Phillies-Marlins 5 Things: Time to Start Hitting Again

Phillies (43-51) vs. Marlins (50-42)
7:05 p.m. on CSN

Sure, the Phillies lost the series opener to the Marlins on Monday night, but there was one big thing to be happy about: Aaron Nola. 

The young pitcher had a big bounce-back performance, giving up just two hits and zero runs in six innings of work. 

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Three more games in this series against the Fish. Here's what you need to know for tonight's game: 

1. More hits coming? 
The Phillies managed just four hits on Monday night and struck out 16 times, 14 times against starter Jose Fernandez. That means the Phillies have just five hits in their last two games. 

But after facing Jacob deGrom and Fernandez in consecutive games, the Phillies will likely have a better chance of getting some hits against Jose Urena, who was recalled from Triple A to start this game. 

This will be Urena's first start of the 2016 season and his 10th career start. This season, he's appeared in 16 games with a 7.52 ERA. 

But in a small sample size, the young 24-year-old has had some success against the Phillies. He's held the Phils to a .143 average in 15 plate appearances. He's allowed the Phillies just two hits and one run. 

2. Uh oh, Gomez 
Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez had the table set to close out a win against the Marlins in the ninth inning on Monday night, but blew his third save in 28 tries. 

Aside from those three blown saves, Gomez has had a very good season, with a 2.53 ERA in 40 appearances and 25 saves. 

The two runs Gomez gave up on Monday night were his first since June 23. He went eight straight games without giving up a run. 

But perhaps the most important note about Gomez is this: He hasn't blown consecutive saves chances all season. So if there's a save chance, don't expect manager Pete Mackanin to stay away from him. 

3. The kid can hit
Tommy Joseph hit his 12th home run on Monday night. As Corey Seidman pointed out, just four rookies — Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Aledmys Diaz and Trayce Thompson — have hit more. The impressive thing is that Joseph has done it in 48 games. 

Here's a look at the other four: 

Story: 22 home runs (85 games)
Seager: 17 home runs (93 games)
Diaz: 13 home runs (85 games)
Thompson: 13 home runs (80 games)

Joseph has been hot since Independence Day. In his last eight games, starting with that July 4 matchup against the Braves, Joseph is 12 for 25 (.480) with four homers, two doubles, seven RBIs and nine runs scored. 

4. Vinny from Philly 
Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.32 ERA) makes his first start since the All-Star break. The Phillies hope that break didn't cool him off. 

Since returning from the DL with a right biceps strain, Velazquez has won all three of his starts: June 27 vs. the Diamondbacks, July 3 vs. the Royals and July 8 vs. the Rockies. In those three starts, he's given up 18 hits in 17 innings, but just four runs. And he has 20 strikeouts to just four walks. 

In two games (11 innings) against the Marlins this season, he's given up 10 hits and four runs, with 15 strikeouts. He got a win on May 17 and a no-decision on May 6 against the Fish.  

5. This and that
• Martin Prado had the game-winning hit for the Marlins in the 11th inning on Monday night. Prado, in his career, is a .309-hitter against the Phillies with 16 homers and 68 RBIs. He has more homers and RBIs against the Phillies than against any other team. 

And he has gotten to Velasquez too. Prado 3 for 6 with two doubles and an RBI against Tuesday's starter. 

• Odubel Herrera had a big double and run scored on Tuesday, but his average has dropped five points since returning from the All-Star break. In those four games, he's 2 for 17 with five strikeouts. Both of his hits were doubles, though. 

• The Phillies struck out 18 times against the Marlins on Monday night. This season, there have been just five teams with more strikeouts in a game. The Tigers and Twins each struck out 20 times in a game, while the Rays, Orioles and Padres each struck out 19 times in a game. 

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