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WHYIt has been quite the horrific, record setting June for the Florida Marlins, who at 36-46 are just past the mid point of the season.  This past month the Marlins set an MLB record by becoming the fastest team to ever go from 10-games over .500 to 10-games under .300 by setting a team record for the lowest winning percentage going 5-23 (.179). They also suffered through a 1-11 home stand, had a stretch of where they went 1-19, and ended up with the second longest 1-run loss steak in MLB history by losing 14 one run losses.  The Marlins also saw three different people manage the team with Edwin Rodriguez resigning before a game in Tampa and 80 years old Jack McKeon being named interim manager for the rest of 2011 the next day.  It was also a month that had it best offensive players struggle, and those who were all ready under performing continue with their poor performances from the plate.  

The Good:

The Last 5 Games: Going into the last five games of June the Marlins had a record of 2-21 in the month, and had only gone 1-3 under new manager Jack McKeon.  However in the last 5 games the Marlins were able to go 3-2 and got back to back wins and their first series win of the month in last two days of June.  In the last 5 games the Marlins on the road, against the Mariners (although technically it was a home series) and Athletics, out scored their opponents 13-9 and was lead by some great pitching performances.  Florida's starting pitchers gave up only five runs and went 3-1 (2 wins by Chris Volstad) in that five game stretch.  Those five games also saw Hanley Ramirez, among other players, started to hit better.  In those games Hanley went 6-18 (.333), causing his average to go from .211 to .221, with a home run and five RBI.  This may not be all that much, but it is a little hope for the Marlins for the rest of the season.

The News from Dr. Andrews: One of the worst things for sports fans to hear is when their injured superstar is going to go visit Dr. James Andrews.  The news is almost never good.  A visit to Dr. Andrews usually means that your super star is about to go under a knife and will be out a few months or more.  So when Josh Johnson and his injury, which is still kind of a mystery at this point, decided to go visit Dr. Andrews most people were ready to receive some bad news. Luckily their was no new bad news.  Josh's lack of strength in his shoulder is just due to tendinitus.  While the Marlins continue to struggle with filling in his spot in the rotation until he comes back in July or August, compared to what the news usually is when players go visit Dr. Andrews this is really good news.

The Bad:

Florida Marlins Batting: As individuals the Florida Marlins had some of their worst offensive number of the year.  In the past two months the Marlins had been able to stay a float do to some good pitching performances and also the play of Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Greg Dobbs, Emilio Bonifacio and Mike Stanton from the plate.  But in June it all changed.  These players saw their numbers drop and no one really stepped up to replace their offensive output.  Look at the numbers of the Marlins players from the plate this last month:

  • Gaby Sanchez hit .240 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI and 19 strikeouts, lowering his average by .028
  • Logan Morrison hit .200 with 3 home runs, 11 RBI and 19 strikeouts, lowering his average by .054
  • Mike Stanton hit .247 with 5 home runs, 15 RBI and 34 strikeouts, lowering his average by .005
  • Greg Dobbs hit .228 with 0 home runs, 1 RBI and 21 strikeouts, lowering his average by .047
  • Emilio Bonifacio hit .245 with 0 home runs, 4 RBI and 22 strikeouts, lowering his average by .012
  • Chris Coghlan hit .220 with 1 home run, 2 RBI and 4 strikeouts, lowering his average by .003
  • John Buck hit .244 with 3 home runs, 10 RBI and 22 strikeouts, raising his average by .013
  • Omar Infante hit .272 with 0 home runs, 7 RBI and 10 strikeouts, raising his average by .010
  • Hanley Ramirez hit .260 with 1 home run, 7 RBI and 14 strikeouts, raising his average by .011

Looking over that list you can see that only three of the nine players raised their average during the past month, and only Hanley Ramirez after Jack McKeon took over really made any noticeable positive impact on the games being played.  Also none of those three players raised averages even come close in comparison to how much Morrison, Dobbs, and Sanchez's aveages dropped.  Looking at how LoMo's and Dobb's aveages dropped .054 and .047 is almost staggering in to do in a month this late in the season.  It will take a significant amount of time for Gaby and LoMo to get back to their pre June batting averages and it is very unlikely that Dobbs will ever get back up to his pre June numbers.

The Ugly:

Chris Coghlan: Coghlan had gotten off to a great start this year, and it was such a great story.  He was coming back from a knee injury and was in a new position, centerfield, and for the first month he was thriving.  Then staring in May his numbers began to decline, his average dropped from .287 to .233.  While actually hitting .030 points higher in June than in May, his average still fell another .003 points before the Marlins decided to send him down to the minors.  Coghlan hated the idea of moving down, understandably so, but it was the right thing to do for the Marlins.  However instead of just going down to New Orleans and trying to re find his swing, Coghlan came clean that his knee had actually been bothering him and he went onto the 15-day DL.  Even when Coghlan comes back he will probably play more rehab games than usual to make sure that he finds his swing again, but that may depend on his replacement, Dewayne Wise, who despite starting strong start finished June batting .200. 

LOB and RISP- Sure the Marlins had their best players struggle from the plate, and they had some bad starts by their pitchers in June, but if you want to look at the reason the Marlins were only 5-28 in June than look no further than these two stats.  In the 28 games in June the Marlins left 197 runners on base, and went 46 for 222 with runners in scoring position.  That means the Marlins hit .207 with runners in scoring position and left just over 7 men on base a game.  While the amount of men left on base didn't differ to much between wins and losses (7.2 LOB in wins versus 7 LOB in losses), the teams batting average in wins versus losses did have a big disparity.  In the five games the Marlins won they hit .326 w/RISP while only hitting .178 in their 23 losses.  I really have no words for just how bad that is.

Unfortunately for the Marlins July did not get off to a much better start.  In the opening game of a series in Texas the Marlins loss 15-5, and tonight rookie Brad Hand is going to have to face that very potent Rangers lineup.  The Marlins do run into some good luck after this series, which sounds odd with Philadelphia coming up.  The Marlins get to face Philadelphia, but only have to face one of their big four in Hamles, and get to have Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco pitch against Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worely (who is pitching very well).  And then the Marlins get to face the Houston Astros before the All-Star break.