Philadelphia’s road winning streak – which includes a 3-1 win over host Tampa Bay on Thursday — is tied for the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only a 13-game run in 1976.
On Friday, Miami will start reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara (3-7, 4.93 ERA). The right-hander is 6-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 17 career starts against the Phillies
Alcantara has struggled all year in his encore to his Cy Young performance, posting ERAs of 5.04 in April, 4.85 in May, 4.59 in June and 7.20 so far in July.
Philadelphia will start right-hander Zack Wheeler (7-4, 4.03 ERA). Wheeler, who finished second in the NL Cy Young voting in 2021, has been dominant in his career against the Marlins, going 10-4 with a 2.37 ERA in 20 starts
Wheeler started this season in solid fashion with ERAs of 3.86 in April and 3.34 in May. But his ERA has soared in June (4.45) and so far in July (7.20).
Offensively, the Phillies entered this weekend ranked fifth in the majors in triples (17) and 10th in OPS (.748)
The Phillies‘ two top leaders – on and off the field – are DH Bryce Harper and catcher J.T. Realmuto
Harper, who had elbow surgery in November, is not yet ready to return to the outfield. But the seven-time All-Star and two-time NL MVP is still hitting in the middle of the Phillies‘ lineup
Left fielder Kyle Schwarber leads the Phillies in homers (22), right fielder Nick Castellanos tops the squad in doubles (26), and Realmuto is first in triples (five)
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who has been out since suffering a knee injury in March, has been replaced capably by Alec Bohm, who leads the team in RBIs (56). Shortstop Trea Turner leads the team in steals, swiping 19 bases without being caught
All told, it’s a deep lineup.
“We never have an easy out,” Turner said. “Every inning, (it seems like) we have guys on base, putting pressure on.”
“We couldn’t break through,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said of Thursday’s loss
Still, the Marlins will start the weekend in wild-card position. They are a huge surprise this season, winning games despite ranking 15th in the majors in ERA, 22nd in runs scored and fielding percentage and 23rd in homers
But Miami has had some outstanding performances. Luis Arraez leads the majors with a .388 batting average, earning the starting second base job for the NL All-Star team.
Jorge Soler is Miami’s other All-Star; he leads the Marlins with 22 homers
The Marlins have set a franchise record with 51 wins prior to the All-Star break, and they have a chance to pad that number against Philadelphia this weekend
“Philly’s a tough team,” Schumaker said. “They have a lot of good players.”
–Field Level Media