23 May 2011
After a great eighth inning surge to beat the Rays on Friday night, the Marlins had their most up and down emotional day for its fans on Saturday. The day started off with news breaking around 11am that the Marlins would be placing pitcher Josh Johnson on the 15-day disabled list. It turns out that the injury is only some inflamation in his right shoulder, and with the DL stint being retroactive to May 17, it turns out that Johnson should be back for the Marlins series in Arizona and only miss two stars. However when the Marlins fans seeing the headline that their ace is going to the DL it seems like diasterous news. Of course then Marlins fans had to deal with Javier Vazquez pitching against their Florida rival Rays ace, David Price. Going into the game Javier Vazquez had a 7.55 ERA, had not pitched past six innings in any game, and had given up at least one run in the first inning of every game. Pretty much everyone including myself, was expecting this to be a disaster.
But in a surprise as good, as the Josh Johnson surprise was bad, Vazquez had his best outing of the year pitching seven innings of shut out baseball, only giving up three hits, two walks, and struck out a season high seven batters. Before the series started manager Edwin Rodriguez told the media that the Marlins were going to stay with Javy no matter what happens, and the Marlins need him to turn his series around. He said the Marlins really do not have many options right now to replace him in the rotation. It is true, as I have said before both West and Sanabia are hurt and not ready for major league action right now, but Rodriguez may have also known that their was a chance that JJ could go to the DL and so Jay Buente wouuld not be able to replace Vazquez as he could be called up to replace JJ. This start was big for Vazquez in the Marlins not only because they need the other pitchers in the rotation to step up while Johnson is on the DL, but just to get Vaszquez some confidence going forward. It was obvious that he has had his confidence shaken by his performance thus far in 2011, especially after his last outing against Washington when he gave up six runs in the first inning to one of the worse offensive teams in MLB. It will be another two or three starts before we know Vazquez has actually turned his performance around, but for now we can only pray that his start Saturday was a return to the old Vazquez.
The Josh Johnson move to the DL was just one of a couple the Marlins made this weekend. With the Marlins placing JJ on the DL, the Marlins called up RHP Jay Buente to replace him in the Marlins rotation (3IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K on Sunday). Although the Marlins needed to make room in the 40-man roster for Buente the Marlins moved Donnie Murphy to the 60-day DL. The Marlins also were able to activate Clay Hensley off of the 15-day DL, but instead of sending Burke Badenhop back to the minors, the Marlins choose to send Ozzie Martinez to New Orleans. The Marlins kept the extra man for the bullpen because of exsactly what happened Sunday with Buente only able to go three innings, having Badenhop in the bullpen gives the Marlins an extra bullpen pitcher who can go more than one inning. Also John Baker, who has been on the 60-day DL since March 30, needed to take a few days off from his rehab starts due to soreness.
From the offensive stand point the Marlins were did in alright job but no one really stood out, especially after Ray's James Sheilds three hit complete game shut out on Sunday where is struck out 13. Gaby Sanchez went 3-10 with two of the Marlins three hits on Sunday. The Marlins other All-Star canidate, Logan Morrison, went 3-11 and on Friday he was 2-4 with a home run, two runs, and two RBI. Mike Stanton also had two hits, a home run, and two RBI, but he saw his hit streak come to an end Saturday and went 0-7 in the last two games of the series.
Also want to remind fans that they should go to http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2011/ballot.jsp and vote for Gaby Sanchez an Logan Morrison. Also the Marlins have a promotion going were if you vote once you get 1/2 off bullpen bleacher seats, and if you vote 22 times you can get two free bullpen bleacher seats.
The Marlins now head out on their first west coast road trip of the year. It will be a nine game trip starting in San Francisco on Tuesday.
- Tuesday at 10:15-- Ricky Nolasco vs Matt Cain
- Wednesday at 10:15-- Chris Volstad vs. Madison Bumgarner
- Thursday at 3:45-- Anibal Sanchez vs. Ryan Vogelsong
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