Miami Marlins Minute 6/17

Seems like a fair bet the Yankees didn’t see that one coming.  On the heels of a see-saw struggle in Monday’s opener, former Fish Nathan Eovaldi found himself blown out of the water by the Marlins’ biggest offensive splash of the season.  For a more detailed write up, check out my full recap at Marlin Maniac.  In an event, let’s break down Tuesday’s 12-2 pounding.

  • Every Marlins position player had a hit in the first inning, a franchise record.
  • Eight runners crossed the plate in the first, a franchise record.
  • Every position player but Justin Bour had two hits or more.
  • Every position player but Christian Yelich had at least one RBI.
  • And before you think this is hating on David Phelps: 7 innings of two-run ball.
  • That makes six straight starts by the rotation of 3 ER or less.
  • Giancarlo Stanton Watch: Clubbed his 24th HR to fatten his MLB lead.
  • Dee Gordon Watch: Three hit night to boost his average to .357
  • Derek Dietrich had two hits in that first inning, continuing his storybook return from Monday.
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Three Strikes: Miami Marlins vs Colorado Rockies

And we’re back! New job and new house have completely filed away at my time, and will likely continue to intrude their way into June.  But have enough of a handle to try to move forward with regular content again.  If you’re reading this, thanks for continuing to check in!

As for this four day tilt against the visiting Colorado Rockies, the Marlins find themselves gifted with a chance to swiftly turn the narrative around, and get back that borderline momentum the had built up by winning their last three series.  Can the Marlins close off the season series against the Rockies with a win, or will panic return to South Beach? Let’s dive in.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Defense.  While not the runaway leaders in the metric they were at the start of the year, they still are the leaders.  And more importantly, the Rockies aren’t exactly one of the clubs nipping at the Marlins’ heels (fish have heels, right?); Colorado has committed twelve more errors on the season than Miami.
  • Strike 2- 57 homers.  Average the Rockies and Marlins dinger tallies together, that’s what you get.  Significant, right?  Ok, maybe not.  Well it’s also what Giancarlo Stanton is on pace for, and that does merit some attention.  The average might still be horrible, but with all due respect to American Pharoah, two-thirds of a Triple Crown is still pretty damn impressive.  Look for G to continue to clobber Colorado, even without the Coors assist.
  • Strike 3- Dealing With Dee.  Last time out against the Rockies, the Marlins All-Star second basemen put up a .428 average.   Reaching base in every game, the only pitcher he failed to record multiple hits against was the only Colorado SP he won’t face in the series.  The Fish will need someone to knock him in, but rest assured, Gordon will be on base.

Why Colorado Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Offense.  Pick a category, Colorado leads in it.  In their last three games, Colorado has put up 19 RBIs; Miami has only scored 8 in the same stretch.  Only three NL clubs have a better offense than the Rockies, while only three NL clubs have a worse offense than the Marlins.
  • Strike 2- Pitching.  Going off of recent match ups here, as Miami does rank six spots ahead of Colorado in ERA.  But considering Colorado is last in the majors, that doesn’t say a lot about either squad.  Toronto did a fair job of cooling off Miami’s bats, and now the Fish face the Rockies’ better arms- including hot prospect Chris Rusin.  Miami counters with plenty of pitchers who struggled or matchup poorly, while Colorado serves up plenty of hurlers who handled Miami pretty well last time out.
  • Strike 3- Home field advantage.  Or rather the lack of it if you’re the Marlins.  Colorado is actually a game over .500 on the road, and comes in riding the momentum of having just taken a series from the mighty Cardinals.  The Marlins have had some real issues winning in their park by contrast, anchored around the fact that power slugger Stanton barely bats over .220 at Marlins Park.

Miami Marlins Minute 5/26

Meshing together the first two games of the Pirates Series, the Miami Marlins have unfortunately not seemed to be able to carry any momentum forward from their weekend win against the Baltimore Orioles.  Pittsburgh won a close one Monday 4-2, before giving rookie pitcher Jose Urena a rude welcome to the Show this evening in a 5-0 victory.

