With two swings on Sunday, the Phillies earned a thrilling win reminiscent of the 2008-11 period and some positive momentum heading into an eight-game road trip.
Aroldis Chapman was the fourth closer the Phillies have tied the game against or beaten in the ninth inning this season. It was the third time in two weeks (Sergio Romo, Heath Bell). A win brought them to within two games of .500, and they have a chance to go over .500 for the first time this season if they can manage a sweep in Miami.
The Phillies are one of very few teams that has yet to take full advantage of the Marlins' ineptitude. Miami is 3-4 (.429) against the Phillies and 9-28 (.243) against everyone else.
Cole Hamels (1-6, 4.61) starts the opener against Alex Sanabia, who has the worst xFIP in baseball and second-worst WAR among starting pitchers. Hitting the medicore righty shouldn't be a difficult task, even with Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz sidelined.
Hamels is having major control issues this season. He has 11 more walks than he had last year at this point, and 19 fewer strikeouts. He's already had games of four, five and six walks. He's dominated the Marlins, though, holding them to a .149 batting average. Hamels has a 1.93 ERA against the Fish in two starts, but no wins.
The only player in Miami's lineup who is an extra-base hit threat is rookie Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna went 8-for-16 with four doubles and a homer in four games against the Phils earlier this month. He's the only Marlin with an OPS over .800 in May.
Getting ahead early is always important, but especially so against a team as weak offensively as Miami, which ranks 30th in baseball in runs, batting average, OBP and slugging. The Marlins have just two wins all season when behind after four innings.
The Phillies haven't done much early scoring this season. They've led after the first inning just nine times all season, and lost four of those games.
Tonight's result is made more important by the fact that Jose Fernandez is on the hill tomorrow. Fernandez has a 0.00 ERA and .071 opponents' batting average vs. the Phils, and a 4.91 ERA and .261 mark against all other foes.
1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) Ben Revere, CF
3) Michael Young, 1B
4) Chase Utley, 2B
5) Domonic Brown, LF
6) Delmon Young, RF
7) Freddy Galvis, 3B
8) Erik Kratz, C
9) Cole Hamels, P
Marlins (can't think of any lineup that has ever looked worse than this)
1) Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
2) Placido Polanco, 3B
3) Derek Dietrich, 2B
4) Marcell Ozuna, RF
5) Justin Ruggiano, CF
6) Chris Coghlan, LF
7) Nick Green, 1B (seriously)
8) Jeff Mathis, C
9) Alex Sanabia, P
Mike Adams was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 11, meaning he can come off the DL on Sunday. Humberto Quintero's contract was selected from Lehigh Valley.