I’m not going to lie, this is easily the biggest series right now probably ever in the world for the Florida Marlins. If they don’t take 2 out of 3 from the Phillies, well, you can pretty much dial the season over. Only 3 back of the Phils, with a win tonight and tomorrow the Fish will position themselves not only a game behind the NL East leaders, but also comfortably in sole possession of the wild card.Since it’s May, I don’t need to explain to you the severity of this series. Divisions are won and lost in May. Just ask the New York Mets.
Florida Starting Pitcher – Josh Johnson
It’s no secret that the Fish season lives and dies by this guy. If he wants to be the Cy Young capable pitcher he has the potential to be, watch out. Dude has already carried 2 no-hitters into the 7th inning this year, and it’s only May 10th. With a 3-1 record and 1.68 ERA, JJ has quietly become one of the most effective pitchers in the National League over the past 6 years. Dude’s got a WHIP of .86 and the opposition is hitting .160 of him. While the Phillies are no slouches when it comes to the bat, they have been known to shrink faster than Jon Cryer at the Playboy Mansion. If he can set the tone early and start racking up some K’s (46 on the year), look for another potential no-hitter situation.
Philadelphia Starting Pitcher – Roy Halladay
The Superman to Josh Johnson’s Batman, Roy Halladay is no slouch. While he’s won more games than JJ (5-1), his overall numbers scream pedestrian. A 2.19 ERA (who does he play for, the Pirates?) and a .98 WHIP (that’s so close to a perfect 1) allows this guy to come back down to Earth for a little bit. His 57 strikeouts are about the only thing that worries me, cause when the Fish start swinging freely, it’s not pretty.
The Fish right now are playing some of their best baseball in years. Come back, routs, hard fought wins, they seem to be doing it all early in the season. More importantly, while HanRam is on a little bit of a slump, the rest of the team is picking up his slack. Gaby Sanchez is having a crazy start, batting .341 and hitting 23 RBI’s. Mike Stanton is starting to show the promise I predicted and John Buck and Omar
Minaya Infante are bringing the veteran leadership. While the bullpen has cooled down (my weakness for the team in my preview, cause I obviously know baseball) they can still be lights out on any given night.
I think both JJ and Doc go deep into this game, at least 8 inning each, but I think it’s Gaby Sanchez who gets the best of Halladay with a 3 run HR. Fish win, 3-0. (Or you know, they don’t. I’m not a psychic.)