MLB Game Preview - Miami at Philadelphia
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:05 PM EDT

NYM
5
CHC
4
F
SD
1
PIT
2
F
MIA
2
PHI
1
F
ATL
3
WAS
4
F
HOU
1
NYY
4
F
TOR
5
BOS
7
F(10)
DET
6
CLE
7
F
CHW
5
TEX
4
F(10)
CIN
11
MIL
7
F
LAA
1
STL
5
F
MIN
8
KC
7
F
SF
11
ARI
5
F
TB
5
OAK
3
F
BAL
9
SEA
10
F
COL
2
LAD
4
F
Phillies, Nola hope to get better vs. Marlins
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:40 AM

Phillies, Nola hope to get better vs. Marlins

The Philadelphia Phillies will send slumping star Aaron Nola to the mound on Friday night against the visiting Miami Marlins, who are expected to start fellow right-hander Sandy Alcantara.

The former National League East-leading Phillies have dropped four straight games, a skid that continued Thursday with a 7-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. Since May 30, the Phillies are 6-12 and are likely happy to see the Marlins, who have the worst record in the National League.

Nola, 26, went 17-6 last season with a 2.37 ERA, finishing third in the NL Cy Young race in his breakout season.

This season, though, Nola is 6-1 but with a 4.89 ERA. His past three starts have produced an alarming 7.71 ERA.

His walk rate per nine innings, which was 2.5 last year, is up to a career-worst 4.0.

"He's just not throwing the ball where he wants to right now," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "The movement, deception and life are still there, but he doesn't have his command."

Batters are teeing off, hitting 13 homers in 81 innings after slugging just 17 last year in 212 1/3 frames.

Armed with a deadly curveball, Nola held right-handed hitters to a .207 batting average last year, and he was even tougher against lefties (.187).

This year, right-handed batters are hitting .257 with seven homers, and lefties have made a huge jump (.292 with six homers).

"I'm trying to find a way to battle through it," said Nola, who is 3-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 11 career starts against the Marlins. "My teammates are scoring for me. But I'm giving up too many runs."

The Marlins, who have been shut out 13 times this season, may be just what Nola is looking for to end his slump. Nola has a 1.35 ERA in his only appearance against the Marlins this year. However, the Marlins won that game 3-1 on April 25, when Starlin Castro hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning.

The rebuilding Marlins are banking on their young pitchers, and Alcantara (3-6, 3.73 ERA) is a key to that approach.

Alcantara has four out of 14 starts this year in which he has allowed one run or fewer.

However, he was on the mound April 12 when the Phillies pounded the Marlins 9-1. Alcantara allowed season worsts in hits (11) and runs (six), lasting just five innings.

Still, in 20 career starts, Alcantara has a 3.65 ERA. And in two career starts against the Phillies, he is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

If Alcantara can manage to go deep and leave with a lead, Marlins manager Don Mattingly would love to hand the ball straight to closer Sergio Romo, who escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs situation on Wednesday without allowing a run. He also earned a save on Thursday as the Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6.

"Even in big spots, he doesn't give in," Mattingly said of Romo. "That's what makes him so good."

Offensively, Miami is dealing with a couple of injuries that occurred on Thursday. First baseman Garrett Cooper, who has a 12-game hitting streak, left the game with an arm injury. Starting catcher Jorge Alfaro left the game due to a possible concussion.

Meanwhile, the Phillies, who just finished a 1-5 road trip, have lost eight games to the first-place Atlanta Braves in the past 23 days.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Miami            
Philadelphia            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Sandy Alcantara - MIA
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Philadelphia
Aaron Nola - PHI
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Miami

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report