June 5, 2023

See ya, Miami—Series Preview: Phillies at Marlins, September 13 – 15


Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Phillies have never played particularly well in Miami, but their play there has been better in 2022. So it could either be a very good or very bad thing that the Phillies will play their final series of the season in Miami starting Tuesday.

Though the Phillies have won their last four series against the Marlins, the Phils’ bats tend to go quiet at loanDepot park in South Beach.

While the Phillies’ troubles in Miami aren’t ignored, they are a much more developed team than the squad that lost three of four to the Marlins at the beginning of April. Now, the Phillies have a deeper lineup, a deeper bullpen, and a manager that has created a stronger team bond.

Last time they met

The Marlins are also a much different squad than we saw at the beginning of the season. Jesus Aguilar was designated for assignment to allow the out-of-contention Marlins to play some of their up-and-coming prospects, and they are still without their two best hitters, Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm, Junior.

Some thought the Marlins still had a chance to sneak into the third Wild Card spot, but a long slump—which actually started by being swept by the Phillies ahead of the all-star break—diminished those thoughts; the Marlins’ shallow lineup and rough bullpen negated the Marlins’ young, electric rotation.

When the Phillies hosted the Marlins last week, the Phils were just three outs away from sweeping the Marlins out of Philly. But the Phillies’ defense crumbled, and the Marlins put a few good swings on a few of a depleted David Robertson’s mistakes. The Marlins scored two in the ninth and were able to salvage the sweep thanks to a quick ninth inning thrown by Dylan Floro.

You might also remember Edmundo Sosa beginning his hot streak, where he had two home runs and five hits in the two games he started in this series.

Sosa is not in the lineup for game one of this series.

A test for the lineup

There aren’t going to be any easy opponents in the postseason, but it’s nearly a certainty that the Marlins—who have one of the better pitching staffs in all of baseball—will not be a part of extended October baseball. The Marlins are a whopping 19 games back of the third Wild Card spot, and they are well out of the NL East pennant race.

Their bad record, though, does not negate the Marlins’ excellent pitching staff, which will be a good challenge to prepare the Phillies for the postseason.

Sandy Alcantara, the best pitcher in the National League by statistics, serves as Miami’s ace. Alcantara has a 12-7 record and a 2.43 ERA in 28 starts and 196.2 IP. As someone who pitches to contact, Alcantara has a lot of quick innings, allowing him to pitch deep into ballgames. He leads the MLB with four complete games, two of which came in August.

Despite his excellent numbers, the Phillies have had success against Alcantara, who they have faced six times—more than any pitcher in one season since Mike Foltynewicz in 2018. The Phils posted five runs against Alcantara on September 8 and four runs when they faced him him on August 10, making them one of the most successful teams against Alcantara this year.

Pablo Lopez, Jesus Luzardo, Edward Cabrera, and Braxton Garrett round on their strong rotation, who all are having solid seasons.

Lopez was named the National League Pitcher of the Month award for April but has a 6.52 ERA since the all-star break.

Luzardo and Cabrera have been the opposite, though; Luzardo has a 3.66 ERA since being reinstated from the IL at the beginning of August, and Cabrera has a 2.31 ERA in his last seven starts.

Garrett—who will not face the Phillies in this series—allowed two runs in 4.2 innings through his one start since being reinstated from the IL on August 12.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Bailey Falter (LHP, 4-3, 4.02 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (RHP, 12-7, 2.43 ERA)

Game 2: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 9-6, 4.57 ERA) vs. Edward Cabrera (RHP, 5-3, 2.63 ERA)

Game 3: Noah Syndergaard (RHP, 9-9, 4.09 ERA) vs. Pablo Lopez (RHP, 8-10, 4.04 ERA)

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: 73
  • Marlins: -101
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.72
  • Marlins: 3.59
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.2
  • Marlins: 4.3

Game times and broadcasts

  • Tuesday, September 13, at 6:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Wednesday, September 14, at 6:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Thursday, September 15, at 6:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP

Game coverage will be provided on Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter page.

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