Marlins Journal

A Florida Marlins Blog

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September 22, 2007

Marlins Ugly Season Winds Down Next Week

by @ 5:10 pm. Filed under 2007 Marlins

It was tough blogging the Marlins this year, so I kind of didn’t.  I know you should stick with your team through the good and the bad but the way the Marlins played, especially in the second half, kind of made me sick.  Since the All Star break, no team has more losses then the Marlins do.  The ballpark is empty and ownership is still looking for a handout.  It just wasn’t a good year, in any aspect, for the Marlins.

There were some bright spots and those were Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez.  Cabrera would probably getting some MVP noise if he didn’t play for such a horrible team and for the fourth straight year, he’s driven in more then 110 runs.  And Ramirez is fighting it out for the batting title and he’s looking to surpass the 119 runs he scored last year.  He also has a shot and going 30/30 if he can belt two more homers.

The pitching, ah, it sucked.  At least the starters did.  The team ERA of 4.98 is pretty poor for a National League team and only Sergio Mitre had more then 10 starts yet had an ERA below 5.00.  Kevin Gregg has been a pleasant surprise though after the Jorge Julio train wreck the Marlins went through earlier this season.

What can you say about Dontrelle Willis. He’s just had a tough time and if he doesn’t pick up another, win it could be his first season ever that he didn’t win 10.  He should top 200 innings for the third straight time though, it’s just that 1.62 WHIP looks pretty out of place amongst his career stats.

So just a few more games left and another Marlins season will be in the books.  Good riddance to this one too.

July 15, 2007

Marlins Take Care of Nationals to Start Second Half

by @ 5:49 pm. Filed under 2007 Marlins

Things got off to a rocky start but the Marlins finished with a series win over their division rivals the Nationals.  I was worried that the NL East would turn into a division of haves and have nots with the Marlins being the better of the have nots.  The problem’s been, none of the top three teams at the top have broken away and with the Marlins two wins this weekend, they sit just 7 1/2 games back of first place.  They have a long way to go, but with a good week, the Marlins may not be the sellers everyone expects them to be.

Miguel Cabrera continues to rake.  He belted his nineteenth homerun in today’s game and the only knock on Cabrera is that his walk rate is down a bit.  Yeah, he’s striking out a few more times too but he should touch 30 homeruns and with a nice run down the stretch, he could touch a 1.000 OPS for the first time.

Sergio Mitre has won his last two starts in four of his last five, he’s given up three runs or less and gone at least six innings.  His walk rate is sick (19 walks in 96 innings) and that makes up for the fact that hitters touch him up at a .265 clip.  He’s also on pace to give up less then 10 homers.  It’s just a shame the Marlins haven’t given him more run support.

Next up is three against the defending champs, the St. Louis Cardinals.  Byung-Hyun Kim gets the start in the opener and it’ll be Braden Looper who the Marlins hitters have to contend with.

June 21, 2007

Marlins Mini-Streak Puts Team Four and a Half Games Back Of Mets

by @ 11:54 am. Filed under 2007 Marlins

It’s been a weird season in the National League East.  It started out with the Mets and Braves pushing out and basically turning the thing into an early two team race.  Now both the Braves and Mets are ice cold and the Phillies and Marlins have made moves.  So even though the Marlins sit three games below .500 and in fourth place, they’re just 4 1/2 games out and definitely back in contention.

Weight jokes aside, Miguel Cabrera should be on a short list of MVP candidates with his season so far.  He has a .994 OPS and he’s pretty much on pace for a season like he had in 2006.  He’s striking out a bit more but he also has a solid chance at 40 homeruns for the first time.

Dontrelle Willis came out of the game and gave everyone a scare.  This is on top of Anibal Sanchez have exploratory surgery on his shoulder so the Marlins rotation is thinning out quick.   And it’s particularly rough when your team ERA leader has only a 4.89 ERA and the Marlins team WHIP is the worst in the National League (1.53). 

Things won’t be easy this weekend either because a tough Twins team rolls into town.  Sunday’s pitching matchup should be fun with Dontrelle Willis taking on Johan Santana.  Hopefully the day off today will help everybody out and the Marlins can take this series before the Pirates roll into town.

