The Phillies hope to continue their hot homestand after a four-game sweep of the lowly Washington Nationals.
Now on a five-game winning streak, the Phillies’ recent success has seen them rise to the second Wild Card spot. Right in front of the Phils are their rival Atlanta Braves. After losing four games in a five-game set to the Mets, they are just three games ahead of the Phillies.
The Marlins come into Philly having lost seven of their last 10 games. With the Braves in sight and having 7 upcoming games against the Mets, the Phillies can’t afford to let up now.
Let’s look at the matchups.
Game 1: Zack Wheeler vs. Braxton Garrett
A 4-game win streak against the Fish will be on the line in this matchup as the Phillies haven’t lost to the Marlins since June 14th.
Zack Wheeler will take the ball for the Phils in game one. Wheeler has pitched seven innings in each of his last three starts. He’s allowed just 4 ER in that span. Since the start of July, Wheeler has pitched under 7 innings just once when he went up against the powerful Toronto Blue Jays.
Even with that clunker thrown in, Wheeler has a 2.27 ERA since July 1st.
Coming from the Marlins dugout will be young lefty Braxton Garrett. Garrett has yet to throw 100 innings in the majors but has been up and down with the Marlins since 2020. 2022 is proving to be his best appearance yet as he has a 3.88 ERA over 11 starts this season. His strikeout numbers are also the best of his burgeoning career with a 10.2K/9IP rate.
Rhys Hoskins will look to become the first Phillie to homer in five straight games since…himself! He’ll have to match what he did as a rookie from August 22nd to the 27th in 2017.
Game 2: Noah Syndergaard vs Sandy Alcantara
This game might have the Phillies as the underdog for the first time since the Braves series. Sandy Alcantara is a legitimate contender for the NL Cy Young award. He leads the NL in ERA, IP, Complete Games, and ERA+. His ERA sits at a deGrom-like 1.88.
The good news for Phillies fans is he’s given up at least 2 ER in his last 5 starts against the Phillies. The bad news is he’s coming off his first shutout since 2019. We’ll have to see how the Phillies try to attack the ace of the Marlins.
On the other side, Noah Syndergaard will be looking to prove himself as a Phillie. In his first start, he got the win, which is the ultimate goal. However, Thor gave up an unprecedented 11 hits and 4 ER to a lowly Nationals offense in just 5 IP. The Marlins’ hitters aren’t a murderer’s row either but Syndergaard still has something to prove.
It was rumored that the Phillies were looking for a starter to pitch a 3rd game of a playoff series at the deadline. Can Thor be that pitcher? That remains to be seen.
Game 3: Kyle Gibson vs Edward Cabrera
And now for the wildcard of this series. Kyle Gibson has been maddeningly inconsistent throughout the season. He has a 4.36 ERA overall but a 2.87 ERA over his last five starts. He’s also coming off of a start in which he went eight innings, allowing 1 earned run.
In his last two starts against Miami, Gibby has gone at least 6 innings and allowed only 1 ER. There are encouraging signs heading into this game but Gibson’s success is a coinflip at best.
Another game, another promising young Marlins’ pitcher.
After being a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball for the past 3 years, Edward Cabrera seems to be making good on the hype. His last start was his first coming off an injury. In 3 minor league rehab starts, Cabrera allowed just a single hit. In his return to a major league mound, he no-hit the Cubs over 5 innings while striking out 8.
Cabrera has a hot streak going. Hopefully, the Phillies’ bats will have something to say about that.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore