Game 6: Phillies host Marlins in home opener at Citizens Bank Park

Phillies host the Marlins in home opener
The Phillies have struggled in almost every facet through the season's first five games, so perhaps the energy surrounding Thursday's home opener against the Marlins will be the jolt to turn things around.

The club struggled mightily at the plate in back-to-back losses to the Mets, striking out a combined 16 times while pushing across just two runs. On the season, only Rhys Hoskins, Cesar Hernandez, and Scott Kingery are hitting over .200.

Things haven't been much better on the mound for the Phillies as the starting pitching has been lackluster and the bullpen has been torched and overused, though that's partly on manager Gabe Kapler.

The Marlins enter play Thursday riding a two-game skid after losing a pair of contests to the Red Sox, including a 13-inning affair on Tuesday when starter José Ureña allowed just four hits and one run over seven innings.

Three of the Marlins' six games this season have gone to extra innings and the pitching staff has logged 67 innings of action, which according to Stats LLC is the most for any team over their first six games since Oakland in 1982.

Pitching Matchup
Nick Pivetta lasted just four innings in his start last week against Atlanta, surrendering three runs on five hits.

He didn't perform well against the Marlins last season, falling victim to 24 hits, including five long balls, in just 17 2/3 innings. Over four starts he had an ERA of 8.66.

The Marlins counter with left-hander Caleb Smith who allowed just one run and four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings last week against the Cubs.

Thursday marks Smith's first time facing Philadelphia.

Did You Know?
The Phillies have won seven of Pivetta's last eight starts, including their lone win this season against Atlanta.

Opening Day Festivities
Prior to first pitch, the Phillies will show a tribute video and hold a moment of silence to honor Roy Halladay who is to be inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame later this summer.

Kane Kalas, the son of beloved Phillies announcer Harry Kalas, will perform the National Anthem and head coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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