Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has struggled on the road this year, will start at the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
The Phillies (79-62) won the series opener 2-1 on Tuesday night against the Marlins (58-84). Nick Maton drilled a two-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh inning to power the Phillies to the victory that kept the team in National League wild-card playoff position.
Miami dropped to 22-34 this year in one-run games.
Philadelphia is 15-12 this year when starting Gibson (9-6, 4.57 ERA). Of those 27 starts, Gibson has lasted at least six innings 14 times.
“As a starting pitcher,” he said, “you try to eat up innings or at least leave with your team having a chance to win.”
Gibson is 7-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 home starts this year. But in 11 road starts, he is 2-3 with a 5.74 ERA.
August was Gibson’s best month as he went 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in five starts. But in two September starts, Gibson has gone the other way: 0-1 with a 14.85 ERA.
In five starts against the Marlins this year, Gibson is 1-2 with a 3.64 ERA. He is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts in Miami.
In six career starts vs. Miami, Gibson is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA. In three starts in Miami, he is 1-2 with a 7.31 ERA.
Gibson will face a largely inexperienced Marlins lineup on Wednesday. However, one key out for Gibson would be utility player Jon Berti, who leads the majors with 34 steals in just 83 games.
“It’s just always how I’ve played the game,” Berti said of his hustling style.
Miami will counter the 34-year-old Gibson with 24-year-old rookie right-hander Edward Cabrera (5-2, 2.63).
Cabrera has faced the Phillies just once in his brief career, and that was Aug. 11, when he fired 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and two walks, striking out six batters.
Unlike Gibson, Cabrera has been better on the road in six starts (3-1, 1.62). At home, Cabrera is 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA in four starts.
If the Marlins are able to get Gibson out of the game, they could face Zach Eflin, a starter who will be used now as a reliever. Eflin, who has not pitched in the majors since June 25 due to an injured right knee, will be used for one or two innings at a time, according to interim manager Rob Thomson.
The Phillies on Tuesday also activated reliever Seranthony Dominguez, who had been out since June 21 due to a triceps injury. With Corey Knebel out due to injury, Dominguez (6-4, 1.57) is even more important in the Phillies’ bullpen.
Dominguez’s return to the team — including one scoreless inning on Tuesday — is big news for Philadelphia’s playoff hopes.
Meanwhile, the Marlins — searching for answers for their future — used their 56th player of the year on Tuesday as third baseman Jordan Groshans made his major-league debut, going 0-for-3. He is the 13th Marlins player to make his big-league debut this year.
–Field Level Media