17 April 2011
With two outs and Scott Cousins on third base Philadelphia closer Jose Contreras choose to pitch around Chris Coghlan and instead go after Omar Infante. That ended up being a wise choice. Infante, who has yet to make a real impact play since joining the Marlins ground out with a full count and runners on second and third in a 3-2 ball game. The Marlins were still able to split the series after winning Friday night, and getting a split in Philadelphia is never anything to be disappointed with. In both starts the Marlins starters, Javier Vazquez and Anibal Sanchez, gave up 2 runs in the first inning but were able to settle down as the game wore on. The Marlins bullpen also really showed up big in this series. Despite Ryan Webb getting his second loss of the season, Carlos Ruuiz hit an RBI sac fly to score the go ahead run after a Logan Morrison error, the Marlins bullpen pitched 6 innings and only game up 3 hits, 1 walk, and no earned runs. In fact the Marlins pitchers gave up a combined 4 runs in the first innings of the 2 games in Philadelphia only 2 runs total in the other 16.
The game on Saturday was rained out due to an all day down pour that happened in Philadelphia and will be made up on June 15th. While that may have worked out well for the Marlins bullpen, it may not be so lucky for the Marlins team as a whole. If the Marlins had played this series as scheduled the Marlins would have gone up against Joe Blanton in game 3, and would have gotten to play 3 games against a Philadelphia team without Dominic Brown, Chase Utley, and Brad Lidge. Now with one of the games moved to June their is a chance that one or all three of those players could play, and their is a chance that the Marlins may not get to face Blanton. With the Phillies having a day off on June 13th and then facing the Seattle Mariners, their is a chance that the Phillies could pitch Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels all in that series. Usually in a double header situation like that a team will call up pitcher from the minor leagues to pitch one of the double header games, but if they cane get their pitchers on normal rest look for the Phillies to pitch their big four against the Marlins and then call someone up to pitch against the Mariners (whom a loss against will mean significantly less). While no one can know what could or will happen, if the Marlins lose 3 of 4 or get swept in that series, that rain out game could be very significant.
The Marlins are now 8-6 following a 5-3 road trip. The record puts the Marlins in the top 3rd of the NL, and they lead the NL in 2 statistical categories; doubles and bullpen ERA. While the doubles category does not matter to much as the Marlins are in the middle of the NL in terms of total runs, the lowest bullpen ERA has been critical to the Marlins success as it has allowed them to come back from deficits and have a 4-1 record in 1-run games.
While the Marlins off season additions in the bullpen have worked out great thus far, their additions to the everyday lineup have continued to struggle. 2B Omar infante is batting only .220 and had 2 chances to give the Marlins the lead on Sunday, but failed to deliver both times. In the 7th with runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, Infante hit into an inning ending double play, and then he failed to deliver again in the 9th. C John Buck has also had a tough time since leaving the Sunshine State. Buck had 8 hits and 7RBI in his first 6 games as a Marlins, but since has gone 3-23 with 1RBI and 7 strikeouts. I had warned Marlins fans about Buck's 2010 numbers (.281 with 20HR, 66RBI, 53RBI) of being fool gold. Buck is a career .243 hitter who averages just under 13 home runs a year and has more strike outs than hits in his career. While I am not saying Buck was a bad addition, he is an improvement defensively, but those looking for him to match his 2010 numbers are in for a long season.
Infante and Buck should not feel to bad as they are not the only ones struggling to hit for the Marlins. Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton are hitting only .244 and .194 respectively. While they have both missed time due to injuries, the Marlins 3 and 4 hitters have combined for 0HR, 7RBI, 8R, and 17K. The Marlins need these guys to start producing soon as behind them Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison are on fire right now and are really the only ones (although Coghlan is starting to come alive) doing anything for the Marlins night in night out offensively.
One last note from this weekend series was that Donnie Murphy had to leave the game in the 9th inning on Friday after fouling a ball off of his knee. It is only a contusion, but he was unavailable to pitch hit on Sunday. This is just more bad news from a player that can not catch a break since coming back from that bad wrist injury last year.
The Marlins now return home to Sun Life Stadium for a three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates starting on Tuesday.
- Tuesday at 7:10- Josh Johnson (2-0, 1.35) vs. Paul Maholm (0-2, 2.33)
- Wednesday at 7:10- Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 4.05) vs. Craig Morton (2-0, 1.64)
- Thursday at 7:10- Chris Volstad (0-1, 5.59) vs. James McDonald (0-1, 7.47)
**Sorry for any mistakes in this artice had it all written out before losing it and having to rewrite it all over again.
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