Philadelphia Phillies (87-61) at Florida Marlins (80-70)
Game 1: Joe Blanton (10-7, 3.97) vs. Josh Johnson, RHP (15-4, 3.01)
Game 2: Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05) vs. Anibal Sanchez, RHP (2-7, 4.50)
Time: Game 1, 4:10 p.m. and Game 2, 7:35 p.m at Land Shark Stadium in Miami
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83
Twitter: Phillies Nation
It is hard to overstate the importance of this series against the Marlins, beginning with tonight’s doubleheader. Only a Marlins sweep would give the Phils a reason to be concerned heading into the penultimate weekend of the regular season. On the flip side, a Phillies sweep or series win would put Charlie Manuel in a better position to rest his team that lately has been pretty banged up.
The numbers are on the Phillies side with a 6-0 record in Miami this year. They also have the best road record in the Majors. In two starts against the Fish this season, Joe Blanton is 1-1 with a paltry 1.98 ERA, 3-1 against them in his career. The Marlins do have a team average of .299 against him, lead by Nick Johnson with seven hits in 13 ABs.
Josh Johnson will take to the hill for the Marlins. Talk about Phillie-killer – the righty was nasty in two starts against the Phils this season, going 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. In his career versus the Phillies, he is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven starts. Pedro Feliz has struck out seven times against him in 14 ABs. He throws mostly fastballs and sliders and opposing batters are just 30-for-150 (.200) veruss Johnson with runners in scoring position this season. It might be a go long or go home game for the twi-night part of this doubleheader.
On paper, the Phillies are in for a much less intimidating pitcher in Anibal Sanchez with his 2-7 record. Although his ERA is lower than Jamie Moyer’s, who would you rather have pitching? It’s been a month since Sanchez’s last win despite having a decent performance in his last start against Cincinnati.
Since Jamie Moyer was officially demoted to the bullpen, he has made three appearances in relief and tonight will be his third consecutive appearance starting. As Dipsy implied earlier today, there might be a case brewing for Jamie Moyer to be a playoff starter.
Jimmy Rollins is one stolen base away from his sixth straight season with 30 or more steals. Chone Figgins is the only other active player with a streak as long.
Your Gameday Beer – Troegenator Double Bock
Troegenators…mount up! This doppelbock by our friends at Troegs has a cool brown-red color that foretells its flavors. The taste is sweet, like maple syrup, with toffee and caramel – no real hops presence. There’s alcohol, though, and plenty of it at 8.2% ABV. Have it with some gamey meat like venison or bison as steaks or burgers.