Promise a return to regular format once I return to Texas next week- look two to three game stat wraps while I finish up this move across the country.

  • Dee Gordon Watch: Two hits in two games good enough to run up a five-game streak.
  • With three hits in two games, Christian Yelich could well be coming out of it.
  • Michael Morse became the latest Marlin to find himself on the DL, rehabbing an injured finger.
  • Giancarlo Stanton is 3 for 6 with two walks and a home-run in the series.
  • Jose Urena gave up five runs in less than five innings of work in his first MLB start.
  • Andrew McCutchen has only one hit thus far in the series- but it did help me Beat The Streak.
  • Miami’s bullpen was excellent Tuesday, tossing 3 1/3 perfect innings.
  • That followed up two scoreless frames Monday; Miami’s three most recent relief call-ups all played key roles.
  • Sadly, Miami’s starters have given up 18 hits the last two games.

Three Strikes: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Miami Marlins

Sunday afternoon saw the Marlins end their current homestand the same way they ended their last one- with a series win.  What likely wasn’t seen coming at the start of the month was the five series losses (lets call the Giants split what it was) that would come between them.  Does Miami have what it takes to keep the ball rolling- or will the Fish fall flat against the Pittsburgh Pirates? Let’s dive in.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Defense.  Back to Being The Best.  The Marlins reclaimed the top spot this weekend, fielding baseball’s best defensive squad (couldn’t quite decide if there’s a fielding related pun in that or not).  Pittsburgh barely cracks the top twenty, with their defensive prowess playing no small part in their place in the standings.
  • Strike 2- Giancarlo Pounds The Pirates.  With a .323 career average, there are only two teams in baseball Giancarlo Stanton has at least 100 plate appearances against that he has hit better. Might just be the medicine needed to turn things around for someone who has looked like they might have a hard time hitting home plate since Mike Redmond was ousted.
  • Strike 3- Power of the Unknown.  There’s a pretty good chance Miami will trot out their top two pitching prospects for the last two games of the series.  This will also come up as a major plus on the Pirates side of the Three Strikes ledger.  But this could break Miami’s way, with lack of career at bats and film combining with genuine talent to befuddle the Pirates offense enough to give the Marlins some spark.

Why Pittsburgh Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Pitching.  Ummm, where would you like to start?  The Pirates have the second best ERA in baseball.  Miami….does not.  The Pirates bring a top flight closer into the series, and sport 11 saves as a team.  That number in a vacuum isn’t too impressive; compare it to Miami’s MLB worst five saves, and you get a lot more respectful.  The Marlins do miss A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano, but will likely be throwing two rookie pitchers into the fire in the series with 3/5 of the Opening Day rotation on the DL.
  • Strike 2- Offense.  Miami hits more, but Pittsburgh gets more out of it when they do connect, edging Miami in runs, RBIs, and homers.  Andrew McCutchen has homered in consecutive contests, showing signs of heating up.  This matchup of baseball’s two best outfields could be a lot of fun to watch if the Marlins bring their bats to play.  But hits have been very hard to come by of late for Miami, whereas Pittsburgh has been offering up steady production- if not always wins- these past couple weeks.
  • Strike 3- The Light at the End of the Tunnel.  Having just wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Mets- wouldn’t it have been nice if that was exciting for us Fish fans- the Pirates find themselves where Miami agonizingly sat on three occasions prior to the massive meltdown: one game below .500.  Bottom line, the Pirates have momentum and something clear cut and tangible to play for. The Marlins have the hardly inconsequential but hardly comparable impetus of professional pride for the time being.  WIth a clubhouse still on somewhat shaky ground, not sure pride will be enough to get it done.

Miami Marlins Minute 5/25

The Marlins Win The Series! The Marlins Win The Series! A series that is, as the Fish picked up their first series win since May 2nd against Philadelphia.  Miami used a solid fill in start from Tom Koehler, and a bevy of relievers to nail down a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon following Saturday’s 1-0, 13-inning walk off that broke an eight game losing streak.  This stat wrap will run down the series as a whole.