May 21, 2007

Marlins Win Battle For Florida and Some Prospect Tidbits

by @ 11:42 am. Filed under 2007 Marlins

The Marlins swept the Devil Rays this weekend and they pushed themselves to with two games of .500.  More importantly, they’re just a single game back of the third place Phillies and they’re hardly out of the hunt, sitting just 7 1/2 games back of the always tough Mets.  Bottom line, we’re almost two months into the season and the Marlins, while not playing great, are treading water.

Dontrelle Willis had one of his best starts of the season on Saturday.  He struck out seven and gave up just two runs while matching a season high seven innings pitched.  He’s now 6-3 but his stats don’t point to such a good record although this latest start is encouraging.

James Shields had another nice start yesterday despite not picking up the win.  It’s the third time this year that’s he’s gone at least seven innings and given up one run or less and he has a very impressive .199 batting average against and he’s struck out 62 in 67 1/3 innings.

Miguel Cabrera continues to rake and he now has a nice five game hitting streak, with three of the games being two hit games.  The power drought is a little worrisome (he hasn’t hit a homerun since May 8) but he’s driving in runs again, which is what we need.  He’s also getting on base, which is shown by his .395 OBP.

Gaby Hernandez was highlighted today in Kevin Goldstein’s Monday Morning Ten Pack.  He had an interesting, yet encouraging start Friday night. And then this is an interesting story on Jeremy Hermida’s and his knee rehab.

Next up is three against the Phillies and a series win would put them closer to passing another team and closer to .500.  A sweep would mean a six game winning streak and probably a news story or two about the team.  Scott Olsen has his work cut out for him in the opener because he has to face Phillies ace Cole Hamels.

May 15, 2007

Byung-Hyun Kim To Start For Marlins

by @ 4:05 pm. Filed under 2007 Marlins

First off, I apoligize for the lack of content.  The network I write for had some system wide net problems and that prohibited me from posting hence the near three week hiatus.  While I was gone, the Marlins have had their struggles and they sit six games below .500 in fourth place in a tough NL East.  It’s turning into a two team race with the Mets and Braves at the top, unless the Phillies or even the Marlins get going.  Remember the Marlins were in a lot worse shape at this point last year and they picked it up.

Anyway, the big news was the trade.  Jorge Julio was shipped to the Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.  At one point, Kim was a premier closer for the Diamondbacks and he pitched on their World Series team back in 2001.  In 2003, the Diamondbacks experimented with Kim as a starter before they shipped him to the Red Sox, where he flipped from the rotation back to closer.  In 2004 he was injured and then he ended up in Colorado, where he’s floundered mostly as a starter.

Now he’s ours after pitching mostly in Triple A for the Rockies.  Jorge Julio wasn’t getting the job done, so good riddance.  I haven’t seen anything on who the Marlins closer will be now, but unless the Marlins start taking leads into the ninth, it’s a moot point.

It sure would be nice if the Marlins could end this skid.  They’re tied 1-1 with the Pirates right now.  Sergio Mitre is throwing a pretty nice game so far so hopefully he can keep it up.

April 25, 2007

Marlins Need Four Run Ninth in Finale Against Braves to Win Series

by @ 5:53 pm. Filed under 2007 Marlins

Well, the Marlins pulled it off, and they did it against a team that started the week in first place.  The Braves rolled into town and the Marlins won the two close ones and sandwiched between the two wins was a blowout loss.

On Monday, Dontrelle Willis didn’t have his best stuff but it was just good enough to win the game.  He gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.  The win improved his record to 3-1.  Miguel Oliva went yard and Dan Uggla continued his hot streak with homerun number four.  Uggla and Oliva each drove in three runs and Hanley Ramirez finished with two hits and two runs.

Yesterday was the blowout.  Rick Vanden Hurk was shelled for six runs in the first two innings and while the runs didn’t end up mattering, Randy Messenger gave up four runs in the ninth.  Cody Ross hit homerun number three and he drove in five of the Marlins six runs in the 11-6 loss.

Then things were looking pretty grim today.  The Marlins were down 3-0 heading into the ninth and then the Marlins rallied for four runs in the ninth to win it.  The winning run came on a wild pitch of all things and he finished with two RBIs.  Scott Olsen struck out ten in his eight innings of work but it was Henry Owens who picked up the win with a shutout ninth.

Next up is the streaking Phillies.  A series win will mean a .500 record and that’s the goal for now.  Anibal Sanchez gets the start in the opener on Friday.

