Phillies-Marlins: What you need to know

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Phillies-Marlins: What you need to know

Marlins (1-3) vs. Phillies (1-2) 1:05 p.m. on CSN

Starting pitchers
Cole Hamels, hoping to stop the teams two-game losing streak, takes the hill in the Phillies home opener. The free-agent-to-be was 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and a microscopic 0.99 WHIP in 2011. Hamels finished sixth in the NL in ERA, second in WHIP, second in hits-per-nine innings, fourth in walks-per-nine and fifth in complete games. Hamels makes 15 million in his final arbitration year.

The Marlins send out righthander Anibal Sanchez, the third consecutive starter the Phillies face who lost nine games last season. Sanchez in 2011 was 8-9 with a 3.67 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 196 innings. Since 2009, Sanchez is 3-4 in 11 starts vs. the Phils with a 3.88 ERA. Hes 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA in six starts at Citizens Bank Park. Sanchez pitched a no-hitter in Sept. 2006 to end the longest no-hitter drought in major-league history (6,364 games).

Previous games
The Phillies lost their third consecutive series at PNC Park when Andrew McCutchen hit a walkoff RBI single off David Herndon Sunday. The Phils batted .204.264.255 against the Pirates with three extra-base hits in three games.

The bullpen blew a save, allowing seven baserunners over 2 23 innings. Michael Stutes allowed two runs and Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo combined for one.

The Marlins served up a walkoff of their own Sunday, losing to the Reds, 6-5, in a game they led in the ninth inning. Heath Bell allowed four hits and two runs in a third of an inning. The Fish are 1-3, having been stifled offensively in their first two games (home vs. St Louis, at Cincinnati).

Head-to-head
After years of struggles with the Marlins, the Phillies are 25-11 against Miami since 2010.

Hamels is 6-7 with a 3.44 ERA lifetime vs. the Marlins. His peripherals are familiarly impressive -- .226 opponents batting average, better than a strikeout per inning, four times as many strikeouts as walks.

The Phillies have great career numbers vs. Sanchez, but much of the run production came from Chase Utley (.441 batting average in 34 at-bats) and Ryan Howard (two homers, two doubles, 11 walks to nine strikeouts).

Placido Polanco is 9 for 18 off Sanchez with two home runs. Jimmy Rollins is 10 for 30 (.333).
Whos hot
Hunter Pence, who has seven of the Phillies 16 total bases. Pence had an RBI double and a solo home run to put the first two runs of the game on the board Sunday.

For the Marlins, Emilio Bonifacio is 5 for 15 with three steals. Omar Infante is 4 for 14 with a season cycle: a single, double, triple and home run.

Whos not
Freddy Galvis is 0 for 10. Ty Wigginton is 1 for 8. Rollins is 2 for 12. Kyle Kendrick has recorded four outs, but three were on line drives.

In the other clubhouse, Gaby Sanchez is 1 for 12 after an awful spring. Hanley Ramirez is 2 for 15.

Storylines
Can the Phillies avoid a 1-3 start?

How will Hamels pitch in the first start of his all-important contract year?

Will the Phillies hit Sanchez without Utley and Howard?

Does Juan Pierre start again in left field?

Will the bunting with a man on second and no outs stop?

Sound off
What is your biggest concern three games into the season?

Odubel Herrera appears to be headed to the disabled list

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Odubel Herrera appears to be headed to the disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO — Odubel Herrera missed his third straight game because of a sore left hamstring Thursday night and it sounds as if he's headed to the disabled list.
 
"It's a day-to-day thing," manager Pete Mackanin said before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. "He might be going on the DL. We're thinking about it."
 
Herrera, riding a 17-game hitting streak, injured the hamstring late in Monday night's game in San Diego and did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. The Phillies filled out their bench for Thursday night's game by bringing versatile utility man Pedro Florimon up from Triple A. To make room for Florimon on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated reliever Pedro Beato for assignment.
 
The Phillies created room for Florimon on the active roster by sending starting pitcher Nick Pivetta to Triple A. That assignment should be brief as he is expected to come back and pitch in Tuesday's doubleheader against Miami (see story).
 
With Herrera out, Mackanin used rookie Nick Williams in center field. Another rookie, Rhys Hoskins, started in left and Hyun Soo Kim was in right field.
 
Mackanin said Herrera "still has some tenderness" in the hamstring and he was waiting for an update from the team's medical staff on whether to place the outfielder on the DL.
 
It sure sounds like that's coming. Stay tuned.

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera sits again; struggling Tommy Joseph slides

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Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera sits again; struggling Tommy Joseph slides

The Phillies will be without their best hitter for a third straight game.

Because of a nagging left hamstring, Odubel Herrera is not in the lineup Thursday night when the Phillies kick off a four-game series against the Giants at AT&T Park.

The Phillies' centerfielder, who is considered day to day, is slashing .379/.431/.636 with three homers, two triples, four doubles and 10 RBIs over his 17-game hitting streak.

To replace Herrera, Nick Williams will see another start in center field, while Hyun Soo Kim plays right field. Williams moves up to third in the lineup, where Rhys Hoskins hit Wednesday. Hoskins, who has three homers over his last three games, will hit cleanup, followed by the struggling Maikel Franco, who is 4 for his last 30 (.133).

Meanwhile, Tommy Joseph slides to the seven-hole. The first baseman is 1 for his last 16 and hasn't homered in 18 games.

In roster news, the Phillies selected the contract of utility man Pedro Florimon from Triple A Lehigh Valley. To make a spot for him on the 40-man roster, right-hander Pedro Beato was designated for assignment.

Fortunately for the Phillies tonight, Aaron Nola takes the ball and opposes Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija. For more on the game, read Corey Seidman's game notes right here (see story).

Here are the lineups:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, CF
4. Rhys Hoskins, LF
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Hyun Soo Kim, RF
7. Tommy Joseph, 1B
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Aaron Nola, P

Giants
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Hunter Pence, RF
3. Jarrett Park, LF
4. Hunter Posey, C
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Brandon Crawford, SS
7. Ryder Jones, 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson, 2B
9. Jeff Samardzija, P