The Phillies took care of business against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals, winning six of the seven games. That has gotten them within distance of getting first place in the NL East, but now they have a series against the Marlins in Miami in front of them, which the Phils have struggled with the last few years.

On paper, a series against a last place team should give the Phillies an opportunity to rack up some more wins. But as Phillies fans know, the Marlins often bring out the absolute worst in the Phillies.

If they’re able to continue the run of strong play in Miami, then maybe those playoff hopes aren’t so farfetched after all.

Here are a few things to look out for this series.

Last time they met, since then

The Phillies kicked off their second-half schedule against the Marlins, and it actually went pretty well, with the Phils taking three out of four. They managed to compact most of their bad play into one game (A 7-0 loss in a doubleheader nightcap) rather than spreading it out over all four.

Things got worse for the Fish, as they’ve gone 15-25 since then. That includes a losing streak of eight games.

The Marlins’ offense has been bad all year, but in the first half, they could at least rely on a decent pitching staff. Their team ERA was sixth best in the NL in the first half, but in the second half, that rank has dropped to 12th.

Struggles in Miami

Since the start of the 2018 season, the Phillies are 11-18 in Miami. That would be bad enough at any stadium, but it seems that much worse because the Marlins have been a really bad team for most of that time.

The Marlins finished in last place in 2018 and 2019, and the only thing that might keep them out of that spot this year is the fast fall of the Washington Nationals.

7-run streak

The Phillies’ lineup doesn’t currently look that good, but it’s working! After a stretch where they could barely get any runs across the plate, the Phillies have now scored seven or more in seven straight games. This isn’t something that happens very often for this franchise. In fact, the last time this happened was 1933.

It’s nice that Andrew McCutchen and Brad Miller have abruptly snapped out of long slumps and become actual hitters again, and Odubel Herrera has been really good at the top of the lineup. Of course, they’ve had the rising tide that is Bryce Harper being consistently great in the three-hole.

The down fall of Chisholm

Early in the season, Jazz Chisholm looked like he was going to be one of the league’s most exciting players. But like most of his teammates, he’s been a major disappointment in the second half.

His post-All-Star OPS is just .667, and he hasn’t made up for it on the base paths, having been caught stealing a league-leading seven times.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 10–5, 2.94 ERA) vs. Jesús Luzardo (LHP, 5–7, 7.19 ERA)
Game 2: Ranger Suarez (LHP, 6–4, 1.48 ERA) vs. TBD
Game 3: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 11–9, 3.01 ERA) vs. Elieser Hernandez (RHP, 1–1, 3.62 ERA)

The numbers

Run Differential:
Phillies: -7
Marlins: -40

Runs Scored Per Game:
Phillies: 4.60
Marlins: 3.94

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Phillies: 4.65
Marlins: 4.24

Game times and Broadcast

  • Friday September 3 at 7:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday September 4 at 6:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Sunday September 5 at 1:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP