Philadelphia (58-48) at Miami (53-53)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Aug 4, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins already have an unquestioned No. 1 starter, but they’d also love to be able to count on a few more ace-like performances from Anibal Sanchez(notes).

Sanchez was positively dominant in tossing a one-hitter his last time out, though he’ll have a stiff challenge duplicating that effort against the surging Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Josh Johnson(notes) is perhaps the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award, but he can’t say he’s delivered Florida’s best pitching performance of the season.

That honor belongs to Sanchez (8-6, 3.33 ERA), who shut down hot-hitting San Francisco on the road Thursday. The Giants had won 13 of 16 coming in, but a fifth-inning single was all they could muster against the right-hander, who struck out eight in a 5-0 victory.

“I’m more happy because I’m really healthy,” said Sanchez, who pitched only 167 2-3 innings from 2007-2009 because of shoulder injuries. “That’s what I worked on in the offseason. The other thing is to help the team, because we’re really close. If we do a good job, we can make the playoffs. That’s what we want.”

The Marlins (53-53) took a step back in Tuesday’s opener against the Phillies (58-48), who got another stellar performance from their ace. Roy Halladay(notes) struck out nine over seven innings and Carlos Ruiz(notes) had four hits - including a homer - in a 6-1 win.

With its 10th victory in 12 games, Philadelphia pulled within two games of NL East-leading Atlanta. Perhaps even more impressively, the Phillies didn’t look like they missed Ryan Howard(notes), whom they placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a sprained left ankle.

“If we keep playing like we’ve been playing,” said right fielder Ben Francisco(notes), who went 3 for 5 with a homer, “we should be fine.”

Sanchez will definitely want to pitch carefully to Ruiz. The veteran catcher is 5 for 12 with two doubles and three walks in their matchups.

Outfielder Jayson Werth(notes), who went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts in Howard’s usual cleanup spot, is 2 for 16 with 10 strikeouts against Sanchez.

Sanchez was 0-4 with an 8.72 ERA in his first five career starts against the Phillies, but he’s turned it around within the past year. Since Sept. 22, 2009, Sanchez is 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA versus the two-time defending NL champions.

Philadelphia counters with Kyle Kendrick(notes) (6-4, 4.44), who has reason to be confident in light of his two starts since a brief demotion to the minors. The right-hander held Colorado to one run over seven innings in a 10-2 win July 24, then limited Arizona to a run in 6 1-3 innings of the Phillies’ 3-2, 11-inning victory Thursday.

“Yeah, I should have been pitching like that all the time,” Kendrick told the team’s official website. “Maybe it took (the demotion) to kick in a little bit. Yeah, go out there and pitch with an edge, pitch with some urgency - it was nice.”

Kendrick is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in four games - three starts - at Florida. He gave up two unearned runs over six innings of a 3-2 win there May 28.

Marlins top run producers Hanley Ramirez(notes) and Dan Uggla(notes) are a combined 10 for 41 (.244) against Kendrick, with one homer apiece.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Kendrick Phi vs. A. Sánchez Det
11-10 Record 13-12
4.73 ERA 3.55
84 K 157
49 BB 70
1.37 WHIP 1.34


Wednesday, Aug 4