Phillies-Marlins Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 11, 2013
Ryan Howard has been part of Philadelphia Phillies teams that have gotten off to slow starts and wound up playing in the World Series, so he's not about to fret over beginning 2013 in less-than-ideal fashion. Though Philadelphia's bats have begun to come around, the Miami Marlins are still trying to find their stroke. The Phillies look to continue their hot hitting as they visit the sputtering Marlins to begin a three-game set Friday night. Howard started 4 for 27 with 10 strikeouts as Philadelphia dropped five of its first seven, but he homered in an 8-3 win Tuesday and went 2 for 4 in a 7-3 victory Wednesday as the Phillies took two straight from the New York Mets. Philadelphia (4-5) also struggled to start the 2008 and '09 seasons when it won back-to-back NL championships, including a World Series title in '08. "It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish," Howard told the team's official website. "I'd rather have a slow start and finish up strong and be in the playoffs and go deep in the playoffs in October. As long as we get going, that's all that matters." The Phillies have done that, scoring 25 runs in their last four games while homering three times in each of the last two. ''I think there's something to be said for everything being contagious,'' said third baseman Michael Young, 9 for 16 over the last four. "The last couple games, we've played the style of baseball we've envisioned playing. We've had a high energy level." The stress level appears to be high for Miami, which is off to a 1-8 start - the franchise's worst since beginning the 1998 season 1-11. The Marlins were outscored 13-2 and shut out twice in their series with Atlanta, which completed a three-game sweep with an 8-0 victory Wednesday. Miami's 16 runs are the fewest in baseball and its .217 average is among the worst in the majors. ''It's snowballing a little bit,'' manger Mike Redmond said. ''We're pressing. They need to relax.'' Outfielder Juan Pierre, who went 1 for 11 versus the Braves, is finding that difficult to do. ''Nothing's going right,'' Pierre said. ''Everybody says be relaxed. The only thing that relaxes you as a whole is if you win games.'' Miami is also in the bottom half of the league in ERA at 4.36. "We've got to do our part offensively to take some of the pressure off the pitchers," Redmond said. "We can't ask those guys to go out and throw a shutout every single night.'' Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.97 ERA) will try to slow the Philadelphia lineup Friday although he's been shaky in his last four outings versus the Phillies, going 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA. The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to the Mets on Saturday and didn't get the decision. He'll be opposed by John Lannan, who gave up three runs through seven innings Saturday before Philadelphia scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to beat Kansas City 4-3 in his only start. The left-hander had gone 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA in his previous six starts versus the Marlins before winning 7-4 while pitching for Washington on Aug. 3. He went six innings and gave up three runs. Placido Polanco will face his former team for the first time since signing a one-year, $2.75 million contract with Miami after spending the last three seasons with Philadelphia.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker