Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marlins take the first one over Philllies

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
The Phillies started an important three game stretch tonight with the second place Marlins and they came up short in the first game of the series, losing 5-4 in Florida.

3 Up
1. Fightin' Fish I am one of probably many who doubted that the Marlins were for real but as they continue to win, we have to start looking at them as a serious contender. With the Braves and Mets already fading in the Phillies rear view, the Marlins are the only team that has managed to keep up. With tonight's win, the Marlins are within 3 games of first place and have a record of six games over .500. Watching the game today I got a good idea why they have been successful. They have a bunch of guys who can hit for power (5 players with 10 or more homers), several quality starters and an above average closer. The scariest part of the team is their bats, with superstar Hanley Ramirez and the 2nd best 2nd baseman in the game, Dan Uggla anchoring the line-up. These Marlins appear to be for real, and with New York and Atlanta disappointing, the Fish might be the only competition the Phils will have in their quest to repeat as NL East Champs.

2. Nolasco owns Phils Ricky Nolasco has proven to be a thorn in the Phillies side. Back on May 31st, Nolasco beat the Phillies by giving up only 2 runs in 6 and 2/3rds innings. Tonight, Nolasco did even better, giving up no earned runs across 6 innings of work. Nolasco did end up allowing 3 unearned runs across the plate, but those were due to bad fielding plays. Nolasco is just another in the long line of no-name pitchers who seem to have the Phillies' number

3. Rollins, Burrell homer The Phils did manage two homers on the night, including this one by Rollins in the 5th inning:

Rollins hasn't really lit the world on fire this season but he now has two homers in his last three games after only hitting 3 through the first two months of the season.

3 Down
1. Myers' W-L record
Brett Myers continues to have an up and down season and tonight's effort was another one on the down side. In 5 and 1/3rds innings, Myers gave up 7 hits and walked 4 batters and gave up 3 homers. Myers' record now moves to 3-8, an ugly number for an Opening Day starter. He still has plenty of time to bounce back, but he may never re-gain the form he once had before he was a closer.

2. Victorino's 0-fer After being the hero in the series against the Atlanta Braves, Shane Victorino didn't start off this series with the same effort, going 0 for 5 and making the last out of the game with a runner standing at second base. He ended up stranding 4 runners in all in the game.

3. Howard's K's Just thought I would point out that Howard struck out two more times tonight and is currently on pace for 218 strikeouts on the season. I know his hitting has improved lately, but that's just an astounding amount of K's.

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