PHILADELPHIA (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Philadelphia Phillies have long since been removed from any postseason discussion, and they are doing their best to make sure the Miami Marlins are not involved in that conversation as well.
After posting a 13-inning triumph in the opener, the Phillies will look to deal another blow to visiting Miami’s slim playoff aspirations on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
Guaranteed by manager Pete Mackanin to start each contest of the three-game series, former National League MVP Ryan Howard belted a solo homer on Friday in what is expected to be the beginning of his swan song in the City of Brotherly Love.
While the Phillies are playing out the string, the Marlins have dropped nine of 17 decisions to their NL East rival and reside five games behind the New York Mets for the second wild card.
Giancarlo Stanton walked twice and scored once in his return to the starting lineup, but has struggled mightily against Saturday starter Jeremy Hellickson to the tune of going 1-for-15 with five strikeouts.
Marcell Ozuna has recorded back-to-back multi-hit performances overall and is 18-for-57 versus the Phillies this season.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Jose Urena (4-6, 4.89 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Jeremy Hellickson (11-9, 3.76)
Urena penned a masterpiece in his last outing, as the 25-year-old Dominican scattered four hits over 8 2/3 innings in a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has won three of his last five outings, but owns a 3-5 mark over his last nine despite posting a 3.88 ERA in that stretch. The Marlins split two games against Philadelphia with Urena on the mound during that span as he allowed one run in a no-decision over 5 2/3 innings of a 2-1 victory on July 19 before yielding four runs in a 4-3 setback on Sept. 6.
Hellickson answered three tough outings with a strong one on Monday, permitting one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 6-2 win over Pittsburgh. The 29-year-old posted a 2-0 mark versus Miami after allowing six runs in four starts (25 1/3 innings) before surrendering four in six frames in a 6-0 setback on Sept. 7. Ichiro Suzuki (.174) has been held in check by Hellickson, who owns a 6-4 mark and 3.47 ERA at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park this season.
1. Philadelphia SS Freddy Galvis has not committed an error in 50 games (436 innings).
2. Miami 2B Dee Gordon has scored six times during his eight-game hitting streak.
3. Marlins C J.T. Realmuto has multi-hit performances in three straight contests and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.