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Phillies make preparations for Hurricane Irene

The Sports Xchange

In a four-day span last week, the Phillies managed to get in four baseball games despite five hours and 51 minutes of rain delays. This week, they're trying to stay ahead of the curve.

With Hurricane Irene forecasted to touch down in the Philadelphia area early Sunday, the Phils move the final game of a three-game series with the Marlins up a day. The game, originally scheduled to 1:35 p.m. on Sunday will now be played at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday as the front end of a split-admission, day-night doubleheader.

Although the inclement weather played fits with the Phillies last week, it might be the Marlins who are most out of luck this week. Florida already played a preemptive doubleheader this week (Wednesday) to avoid Irene, which was scheduled to touch down in South Florida on Thursday.

To make matters worse, the Marlins will have their work cut out for them in their second doubleheader in four days: they'll face Cy Young winners in both games on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. Two-time Cy Young winner and reigning NL winner Roy Halladay will take the ball in the afternoon game and 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will start in the nightcap.

Halladay and Lee are a combined 6-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 13 career starts against Florida.

In addition to a 1-2 punch in pitching, the Phils will bring two right-handed bats into the Marlins series. A month after searching the trade market for an impact right-handed bat, the Phillies have two in Hunter Pence and John Mayberry Jr.

Since Pence arrived in a pre-trade deadline deal from the Houston Astros on July 29, he has hit .322 with a .942 OPS, five home runs and 15 RBI in 23 games. In the same span, Mayberry is hitting .326 with a 1.174 OPS, six home runs and 15 RBI in 15 games.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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