The Phillies had a sweep in hand against the Reds...and then their mistakes finally caught up to them. Apparently, if you make a lot of outs on the basepaths and walk a lot of batters, bad things tend to happen. Go figure.
The Phillies next opponent is one that they used to have a lot of trouble with in years past but largely dominated in 2022. If the Phillies want to return to the playoffs in 2023, they’ll likely need to come closer to the 12-7 record they had against the Marlins in 2022, as opposed to the dismal 12-17 across 2020 and 2021.
Record: 4-6 (Third place in National League East, two games back)
The Marlins went with a new manager in 2023, because obviously Don Mattingly was the problem, and not their ultra-cheap ownership. Skip Schumaker is the latest man to try to lead the Marlins to respectability before he’s kneecapped by star players being dealt away.
During his playing career, Schumaker was one of those career utility men who everyone likes to say will be a future manager one day, and in this case, I guess they were right. It’s still yet to be determined if he’ll be a good manager.
The last time they met
With the Phillies desperately in need of wins in September 2022, they ventured to Miami for a series and picked up two of them. Unfortunately, due to Noah Syndergaard being a bit homer-happy in the series finale, they couldn’t complete the sweep.
What’s the deal with the Marlins?
The Marlins seemed to make an actual attempt to improve themselves in the offseason, trading for Luis Arraez and signing old friend Jean Segura.
Can't wait to see Jean Segura back at CBP tonight, his ovation should be just as loud as the rest of the boys yesterday #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/t6tnTWRH3e— Dan Stu (@DanStuPart4) April 10, 2023
While these moves will assuredly help their offense, it’s questionable how it will impact their defense since Segura will be playing a relatively unfamiliar position at third base, and former second baseman Jazz Chisholm will now be in center.
The Marlins have spent most of the early season playing games against the Mets, an endeavor which hasn’t gone very well, seeing as how they’ve gone 2-5 against them.
Boo this man
Jon Berti is far from the best offensive shortstop in baseball. But he is annoying as heck due to his propensity for walking and stealing bases (League leading 41 in 2022). You can often tell how well a Phillies-Marlins series is going by the number of times Berti is on base. Hopefully the pitching staff will choose to throw him strikes this time around, so we don’t have to deal with him.
I’d kill for a guy like Jon Berti on the Phillies. Feel like he always torments us.— Michael Sisto (@ThatSistoKid) June 14, 2022
No day at the beach
The Phillies faced 2022 Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara quite a bit last year, and it worked out surprisingly well. Despite Alcantara generally pitching well, the Phillies went 4-2 in games he started against them. That seems unlikely to continue, so it’s probably a good thing they won’t face the Marlins as often this season. Still, they’ll have to find a way to beat him again this week since he’s scheduled to go in Monday’s series opener.
I have watched a lot of Sandy Alcantara starts this season — I don’t think a single team has looked as comfortable against him as the Phillies have.— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) September 9, 2022
Maybe it’s because they see him more often, but I am shocked. This guy has dominated the entire league this season.
Last series’ answer: Nick Nelson was the future Phillie who blew a save for the Yankees. Simmonds17 got it first.
This series’ question: Two Phillies tied for the team lead with 18 hits against the Marlins in 2022. Who were they?
Smarty’s tournament of randomness
Congratulations to the Delaware Memorial Bridge for defeating Alf (in pog form) to advance to the second round. That brings on our next matchup:
#4 Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham
Did you ever ask yourself: What if Spider-Man was a pig??? The people at Marvel Comics did, and the result was this:
#13 Eric Bana as Bruce Banner
Before Mark Ruffalo and before Ed Norton, there was Eric Bana, starring as Bruce Banner in director Ang Lee’s really weird Hulk movie. This movie answered the age-old question of: What if we had a Hulk movie that didn’t have all that much of the titular character in it?
Which of these random things should advance to the next round? You decide!
Who should advance: Spider-Ham or Bana?
This poll is closed
#4 - Spider-Ham
#13 - Eric Bana
While the Marlins are very beatable, they aren’t a pushover by any means, and the starting pitchers they have lined up for these games - Alcantara, Jesus Lazardo, and Edward Cabrera - are all solid. The Phillies will need to cut down on the self-inflicted mistakes if they want to win. It might also help if they hit a few home runs with people on base, but I wanted to start small with my requests.