When: April 9-12
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)
Monday: Cole Hamels (0-0, -.–) vs. Anibal Sanchez (0-0, -.–)
Wednesday: Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.00) vs Josh Johnson (0-1, 4.50)
Thursday: Joe Blanton (0-1, 13.50) vs. Mark Buehrle (0-1, 3.00)
Monday, 1:05, CSN
Wednesday, 7:00, ESPN 2, TCN
Thursday, 7:05, TCN
All Games on 94.1 FM
Player to Watch – Jose Reyes: The Phillies know all about Jose Reyes as well as the fans. For over half a decade Reyes has killed the Phillies while playing for the hated New York Mets. Reyes is hitting .278 (5-for-18) through the first four games with Miami including a double and triple. Reyes can do it all though: field, hit, run and has pop in his bat. He’ll be sure to garner the most attention from the Philly crowd throughout the series.
Overview: This rivalry, which has been one sided for the past five years in the favor of the Phillies, is going to be revamped and fun this season.
Sure the Washington Nationals are making all the headlines with their comments towards the Phillies but it’s going to be the improvements and quality of play on the field that will make Miami the top team of focus within the NL East for the Phillies this season.
Miami’s biggest and shiniest splash in the off season is Jose Reyes, the “energy source” (as described by former teammate R.A. Dickey of the Mets in his latest autobiography). He will provide some incredible pop at the top of the Marlins line up, which has lacked a true leadoff hitter since having Juan Pierre (now a Phillie) and Luis Castillo.
Reyes is supported by Hanley Ramirez, who made the switch to third, as well as the heavy lumber-swinging Giancarlo Stanton. Opposing pitchers shouldn’t sleep on Logan Morrisona or Gabby Sanchez either.
Philadelphia’s offense has sputtered out of the gate, which isn’t really surprising. In 28 innings, the offense has mustered only six runs, four coming in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates.
Hunter Pence has the team’s only longball so far this season and has driven in half the team’s runs. Carlos Ruiz went 4-for-6 in the first two games.
Miami will be throwing Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson out against Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay to start the series. Newly acquired Mark Buerhle will pitch the Thursday match-up against Joe Blanton, who is making his first start of the season.
The battle between Halladay and Johnson has a tremendous storyline behind it, starting with Doc’s perfect game against the Marlins, in which Johnson was the losing pitcher for. Johnson would beat Halladay in their next match up of the season, another low-scoring affair.
Finally, the two pitchers crossed paths last season when Johnson asked to sit in and watch a Halladay bullpen session before a series between the Phillies and Marlins.
Two pitchers on opposite ends of their illustrious careers for rival teams in one bullpen, that’s how the Halladay-Johnson story has defined the latest. The two will look to add to their intertwined legacies on Wednesday.