Miami Marlins Game Preview: Marlins @ Phillies 7:10 PM EST

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Tuesday’s game is exactly what the Miami Marlins need at this point. After being swept in 4 games by the Mets in New York, the Marlins get to face a team that has gotten off to almost as bad as a start as them.

The Philadelphia Phillies welcome the Miami Marlins to Philly for a 3-game series, beginning tonight.

The Marlins’ 3-10 start has some calling for manager Mike Redmond‘s head, with reports by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that the Marlins front office is already contemplating a firing. Despite the report, it does seem like Redmond is safe at this point.

Philadelphia comes into this series equally inept, starting the season at 4-10. To sum up how bad the Phillies have been would be fact that former Atlanta Brave bust Jeff Francoeur has hit cleanup recently, with Ryan Howard bumped down to #7.

No matter if the Redmond firing rumors are true or not, the Miami Marlins need to bounce back this series in the worst of ways. The team cannot afford to lose their fourth series in five attempts. Especially not to the Phillies, who many among baseball expect to finish with the worst record in baseball.

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Trying to right the ship, the Marlins will send Dan Haren to the mound to pitch for them tonight. While most will point out Haren’s 2.08 ERA being the best on the staff, his 5.40 FIP and 4.07 xFIP tell us that Haren has pitched over his head thus far. While his 1.38 BB/9 is a nice sight, he owns a 4.85 K/9 which is a career low by a long shot.

Also against Haren is his .118 BABIP and 100.0% left on base rate, which both will regress towards the mean in no time, likely hurling Haren’s ERA towards his ugly FIP.

Countering Haren will be Jerome Williams, who to my surprise is still in the league. Williams has posted a 4.09 ERA and a 5.84 FIP thus far this season. He allowed 4 earned runs on 10 hits in 5 innings in his last start against the Mets. He walked one and struck out one in that game.

This pitching matchup is a potential high-scoring affair waiting to happen. That is, if either team actually brings their bats to the ballpark today.

Before today’s game, the Marlins made a roster move, one that should help a struggling bullpen.

Demoting Jose Urena makes a lot of sense, as the right hander has a bright future, but still needs to work out a few kinks at the Triple-A level. Urena posted a 9.00 ERA and a 7.35 FIP in 3 innings of work.

Nick Massett, who has prolonged success in the majors, could be a boost to the Marlins struggling bullpen. He’s posted a 1.50 ERA and a 3.06 FIP in 6 innings of work with the New Orléans Zephyrs.

Here’s the lineup manager Mike Redmond will send for tonight’s opener against the Phillies.

  1. Dee Gordon, 2B
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
  4. Michael Morse, 1B
  5. Christian Yelich, LF Marcell Ozuna, CF
  6. Marcell Ozuna, CF Ichiro Suzuki, LF
  7. J.T. Realmuto, C
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
  9. Dan Haren, P

Redmond finally shuffled up the lineup today. Dropping the struggling Yelich to the 5 spot and promoting Prado from cleanup to second in the order. Maybe the lineup change gets the Marlins going?

Realmuto gets another start over Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as the rookie has played well so far. In 16 plate appearances, Realmuto has posted a .286/.313/.429 slash line with a 101 wRC+.

Update (6:33 PM EST): 

Here’s a look at the Phillies lineup tonight:

Unfortunately, no Francoeur for the Phills tonight. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard always seem to hit the Marlins well, so hopefully Haren can keep them at bay tonight.

While its great to see Grady Sizemore still playing, he’s a far cry from the guy that was a star with the Cleveland Indians from 2005-2008.

A win for the Miami Marlins would be huge tonight, as they try to turn their season around. A loss will only allow the crowd that wants Mike Redmond fired grow louder.

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