  • Ichiro Watch: Picking up three hits overall in the series, Ichiro moved to 42nd all time on the hits list, tying Babe Ruth.
  • Giancarlo Stanton went just 1 for 12 in the series.
  • Martin Prado knocked in three of Miami’s last six RBIs, following up a walk off hit Saturday night with a 2 for 4, 2 RBI Sunday.
  • Dee Gordon Watch: Three game hitting streak, still leading the league.
  • Dan Jennings was thrown in the pool for winning his first game , and then thrown under the bus by the Baltimore Orioles manager for his use of relief pitchers.
  • At least none of Miami’s relievers cheated though, unlike Brian Masutz, who was tossed Saturday for having an illegal substance on his arm.
  • Both Henderson Alvarez and Mat Latos found their way to the DL.
  • Dan Haren is the only Marlins SP to start the year in the rotation, and to still be in it.
  • Marcell Ozuna is batting 8 for 24 (.333) since moving to the No. 2 hole.

Miami Marlins Minute- Wrapped By Weekend

Rather hectic travel schedule loyal readers in the last 48- and spent my Saturday hiking to a remote waterfall and sunning and swimming; the setting was just serene enough to forget the floundering ways of the Fish.  But certainly enjoyed listening to Carter Capps pitch his heart out, setting up Martin Prado for some late inning heroics.  We’ll have Friday and Saturday wrapped up nicely for you by the end of the holiday weekend.

In the meantime, find your waterfall.

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Three Strikes: Miami Marlins vs Baltimore Orioles

Sort of starting to get to the point you can sympathize with Randy Quaid, isn’t it? Fresh off of consecutive sweeps to teams projected to challenge for cellar dweller status in their respective divisions, the Miami Marlins welcome a fellow preseason postseason favorite to town in the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore sits in third in the AL East, slugging it out in baseball’s most competitive division; Miami meanwhile has been bludgeoned all the way to fifth in the NL East.  Who comes out ahead? Let’s dive in.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Defense.  Miami should hold the edge here once again, as MLB’s second best fielding squad holds an eight error advantage over the Orioles in this category.  Plus one would think a new series would provide a chance for new life to do something about this current slide, and to give the home fans something to cheer over.
  • Strike 2- Rallying around the horses.  Theoretically, Miami will be throwing their best three pitchers against the Orioles.  This is more of a hunch, as Baltimore should hold the ERA edge in 2/3 of the games- and really 3/3: I’m giving a veteran’s nod to Dan Haren over rookie Mike Wright.  But I think at home- not that home has helped much this season- the marlins rally around their horses and eke it out.  If not with Haren and Henderson Alvarez…the Fish might as well give Jose Fernandez another month to recover.
  • Strike 3- History.  As Marlins broadcaster Glenn Geffner notes, Miami has a pretty good track record against Baltimore.  Little things like that matter when slumping, and could just be enough to jumpstart the home-town nine.

Why Baltimore Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Offense.  They’ve hit twenty more home runs than Miami, almost double their total.  Make it nearly twenty in RBI as well.  Batting averages are about even, but one team enters slumping mightily while the other just took three of four.  But the homers are the main focus, as the homers have been what have most hurt Miami of late.  Baltimore likes hitting em, and if the Fish continue to struggle, one shot could be all she wrote.
  • Strike 2- Snowball! Yep, that snowballing losing streak.  While I can argue that sheer statistics mean Miami is due to win a series, I can also quote the great Yogi Berra and tell you about the mental side of the game…no team in baseball has more mental baggage than the Marlins right now.  Until they prove they can win one, save your betting money for the Belmont.
  • Strike 3- Pitching.  This is the by the numbers pitching breakdown. Baltimore will hold the ERA edge in every matchup, and by a lot.  And the Fish continue to flip flop atop the deck in the late innings, mixing and matching brilliance and breakdowns.  Could change, but just as easily couldn’t.  And reports are coming in Henderson Alvarez could well be more hurt than we thought as of this writing.  More later in the weekend, but if true….could end up seeing Justin Niccolino this May after all.