Phillies-Marlins Thoughts: Phils Need Pivetta to Turn a Corner in September

Phillies (50-83) at Marlins (66-67)
7:10 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Thoughts on Game 2 of the Phillies' four-game series at Marlins Park, their last trip of the season to Miami:

• Some housekeeping notes first: Vince Velasquez will have surgery, reliever Casey Fien was released, and Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr had their rehab assignments transferred to Triple A Lehigh Valley. The expectation remains that both outfielders will come off the DL after the weekend.

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• The Phillies had an impressive night of pitching in the opener, holding Giancarlo Stanton hitless and the Marlins to two runs on eight hits, six of which were singles.

Ben Lively allowed two runs, making it eight of 10 starts that he's allowed three earned runs or less. And Adam Morgan had a dominant seventh inning, striking out the side and lowering his ERA to 4.46. 

• Morgan ends August by allowing one run in 14⅓ innings with two walks and 22 strikeouts. Yes, 22 strikeouts. He's just a different pitcher with this better fastball and tighter slider. Improbably, he has a chance next spring to pitch himself into a late-inning relief role.

• Stanton ended his insane, historic month of August by going 0 for 9 in his final two games. His 0-for-5 Thursday night was his worst game of the month. From Aug. 1 to Aug. 29, he hit .380 with 18 homers and 37 RBIs in 27 games.

• These are important games for Miami. At 66-67, the Marlins are still theoretically in contention for the final NL wild-card spot but Thursday's result pushed them to six games back.

Nick Pivetta, who has pitched exactly 100 innings in 20 starts, gets the nod tonight. He enters 5-9 with a 6.57 ERA, 106 strikeouts, 45 walks and 21 home runs allowed.

Pivetta has shown this season that he has electric stuff, but he too often either loses his control or misses over the middle of the plate. It's been a learning experience for him.

Pivetta faced the Marlins two starts ago on Aug. 22 and allowed six runs on seven hits and two homers in just 1⅓ innings. He also faced them on July 19 and gave up three runs in 5⅓ innings.

Christian Yelich has homered twice off Pivetta, while Stanton and Marcell Ozuna have taken him deep once each.

• The Phillies face Marlins left-hander Dillon Peters, who is making his major-league debut. A 10th-round pick in 2014, Peters comes up from Double A, where he was 6-2 with a 1.97 ERA in nine starts this season. With 50 walks in 236⅔ minor-league innings, his calling card is control.

The Phillies have held their own against left-handed starting pitchers this season, going 18-19.

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