Citizens Bank Park may be known as a hitters' park, but to Jose Fernandez, it brings back a special memory. Last May, it was the site of the right-hander's first Major League win.
For A.J. Burnett, facing Miami will be just like old times. The veteran right-hander made his big league debut with the Marlins in 1999, and he was part of the organization's 2003 World Series championship team. Burnett also is a former teammate of Miami manager Mike Redmond.
Fernandez and Burnett share the fact they are both hard-throwing right-handers. On Friday night, the two will hook up for the first time in a matchup of a rising MLB star against a seasoned veteran as the Marlins take on the Phillies in the first of three at Citizens Bank Park.
"It's a beautiful park," Fernandez said of the hitter-friendly ballpark. "I've got to try to make good pitches. It's not like Miami, for sure. I'll try to keep the ball down and get some ground balls."
Because of an off-day on Monday, the Marlins opted to give Fernandez an extra day of rest. So the 21-year-old will take the mound six days after he improved to 2-0 with a win over the Padres in his last start.
"I don't prefer those off-days," Fernandez said. "I like being every five days. But, for sure, it helps you get an extra day to rest your arm, and you're going to feel better.
"I'm going to go out there and do what I do, give 100 percent, and hopefully we can get another win."
The only other time Fernandez pitched at Philadelphia was on May 4, 2013. Over seven shutout innings, he struck out nine while picking up his first career victory.
Burnett is coming off a loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The 37-year-old gave up eight runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
Burnett could not find the strike zone in the first inning, and when he put a pitch over the plate, he elevated it. He walked three batters and allowed a double and a triple as the Cubs took a 4-0 lead.
The Phillies never recovered.
"I just didn't get it done, bottom line," Burnett said. "I was pitching behind. That was embarrassing. I don't care who you are or who you play against, that's unacceptable. We have work to do."
Burnett is 1-1 lifetime against the Marlins, most recently facing them in 2012 when he was with the Pirates.
In 2009, while with the Yankees, Burnett lost a tough decision, 2-1, to the Marlins and Josh Johnson.
Marlins: Giving Marmol every opportunity:
Redmond feels he has three options for the eighth inning, Carlos Marmol, A.J. Ramos and lefty Mike Dunn.
The fact that Marmol surrendered the decisive grand slam to Jayson Werth of the Nationals in the eighth inning Wednesday night hasn't changed the manager's thinking.
Marmol is a veteran, while Ramos is less experienced, but effective.
"I still felt good about having Marmol out there," Redmond said. "This guy has closed down a lot of games and pitched in a lot of situations over the course of his career. That's why we signed him, to come in and take over for the guys that we lost."
A year ago, Chad Qualls (Astros) and Ryan Webb (Orioles) both racked up a lot of innings.
Phillies: Hamels makes another rehab start
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels is scheduled to make his second rehab start Friday with Class A Advanced Clearwater.
Hamels, who is on the DL recovering from left shoulder inflammation, believes he could rejoin the Phillies' rotation after just one more rehab start following Friday's start with the Threshers.
"I believe the big test is the pitch count," Hamels said. "If I'm able to get 90 pitches, I know that I'm game ready, because that gives me enough pitches and enough reps with my pitches to be able to go out there and have the confidence I can throw, especially to big league guys."
If Hamels truly is ready to pitch in the Majors after two more rehab outings, that would put the left-hander on track to make his 2014 Phillies debut as soon as April 21.
• Christian Yelich stole second base in the first inning on Thursday afternoon, making it 13 straight stolen bases to open his career. That ties Edgar Renteria (1996) for the most successfully swiped in a row to start off a career with the Marlins.
• The Phillies lead baseball with 10 unearned runs allowed. No other team in baseball has more than seven (Padres and Marlins).
Elias Sports Bureau found it is the first time the Phillies have allowed 10 or more unearned runs in three consecutive games since they allowed 10 from July 26-29, 2008. Interestingly, the Phillies went 3-0 in those games, while they went 0-3 in these.
• Marlins closer Steve Cishek hasn't pitched in a week, and the Marlins had hoped to give him an inning Thursday. But with the team down, 2-1, in the eighth inning at Nationals Park, Redmond opted to go with Arquimedes Caminero, rather than Cishek. Washington scored five runs in the inning, including Ian Desmond's grand slam.
"We wanted to," Redmond said of using Cishek. "But down a run, I don't know if we were prepared to throw him two innings, in case we did score [in the ninth]. We wanted to. We just didn't get a shot to get him in there. Hopefully we'll get them in tomorrow to save a game."