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May 11, 2024 6:13 am

Power-packed Phillies shoot for another W over Marlins

Taijuan Walker

As the wins keep piling up, the Philadelphia Phillies continue to gain confidence.

The Phillies, who own the majors’ best record at 27-12 after an 8-2 victory at Miami on Friday, will pursue a ninth win in 10 games when they face the host Marlins on Saturday in the second contest of a three-game set.

Philadelphia right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-0, 6.39 ERA) will get the start on Saturday against the Marlins, a team he historically handles well.

In 12 appearances, including 11 starts, vs. the Marlins, Walker is 5-2 with a 3.41 ERA. Walker is 4-1 with a 3.77 ERA in five career games, all starts, in Miami.

Walker is backed by a lineup that has averaged 7.7 runs over the past six games.

“Our expectation every time we walk out of the clubhouse is to win the game,” Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber said. “That’s the mindset you have to have.”

Schwarber went 2-for-5 with a two-run single on Friday. Philadelphia’s Johan Rojas had a homer among his three hits in the victory, and J.T. Realmuto contributed three hits, too.

Nick Castellanos also went deep for the Phillies, and Bryce Harper finished with two hits and an RBI.

Despite the team’s firepower, manager Rob Thomson is warning against overconfidence.

“We have to stay humble and keep going,” he said. “We’ve got a good club, but this game will humble you in a hurry.”

Meanwhile, the Marlins — who own the worst record in the major leagues — had yet to announce their starter as of early Saturday morning.

However, they are expected to activate left-hander Jesus Luzardo (0-2, 6.58 ERA), who last pitched on April 20 before landing on the injured list due to left elbow tightness.

In five career starts against the Phillies, Luzardo is 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

Luzardo’s expected return is well timed because the Marlins this week placed right-handed starter Edward Cabrera on the injured list due to a right shoulder impingement.

Having Luzardo back still would leave Miami with three starting pitchers on the injured list: 2022 National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara, Eury Perez and Cabrera. The first two are out due to Tommy John surgery.

That would leave a rotation of Luzardo, Trevor Rogers, Braxton Garrett, Sixto Sanchez and Ryan Weathers. None of those pitchers has ever recorded more than 10 wins in a season.

The depleted starting staff is only part of the team’s problems, however. The Marlins enter Saturday tied for 24th in the majors in homers, 25th in runs and 29th in OPS.

The Friday loss was Miami’s fourth in a row and sixth in seven games.

The disappointment was on full display when Rogers fired his hat and glove and knocked over items in the dugout after being removed in the fourth inning.

“I think there should be a lot of (angry) people,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “No one wants to get their butt kicked every night. I think people are probably sick of that. I think there’s probably frustration, but I think anger is good at times because it builds adrenaline, it means you care. So I think if you’re just going through the motions and checking boxes and it’s just another game so to speak, then you’re not made for this.”

–Field Level Media

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