02 June 2011
The Arizona Dimondbacks were one of the hottest teams when the Marlins faced them this past week, winning 13 of 14 going into the series but it took a walk off win in the ninth on Wednesday for them to take two of three from the Marlins. All and all however the Marlins should feel good about their West coast trip, despite losing 2 of 3 series the Marlins were able to win five of the nine games on the trip. And remember that was without Josh Johnson being able to start any games and Hanley Ramirez really did not play in five of the games. The Marlins should have won two more of those games, but the bullpen blew two quality starts by Javier Vazquez, who looks like he could really be turning this season around, and Clay Hensley received the loss in both of those performances.
Obviously the bigger story than the actual games themselves are the health of the Marlins two super stars, Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, and the news is not that great on either. Edwin Rodirguez has some hope that Josh Johnson could be active to get a start on Tuesday, but he has yet to start throwing off a mound. Johnson said that his right shoulder is improving and feeling better, but he does not feel 100% and says that he does not want to comeback until he is 100%. Hanley Ramirez on the other hand could be on his way to the disabled list. Ramirez is having issues with his back and Edwin is expected to make a decision on Friday on whether or not to send him to the DL. Had the Marlins not been carrying extra players in its bullpen then they may stuck with him on the bench longer, but with Hanley hurt it means that the Marlins only have Scott Cousins, Wes Helms, and backup catcher Brett Hayes available on their bench.
Even without Josh Johnson the Marlins were able to get some good starting pitching. Of the the nine games of the road trips the Marlins only had two poor pitching performances, and they were both really bad. In the rubber match between the Dodgers, Ricky Nolasco gave up eight earner runs and 15 hits in only five innings of work. Nolasco's ERA was ballooned from 3.02 to 3.82 as the Dodgers went on to win 8-0. The next day in Arizona the Marlins lost 15-4, but as nine of those runs came off of relief pitchers Mike Dunn and Ryan Webb, Marlins starter Chris Volstad only pitched 3.1 innings giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Despite those starts, Marlins pitchers have stepped up in Johnson's absents, Volstad and Vazquez have gotten quality stats in five of their last six combined outings. The Marlins are now going to skip the spot in the rotation that would have been Johnson's thanks to Thursday's travel day back to Miami and Nolasco will get the start on Friday.
The biggest story for the national media during this road trip was Scott Cousins colliding with Buster Posey in the 12th inning, which resulted in a Marlins win and Posey suffering leg injuries that will cause him to miss the rest of the season. But really the story should have been how the Marlins were able to come out of this road trip despite poor play from the plate by the players not in the middle of the order. Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, Greg Dobbs, and Mike Stanton continue t have to carry almost the entire load of the Marlins offense. This road trip saw Omar Infante hit the best of the other Marlins starters, going 11 of 37 while Coghlan went 9-39, Buck 5-31, and Hanley 1-12. That also does not include the fact that the Marlins left over seven men on base per game on this road trip and the bullpen let up 17 runs, 10 in one game, during the nine game road trip.
The Marlins now come home to continue a tough stretch of games that include Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Arizona, Tampa Bay. Unless the Mariners fall back down to earth, the Marlins do not face an easy opponent until they play Houston in South Florida on July 7th.
- Friday 7:10pm vs. Brewers-- Ricky Nolasco vs. Randy Wolf
- Saturday 7:10pm vs Brewers-- Chris Volstad vs. Yovani Gallardo
- Sunday 1:10pm vs Brewers-- Anibal Sanchez vs. Chris Narveson