The second place Philadelphia Phillies (31-24) will be meeting the first place Florida Marlins (30-22) for the first time this year, as the fish visit Philadelphia for a three games weekend series at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of this important early series will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will be sending to the mound Brett Myers (2-6, 5.79), who is coming off his fourth straight lost, this time at the hands of the Astros on May 24. In that game, he would go six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. In his six loses this season, he would pitch six innings or less, while giving up three earned runs or more. His career record against the Marlins is 5-7 with a 5.01 ERA in 25 games against the fish, including 18 starts, not exactly world beating. The Phillies will be hoping that Myers will help set the tone for this series by pitching a good game and keeping the Marlins’ young bats as quiet as possible, while Myers will be hoping that the presently potent Phillies’ offense will be giving him some run support so that he can relax a little while pitching. The Marlins will counter with Mark Hendrickson (7-2, 4.14), who is coming off a victory against the Giants on May 25, in spite of not pitching a good game. In that game, he would go only five innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits, in the Marlins’ 8-6 win in the first game of a make-up doubleheader. In his last three starts (2-1), he would pitch no more than five innings a game. But, in his first seven starts of the season he would give up only three earned runs or less. So, he is capable of keeping the Phillies’ bats quiet if given the chance. Hendrickson will be trying to become an eight game winner and increase the Marlins’ lead in the East, while trying to avoid become another statistic of the presently dangerous Phillies’ bats.
The Phillies are trailing the visiting Marlins’ by a half game as the two teams finally meet for the first time. The Phils are leading the Braves by a game and a half as they won their game yesterday in Milwaukee. The Mets are trailing the Phillies by three and a half games, as they won their game last night with the Dodgers. While the Phillies play the Marlins, the Braves will be going to Cincinnati for a three games series with the Reds, while the Mets will continue their four games home stand with the Dodgers. The Phillies hope to do some damage with their bats while hoping that their pitching, especially their bullpen, and their defense will keep the Marlins’ bats from being equally as damaging as the try to regain first place from the surprising Marlins.