Philadelphia (87-61) at Miami (80-70)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 86° F
  • Game info: 4:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 22, 2009
  • TV: CSN, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia Phillies have completely dominated the Florida Marlins at Land Shark Stadium this season as they push for their third consecutive NL East title.

In doing so, they have dealt a blow to the Marlins’ slim playoff hopes.

Florida looks to beat Philadelphia in Miami for the first time this season when the teams play a twi-night doubleheader Tuesday.

The Marlins (80-70) are five games behind wild card-leading Colorado with 12 to go. They’re in second place in the East, but trail the Phillies (87-61) by eight.

Those deficits are due in part to Florida going 0-6 against Philadelphia at Land Shark Stadium this year. The Marlins have lost eight in a row there to the Phillies since last season, getting outscored 49-18 during the stretch.

“It’s getting to where we have to win every game,” first baseman Ross Gload(notes) told the Marlins’ official Web site. “It’s getting to the point where we’re running out of games. If Colorado wins every game the rest of the year, it doesn’t matter what we do.

“The Phillies are going to be tough. They’re way ahead and they have good pitching. Most of the season, you say, ‘It’s in our hands, and if we take care of business, we’ll be all right.’ That’s not necessarily the case. We need some help from some other teams in some other areas.”

The Marlins fell another game back in the wild-card race Sunday, losing 8-1 at Cincinnati to split a four-game set with a team that has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Florida will turn to ace Josh Johnson(notes) (15-4, 3.01 ERA) in the opener of this series.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven starts versus the Phillies. He has been outstanding in two starts against them this season, going 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings.

Johnson didn’t get much help at home against Philadelphia on April 24. He struck out eight in seven scoreless innings before Matt Lindstrom(notes) gave up seven runs in the ninth in Florida’s 7-3 loss.

Johnson won his last outing Wednesday, allowing one run in six innings of a 5-2 victory at St. Louis.

The Phillies won for the seventh time in eight games Sunday, 4-2 over Atlanta, and they will counter Johnson with Joe Blanton(notes) (10-7, 3.97).

The right-hander went 0-3 with a 4.25 ERA in his last eight road starts - seven of which resulted in Philadelphia losses. He is coming off a strong outing at home, however, striking out seven in six shutout innings of a 6-1 win over Washington on Wednesday.

Blanton has gone 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four starts against the Marlins. He is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 13 2-3 innings in two meetings this year.

In the second game, Philadelphia will give the ball to Jamie Moyer(notes) (12-9, 5.05). Doing so has been a formula for success against the Marlins, as the left-hander has won all eight of his starts at Miami with a 1.37 ERA. He is 13-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 16 overall starts versus Florida.

Moyer continued his winning streak at Land Shark Stadium on July 16, throwing seven innings to combine on a one-hitter with Ryan Madson(notes) and J.C. Romero(notes) in a 4-0 victory.

Moyer hasn’t been nearly that effective lately, going 2-2 with a 4.21 ERA in his last seven games - four starts.

He will be making his first start since a 10-9 loss to New York on Sept. 12, during which he allowed five runs in seven innings and didn’t get a decision.

The Marlins will send Anibal Sanchez(notes) (2-7, 4.50) to the mound in the second game as he looks to finally break through against the Phillies. The right-hander has gone 0-4 with an 8.72 ERA in five starts versus Philadelphia, and his 3-2 home defeat last Sept. 20 started Florida’s current losing streak against its division rival.

Sanchez went 0-3 with a 3.70 ERA in his last five starts. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked three in five innings of a 3-2 loss at Cincinnati on Thursday.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Blanton LAA vs. J. Johnson SD
12-8 Record 15-5
4.05 ERA 3.23
163 K 191
59 BB 58
1.32 WHIP 1.16


Tuesday, Sep 22