The Phillies started off the 2013 campaign floundering. A 2-5 start with crowds at Citizens Bank Park looking abnormally light. On Tuesday Phillies beat writer David Murphy wrote a blog aptly titled "These Phillies Not Worth Watching." Through the first 7 games of the season I reluctantly wanted to agree. Considering I witnessed first hand the debacle in game 1 of the Muts series at CBP. But let's remember ya'll, IT'S ONLY APRIL!!
The Phillies strung together their first winning streak of the season Tuesday and Wednesday vs. the Muts and put Phillies Nation back at relative ease. Thank goodness for Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner, the Phillies offense showed some life and some definite power.
Phillies new third baseman Michael Young is leading the charge offensively and in the clubhouse. Through 9 games Young leads the Phillies in hitting with a .375 batting average with an OPS of 1.053. The resurgent Chase Utley is not far behind with a .333 BA and an 1.031 OPS. Utley has 2 HR's and 9 RBI's on the short season, both team highs. J-Roll is the only other Phillie above .300 with a .333 average and a team high 12 hits.
After a rough start the Phillies are now 4-5 and head to Miami to take on the hapless Fish. The Marlins might as well be the Phillies D squad with the likes of Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs rounding out the heart of their lineup. After selling their star power in the off season it is no wonder the Fish have gotten off to a horrid 1-8 start.
Phillies (4-5) at Miami Marlins (1-8) APril 12-14
Game 1 Friday April 12 7:10 PM: John Lannan (L) vs Ricky Nolasco (R)
John Lannan: in his first start of the season through 7.0 innings allowing 5 hits and 3 earned runs. It was a quality start for Lannan but the Phillies fell 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals.
Ricky Nolasco: Nolasco is 0-1 on the 2013 season with a 3.97 ERA. In his career vs the Phillies he is 8-5 with a 3.86 ERA.
Game 2 Saturday April 13 7:10 PM: Cole Hamels (L) vs Jose Fernandez (R)
Cole Hamels: Phillies Ace King Cole is off to a rough start in 2013. Hamels is 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA. Last Sunday Hamels allowed a career worst 8 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings vs. Kansas City. I don't expect the rough start for Hamels to last. Expect him to rebound nicely vs a terrible Miami lineup.
Jose Fernandez: The 20 year old Fernandez, a 1st round pick of the Fish in 2011, will make his 2nd career start on Saturday. In his first career start last Sunday Fernandez pitched 5 innings of one-run ball while striking out 8 vs the Mets.
Game 3 Sunday April 14 1:10 PM: Roy Halladay (R) vs Kevin Slowey (R)
Kevin Slowey: Slowey is 0-2 in 2013 with a 2.19 ERA. In 1 2/3 innings of total action vs. the Phillies Slowey gave up 7 hits, 2 HR's and 7 earned runs amounting to a 37.80 ERA vs. the Phillies. Here's hoping this small sample size continues!
Roy Halladay: Halladay has looked about as bad as he possibly could to start the season. He is 0-2 with a whopping 14. 73 ERA. He has never lost 3 consecutive starts to begin a season. The Phillies and Halladay claim he is healthy, it seems to be a mental thing for Doc at this point.
The Phillies look to build off of the momentum from the Mets series finishing strong in the last 2 games. Look for the Phillies offense to continue their surge as Michael Young finds his groove in the National League. Chase Utley seems to be the old chase and Ryan Howard finally went yard. These are all positive signs for the Phillies offense as they head south.
I expect the Phillies to sweep the Fish and improve to 7-5 heading to Cincinnati.