The Marlins are set to face the suddenly hot Philadelphia Phillies for a 4 game series starting Monday. To prepare you for the series we had a brief chat with writer Emily Gruver from That Ball’s Outta Here, the Fansided site devoted to the Philadelphia Phillies. This site is excellent if you are looking for the best information on the Phillies. Here is our interview.
MM: The Phillies have been playing some good baseball recently with a sweep over the Braves and playing the Cardinals tough. Who have the main contributors been and do you think they can keep it going?
Emily: The pitching definitely has to be the main reason for the Phillies recent success. The Phils allowed 8 total runs in their series vs the Braves, and in their two wins vs the Cardinals, they allowed just two runs. That’s huge for a team like the Phillies.
The offense as a whole has really been stepping up as well. Guys like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Marlon Byrd have come up big and are hitting the ball extremely well. The plate discipline is improving tremendously.
I really don’t know if they can keep it going though. As much as I want to say they will, they are just too inconsistent and haven’t proven enough to me just yet.
MM: Prior to the winning streak, some in baseball felt that Philadelphia would be sellers at the trade deadline. Do you think that is the case, and if so, who do you think they will look to move?
Emily: If the Phillies continue to play the outstanding baseball they have been playing as of late, I see Ruben Amaro Jr. once again keeping the same core players for the rest of the season. But if they begin to struggle, there is a huge possibility of Jimmy Rollins being traded at the trade deadline, as well as Cliff Lee, and possibly Chase Utley.
MM: How did you feel about the MLB draft and the work that the Phillies did during it? Any prospects that you are particularly excited about?
Emily: I thought the Phillies did a pretty good job at the draft. With their 7th overall selection, the team went with Aaron Nola, who I have heard very good things about. Bleacher Report says Nola is “arguably the most MLB-ready starter in this year’s class and could be ready to join the Phillies’ rotation at some point next season.” The Phillies needed a pitcher, so I was pleased to see the team go after their top needs.
MM: Would you preview the pitchers that the Marlins are going to face this series?
Emily: Roberto Hernandez has had a horrible season so far. The 33-year old is 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA, and is struggling to make it through just six innings.
David Buchanan has been pretty inconsistent this season, but shows promise. Despite a 3-3 record and a 4.95 ERA, he is just 25 years old and the potential is definitely there. The young kid has some quality stuff, he just needs to do a better job of executing.
A.J. Burnett was outstanding in his most recent start. The 37-year old went 9 innings and allowed just one run vs the Cardinals. Burnett is yet another pitcher in this starting rotation that you never know what to expect, especially at his age.
Cole Hamels is finally looking like the real Cole Hamels again. He’s going 7+ innings and has allowed just 3 earned runs in his last five starts. Hamels already has 84 strike outs on the year in 81.2 innings pitched.