Philadelphia (76-73) at Miami (79-70)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 87° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Sep 21, 2004
  • TV: CSN, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins’ season-long domination of the Philadelphia Phillies helped lift them into last year’s playoffs.

It appears that won’t be enough this year.

With their postseason hopes fading, the Marlins will look to continue their mastery of the Phillies when these teams open a three-game series.

By splitting Monday’s doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs, Florida remained 4 1/2 games back of San Francisco in the race for the NL wild card with 13 games to play. However, there are four teams in front of the Marlins in that chase and none of their remaining games are against any of those clubs.

“Time’s running out on us,” manager Jack McKeon said. “Maybe it’s not going to happen. But as long as we’ve got the least bit of life, we’ll give it a run.”

Winning 10 of 12 from the Philadelphia last season between July and September was a big reason Florida got into the 2003 playoffs on its way to winning the World Series. That run included a three-game sweep in late September that knocked the Phillies out of the playoff race, but pulling off the same feat this year might not be enough.

These teams also play a four-game set in Philadelphia to close the regular season.

The Phillies have lost 14 in a row at Miami, dating to April 2 of last year, and have been outscored 44-16 in dropping all seven games there this season. Florida has won 23 of 26 overall against its NL East rival, including an 11-1 mark this year.

“They’ve had the upper hand, no question about it,” Bowa said after his team’s most recent loss to Florida, 10-1 on July 29. “They play us like they are the world champions.”

Bowa has plenty of hot hitters in his lineup, but most of them have been unable to solve Florida’s pitchers this season.

David Bell has at least two hits in six of his last nine games, but he’s 9-for-39 (.231) against the Marlins. Mike Lieberthal has hit safely in 15 of 16, raising his average to a season-high .265, but he’s hit .180 (8-for-42) with no homers and four RBIs in 11 games against Florida. Placido Polanco has six RBIs in his last four games, but only one in 12 contests against the Marlins.

Conversely, many of Florida’s top hitters have ripped Philadelphia hurlers.

Mike Lowell has hit .404 with five homers and 14 RBIs, and Luis Castillo has hit .425 (17-for-40) against the Phillies this year. In 13 games against Philadelphia, Miguel Cabrera has driven in 12 runs while Juan Pierre has scored 13.

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12-12 Record 10-11
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126 K 139
61 BB 61
1.35 WHIP 1.38