickson, 7:05 p.m.
Andrew Cashner vs. Alec Asher, 7:05 p.m.
The Phillies managed to see Jose Fernandez just once in 19 games against the Marlins, a series that comes to a close with the Cashner-Asher match-up on Sunday. Of course, with the team hitting .149 against Koehler, it doesn’t really matter that they didn’t spend an evening getting smothered by the Miami ace - they can find a way to flail against just about anybody.
Also, Urena put together what the Sun-Sentinel called "the best performance of his career and one of the best by a Marlins pitcher this season" in his last start against the Dodgers, so again, if everybody’s pitching like that, you don’t even really need to drop Fernandez into the mix. Cashner is the one exception, really, turning in what was his worst start of the year in a 12-7 throttling at the hands of the last-place Braves.
Meanwhile, Asher was victimized by Bad Jeanmar Gomez in his last start, Morgan was abandoned by the Phillies’ offense in his, and while some might say the Phillies bungled a chance to trade Hellickson, Pete Mackanin is glad he’s here and hopes he can stay ("Yeah I'd like to see him back... He gives us a lot of innings"). These three have had a pretty terrific couple of weeks by Phillies standards, which are of course very, very low.
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