The Phillies are off today before beginning a three-game weekend series in Miami against the worst team in the National League. The Marlins are 1-8 and have already been swept by the Nationals and Braves.
Miami has been shut out four times already through nine games. That ties a major-league record. The last team to do it was the 2004 Expos.
Placido Polanco has batted cleanup for the Fish four times and Greg Dobbs has done it five times, including against lefties, which boggles the mind. Polanco was the opening day protection for Giancarlo Stanton despite Polly ranking 209th out of 230 big-leaguers in slugging percentage since 2010.
The thought that Stanton would see nothing to hit since he's the only legit threat in the Marlins' lineup? That's exactly what we're seeing. According to Baseball Info Solutions, just 30.2% percent of the pitches thrown to Stanton have been inside the strike zone. That's the lowest rate in all of baseball.
Stanton has no homers, no RBIs and one run so far.
The Fish as a team have only scored more than three runs in a game once this season, and even that was fluky -- it came in a five-run inning against the Mets that included an error and a passed ball.
The Marlins are hitting .217/.287/.283 as a team. When we say it doesn't get worse than that, it really doesn't get worse than that. It's like facing a team full of Dee Gordons. (Gordon hit .228/.280/.281 last year.)
Not sweeping this series would be slightly disappointing, but not winning it outright would be unfathomable, especially with Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay going on Saturday and Sunday.
It's the perfect opportunity for Hamels and Halladay to get on track. Doc especially. This team doesn't take too many pitches and hasn't made the most of mistakes, so pinpoint precision shouldn't be the priority. Getting ahead and staying ahead should be.