21 May 2012
After going 3-2 on their road trip to Atlanta and Cleveland the Marlins come home at 22-19 for a 10 game home stand where they will face the Rockies, Giants, and Nationals. Unfortunately this Marlins team that comes home is not the same team that has left. Emilio Bonifacio sprained his thumb on Friday and is now on the 15 day DL. Gaby Sanchez after continuing to struggle from the plate this year was sent down to Triple-A to find his swing. Then news came Sunday morning that Omar Infante will be with his family in Venezuela till at least Wednesday after the passing of his grandmother. The Marlins now will need to rotate players at three different positions and hope that their offense which struggles to score runs at times, 15 times they have scored only 2 runs or less, and things will not be easier with Infate and Bonifacio out of the lineup. It is expected that Logan Morrison and Greg Dobbs will rotate at first base; Austin Kearns, Chris Coghlan, and Bryan Petersen will rotate in left field; and Donovan Solano and Donnie Murphy will fill in at second base. While Ozzie Guillen has said that he prefers to keep Dobbs on the bench when he can because he is such a weapon as a pitch hitter, he has not said yet who will get the majority of the time at second filling in for Infante. Personally I hope that Donovan Solano gets the majority of the playing time after the way he performed during spring training. It will just be interesting to see if he can match that production in a real game or two.
While the Marlins have only gone 5-4 in their previous 9 games, the Marlins do come home with the best record thus far in May at 14-5. The Marlins are now ranked in the top 11 of just about ever MLB power raking that has come up today and even though they are tied for 3rd within their own division, they are also in a three way tie for the 4th best record in the National League. Since their bullpen and ability to score runs has been so erratic since this season, although both have been better the past two weeks, the most of the Marlins success can be attributed to their starting pitchers. The Marlins rotation has the 4th lowest ERA in the MLB and also have the most total quality starts. Mark Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano, and Anibal Sanchez have each been very consistent for the Marlins. Zambrano has the lowest ERA on the staff at 1.96 while Sanchez is averaging 9.11 strike outs per 9 innings. Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson have been a little more erratic. In his last two starts Nolasco has given up 10 runs in 8.2 total innings and has seen his ERA rise from 2.72 to 4.10, however he does have the most wins of the Marlins starters. Meanwhile Josh Johnson has started to turn things around. In his last three starts he has two wins, lowered his ERA from 6.61 to 4.82 and has gone 7 innings in each start. With the Marlins lineup in flux right now the starters are going to continue to carry the load for the Marlins for a while longer.
The Marlins home stand starts tonight against the Rockies and they will play 10 games in 10 days before they finally get a day off.
- Monday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Mark Buehrle (3-4) vs Jamie Moyer (2-3)
- Tuesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Ricky Nolasco (4-2) vs Juan Nicasio (2-1)
- Wednesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Carlos Zambrano (2-2 vs Alex White (0-3)
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