One day after becoming the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot, the Phillies won't be getting much rest thanks to a makeup doubleheader with the Marlins.
On the bright side, Philadelphia will get two chances to move closer to securing a fifth straight National League East title when it hosts Florida in a twinbill made necessary when Hurricane Irene washed out a pair of games between the clubs on Aug. 27-28. That was the last time the Phillies had an off day as the rainouts forced Philadelphia to end the regular season with 32 games in 31 days.
The Phils are 11-5 so far over that run and halted a three-game losing streak with yesterday's 1-0 victory over the Astros that secured the club at least a wild card berth. Philadelphia's magic number to clinch the division stands at three.
Roy Halladay tossed a six-hit shutout to become the first Phillies hurler since Steve Carlton in 1979-80 to win at least 18 games in back-to-back seasons.
"He had good command, especially against the young hitters," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He had a lot of off-speed stuff. He didn't throw them a lot of fastballs they could get to."
Philadelphia opens a 10-game homestand today and hopes Kyle Kendrick can shake off some rust in the opener as he pitches for the first time since Aug. 24.
"I've never gone this long without facing a hitter, but I'm staying pretty sharp on the side and throwing off the mounds," Kendrick told the Phillies' website.
The right-hander faced the Mets in a start last time out and allowed six runs over four innings in his 13th start of the season. Only two runs were earned, but he still suffered a loss and is 7-6 with a 3.29 earned run average in 30 appearances this year.
Kendrick is 6-2 with a 4.60 ERA in his career versus the Marlins and faced them in a start on July 6. The 27-year-old gave up one earned run over five innings in a no-decision.
Cliff Lee gets the call in the nightcap seeking an eighth straight victory. He won seven starts in a row, including a five-hit shutout of the Braves in his first start of the month, before getting a no-decision versus the Brewers on Saturday. The 33-year-old lefty allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out seven while having his 30 2/3 scoreless innings streak end.
"We won. That's all that matters," Lee said after moving to 16-7 on the season with a 2.44 ERA. "It's hard to complain when you win. The bullpen kept putting up zeros. Good teams get lucky a lot."
Lee is an excellent 11-2 with a 1.97 ERA in 16 starts at home, including a two-hit shutout of the Marlins on June 16. He is 2-0 against them in four career starts with a 2.77 ERA.
Young righty Alex Sanabia draws the tough task of facing Lee when he makes his second appearance of the season and 13th start of his career tonight for the Marlins.
The 23-year-old made his season debut on Friday and threw an inning of relief in Pittsburgh. He allowed a hit and walked two while also striking out a pair of batters. He went 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 15 games last year.
Sanabia hopes he is following a strong outing from Anibal Sanchez, who faces Kendrick in the opener off just his second victory in 16 starts.
It was a dominating win by Sanchez, who threw a one-hit shutout against the Pirates on Saturday. The right-hander walked three and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in the 3-0 win, retiring the final 16 batters faced.
"If he could stay like he pitched tonight he could be an 18-game winner," said Marlins manager Jack McKeon. "But he gets carried away once in a while with that hanging breaking ball ... and stuff like that."
Sanchez moved to 8-7 on the season with a 3.64 ERA and has not posted a decision in four starts versus the Phillies this year. He has a 3.52 ERA in that span.
Florida dropped the final two games of its series with Atlanta after winning four in a row overall, dropping Wednesday's finale, 4-1. Greg Dobbs homered and Ricky Nolasco was working on a two-hitter thorough six innings before running into trouble in the seventh inning. He was charged with four runs in the loss.
"Listen, this year there's been a lot of negatives. Lots of disappointment," Brett Hayes said. "I just think as a team we're trying to take these last two weeks and trying to be as positive as possible. Trying to take the good things we do and take it into next season."
The Phillies have won five of seven at home versus the Marlins this year, including a sweep of a doubleheader on June 15. They have won 19 of the past 26 meetings in this series overall.