April 22, 2007

Dan Uggla Heats Up in Marlins Series Win Over Nationals

by @ 5:27 pm. Filed under 2007 Marlins

The Marlins got a ton of offense in their series win over the Nationals this weekend.  In total, they scored 26 runs in the three game series and the only disappointing thing was, the Marlins didn’t walk away with the sweep.

Friday’s game was tough.  The Marlins came back from a 5-0 deficit to tie it only to lose in the fourteenth inning 6-5.  Scott Olsen had a rough start and he gave up five runs on ten hits and three walks with three strikeouts in five innings.  Then six relievers combined to throw eight shutout innings before Lee Gardner gave up the game winner in the top of the fourteenth.  Aaron Boone homered and he finished three for seven with two RBIs.  Joe Borchard and Cody Ross also went yard in the loss.

Fortunately the next two games weren’t even close and both were wins.  Yesterday, Dan Uggla had the first of two big games in the series with two hits and three runs.  Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in two runs while Jason Wood went yard with a solo shot in the 9-3 win.  Anibal Sanchez improved to 2-0 and he gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in five innings. 

This afternoon, Dan Uggla really got it going.  He homered twice and he finished with three hits, three runs and six RBIs.  Hanley Ramirez scored three times in the 12-6 win.  Wes Obermueller won his first start of the season and he gave up two runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in six innings.

Next up for the Marlins is a three game series against the first place Braves.  Dontrelle Willis will try to extend the Marlins winning streak to three tomorrow in the series opener.

April 20, 2007

Marlins Losing Streak Stretched to Five After Sweep By Mets

by @ 2:45 am. Filed under 2007 Marlins

The present day Mets rolling into town is never a good thing and the end result was a two game beatdown sweep that extended the Marlins losing streak to five games.  Dontrelle Willis lost the opener and he did it in grand fashion, giving up eight runs on ten hits and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings.  In the meantime, John Maine was no-hitting the Marlins.  While that was broken up in the seventh, the end result was still a 9-2 loss.  Joe Borchard drove in both runs with a two run homer.

Last night’s game was even worse as Rick Vanden Hurk was bombed for eight runs in four innings.  The Marlins racked up just four hits in this one too.  Miguel Oliva singled and drove in a run and the Marlins struck out 15 times in the game.

Just what the doctored ordered, the Marlins play three against the last place Nationals at home.  A sweep would be nice, and it would put them right back at .500.  Scott Olsen throws in the opener tonight and I like the pitching matchups in all three of these games.

April 18, 2007

Marlins Lose Third Straight in Sweep by Astros

by @ 6:05 am. Filed under 2007 Marlins

The pitching was there for the Marlins in their two game series against the Astros.  Unfortunately, the hitting wasn’t as the Marlins dropped both games and scored only four runs total.  On Monday, Anibal Sanchez had a very nice start wasted.  He gave up just one run on four hits and six walks with three strikeouts in five innings of work.  The pen gave up three late runs and all the Marlins managed were three themselves the entire game.  Cody Ross led the way with two hits and two runs in the 4-3 loss.

Last night’s game was even more pathetic.  The lone run was a lead off homerun by Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins were shutout the rest of the way in the 6-1 loss.  Jorge Julio was simply awful and I knew the trade for him wasn’t going to be worth it.  He was bombed for six runs and even in a middle relief role he’s costing us games.  He dropped to 0-2 on the season.  So two games the pen cost us a ball game.

And it doesn’t get any easier as the Mets roll into town for two games.  Hopefully Dontrelle Willis can stop the bleeding with a win tonight.

April 16, 2007

Marlins Stay Just Above .500 With Split Against Braves

by @ 3:27 am. Filed under 2007 Marlins

A three game series became a two game series when the Braves and Marlins had a game rained out on Saturday.  It’s too bad because the Marlins had a nice game on Friday to build from.  Dontrelle Willis got it done on the mound and the hitters rang up eleven runs in an 11-6 win.  Cody Ross went two for four with two runs and two RBIs and five different Marlins drove in two runs.  Willis improved to 3-0 and he gave up three runs on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts in seven innings of work.

Satursday’s game was postponed and then Scott Olsen got shelled in the yesterday’s series finale.  He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.  Alfredo Amezaga drove in two runs in the 8-4 loss.

The Marlins sit right in the middle of the NL East mix.  They’re two games back of the Braves but they have a nice cushion between themselves and the fourt place Phillies.  Next up is a short trip to Houston for a two game series.  Anibal Sanchez will throw against Wandy Rodriguez in the opener.

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