The Miami Marlins are coming fresh off of a win against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins did end up losing that series and are currently at 2-4 on their 9-game homestand. The Marlins are hoping to bounce back against the only team that they have beaten in a series this month, the Philadelphia Phillies.
This series will be a very intriguing one with a division foe. Both teams are fighting extremely hard for last place in the National League East. Neither team wants the other to outdo them in sucking!
The first two games will provide us with some great pitching match-ups, and the last one could be a pretty ugly game, pitching wise at least. Justin Klugh, the senior editor of the Philadelphia Phillies Fansided site, That Balls Outta Here, was kind enough to have a little chat with us to preview the series. I think I made him mad with one of my questions:
— Justin Klugh (@TBOHblog) June 29, 2012
Here is a look at our chat:
Ehsan Kassim: Chase Utley returned to the Phillies lineup after a long delay on Wednesday evening. How did Utley look and what kind of spark has it brought to the Phillies lineup? Is he going to be the Utley of old? Is it going to be enough to save the Phillies season?
Justin Klugh: Well, there he was, standing there, getting standing o’d even though he was four pitches into the at-bat, and he socks this dinger that makes the place go nuclear. It was exactly what I’d been fantasizing about since I got up that morning, rode the subway to park, tailgated, and found my seats. And then Chooch went back to back with him and it was just DOUBLE AWESOME. My life doesn’t have many perfect moments. But I used one there.
We’re at the beginning of the part of the year that will be the lynchpin of our survival. Utley is back, Howard is rehabbing, and Ruben Amaro is shaking the shit out of the bullpen. Thome’s getting shopped for what I assume is an effective reliever from the AL, and it seems as though as the radical steps are being taken to make the team better. I can’t say what Utley will contribute on the field. But based on his chilling words just prior to his return, he has no intention of just letting this team fade away.
JK: Ryan Howard went 2-for-4 in double-A Lakewood last night, knocking in three runs and came maybe a yard away from walking everybody off with a grand slam. He’s only DH’ing but had to scamper back to first on a fly ball and seemed to be able to run and slide without shattering into a billion pieces. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Howard “scamper,” but it’s like a bear skipping.
Doc is reported to be ahead of schedules, but when you don’t know what the schedule is, this is sort of an empty statement. But given the secretive nature of our front office, it’s actually more of an “open book” policy than anybody else’s injury news all year.
EK: Will Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino be Phillies after the July 31st deadline? If not, what kind of players are the Phillies looking for in return? My Marlins trade suggestion was Anibal Sanchez, Matt Dominguez, and another prospect for Cole Hamels. That make any sense for the Phills?
JK: If the Phillies don’t re-sign Cole Hamels, I hate them. I mean, I love them, but I will hate them for that. We will be a far weaker team without him. If they traded him in division, I would… that would take a lot out of me. I’d have to use some vacation days.
Shane seems to be on the trading block, but I believe ditching him would be a move the Phillies would make if they were no longer taking this year seriously. I mean whose going to play center field. John Mayberry? No thank you. Juan Pierre? That’s not a thing. Domonic Brown? He’s got a knee full of tweakage. You’d just have to put a scarecrow out there and pray nobody drops one in center for the next few months.
EK: Give us a quick scouting report on the pitching match-ups we will see this series. Which ones are you looking most forward to?
JK: Cliff Lee needs a win, probably just for his own sanity. His ERA’s climbed above 5 and he’s got to be just really, really sick of all of this. If he gets a decent lead–he doesn’t seem to be able to protect small ones anymore–expect him to run with it, but Charlie won’t let him go nine if he starts giving bases to people.
Cole Hamels has been the most fun all year. Probably the people who most enjoy watching him are all the other team’s GMs he’s auditioning for each time he pitches for just kidding Cole Hamels will die a Phillie that’s not a threat or anything ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haolajo;h;foyh;92fyq2n’qM-9K.
Also Joe Blanton will be there. Hey, Joe! Looking good! **In a whisper** He doesn’t look very good.
EK: What are your predictions for the series? Will Chase Utley return to being a Marlin killer? Which Phillie will have the biggest series?
JK: Well, you’ll only see Chase two games at most, but I like to think the wake of his vicious slaughter is enough of a mental defeat that he haunts you even when he’s not playing. Plus he’d still be available as a pinch hitter, so, yeah. Yes. My predictions for this series are “yes.”
Keep in mind Chase Utley can kill you while our pitching gives you plenty of runs of your own.
EK: Bonus How many home runs will Giancarlo Stanton hit this series?
JK: If we put Stanton’s quantitative offensive numbers through the Phillies pitching statistical matrix, factor in bullpen incompetence and a Joe Blanton start, we get a number that’s **calculator explodes** OH GOD MY HANDS THE PHILLIES BULLPEN HAS RUINED MY HANDS
A big thank you to Justin for taking his time out to chat it up here on Marlin Maniac. We wish the Phillies best of luck in the series, well, not really, but it does not hurt to say it. Check out my answers to Justin’s questions on That Balls Outta Here as well.
Geoff will have the series preview up later tonight, as well as a chat that he had with one of the staff writers on that prestigious Phillies blog.
Topics: Anibal Sanchez, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamles, Domonic Brown, Giancarlo Stanton, Joe Blanton, John Mayberry, Juan Pierre, Matt Dominguez, Miami Marlins, Phiadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino