It appears the Philadelphia Phillies will not rest until they win the wild card.
The Phillies play their third game in roughly 36 hours and resume a final playoff push Saturday afternoon when they continue their series with the Florida Marlins.
Following a lengthy rain delay, Philadelphia (84-76) did not finish Thursday night’s 3-1 defeat at Washington until 2:07 a.m. Friday morning. The team arrived at its Fort Lauderdale, Fla. hotel some six hours later.
Despite the long night and short rest, the Phillies routed the Marlins (77-83) 14-2 in Friday night’s series opener. Pat Burrell had two home runs, four RBIs and four runs, while Shane Victorino went 5-for-6 to pace the team’s 18-hit effort.
“The travel and lack of sleep is overrated,” said 20-year veteran Jamie Moyer, who pitched five innings to earn the win. “When you get to this point in the season, you’ve got to go out and play. Everybody is tired; every game means something.”
The Phillies need to sweep this series and get help to reach the playoffs. They trail NL West co-leaders Los Angeles and San Diego by two games. Two Philadelphia wins coupled with two losses by either the Dodgers or Padres would put the Phillies into a one-game playoff for the wild card.
San Diego is finishing the regular season at Arizona, while Los Angeles is playing at San Francisco this weekend.
The San Diego Padres lead the NL West but are only two games ahead of the Phillies, and could fall into a tie for the wild card with two losses and a Philadelphia sweep of the Marlins.
With Friday’s win, the Phillies improved to 12-5 in the season series with Florida and have scored 10 runs or more in five victories.
“They’ve beat up on us all year,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m tired of it, and I know our players are tired of it.”
While most of the Phillies seem to enjoy facing the Marlins, Randy Wolf (4-0, 5.24 ERA) does not. The left-hander is 3-12—his most losses against any opponent—with a 6.08 ERA in 18 career starts versus Florida.
Wolf made his first start in his return from elbow surgery against the Marlins on July 30. He yielded three runs in 4 1-3 innings, not factoring in the decision of Philadelphia’s 11-5 victory.
Wolf has failed to record a decision in seven of his 11 starts this season, and has only pitched six innings or longer twice.
Facing Wolf may help Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera in his quest for the NL batting title. Cabrera, who is 9-for-18 with a homer and four doubles in his career versus Wolf, is batting .340 and trails only Pittsburgh’s Freddy Sanchez (.345) for the league lead.
Florida’s Scott Olsen (12-9, 3.97) looks for better results than in his last outing against Philadelphia when he takes the mound. The 22-year-old left-hander allowed seven runs—three earned—and seven hits, including three homers, in 2 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 10-7 defeat to the Phillies.
He was ejected in the third inning after he hit Phillies third baseman Abraham Nunez with a pitch, an act he denied was intentional.
“They were hitting the ball. You’ve got to move feet,” Olsen said. “You’ve got to go inside and move them off the plate a little.”
Olsen is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in five career starts versus the Phillies, four of them this season.
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who went 0-for-3 Friday and remains at 58 home runs on the season, is 6-for-12 with two homers against Olsen.
The Marlins have dropped six of their last seven games overall.