Fish Bites: Offensive Struggles Continue

Apr. 26, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Omar Infante (12) celebrates in the dugout after scoring during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mets won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Throughout an offseason highlighted by the signing of shortstop Jose Reyes, nobody in baseball could have expected that just a few weeks into the 2012 season, the Marlins are struggling offensively. The Fish will play the first of four games against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, after ending an awful road trip in which the team went 0-5. Since the Nationals were playing good baseball, a Sunday afternoon rain out may have saved the team from an 0-6 trip.

Pitching throughout the trip was solid. Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez were dominant against the Nats, but both were not given any run support as the Marlins were shut down by a Nationals staff led by a healthy Stephen Strasburg. After beginning the trip 0-2, the Marlins were hoping to play better baseball against the New York Mets.

Josh Johnson pitched against Johan Santana in the first game of the series, and despite Johnson's performance, the team struggled scoring runs. Mark Buehrle received little support in game two, and Ricky Nolasco was in line for the win until yet another blown save by Heath Bell. The Marlins weren't able to earn a victory after several quality starts.

The top of the order struggled on the trip. Jose Reyes, whose first trip back to NYC was a poor one, Emilio Bonifacio, and Hanley Ramirez all had a hard time getting on base. As Ozzie Guillen pointed out, while you cannot rely solely on the top of the order to score runs, they need to be able to get on and steal many bases.

-On Friday, the New York Mets completed a three game sweep of the Miami Marlins, after a walk-off hit by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Heath Bell blew his third save as a Marlins, as the bats were still slow to get going. The Marlins' bullpen blew a one run lead in every game of the series.

-On Wednesday night, the Marlins were a part of baseball history. Josh Johnson, Randy Choate, Steve Cishek, and Mike Dunn each walked a man, marking the first time in baseball history four different pitchers each issues a walk to the only batter they faced.

-Giancarlo Stanton, who is best known for his power, is having a hard time at the plate as well as in right field. Stanton misplayed a ball against the Mets on Thursday.

-Second baseman Omar Infante made several adjustments in spring training, which he believes has contributed to his recent power. Infante already has a team leading five long balls after only hitting seven in all of 2011.

-Marlins' pitchers will not change their approach or the way they attack opposing lineups even though they are not getting support from their hitters. Every Marlins pitcher has had at least one quality outing this spring.

-Right hander Carlos Zambrano, who pitched well in his start against the Nationals last weekend, will pitch the first game against the Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on Friday.

-Manager Ozzie Guillen sees that his hitters are pressing at the plate, but says that he is not concerned. He has also said that it is too early to consider switching Bonifacio and Reyes in the lineup.

-Shortstop Jose Reyes feels responsible for the Marlins' lack of offense, as he has not gotten on base much at the top of the lineup.

-Jose Reyes was only 1-12 in his return to Citi Field for the first time since he became a Marlin. Reyes received mixed greetings from the Citi Field crowds.

-X-rays of Edward Mujica's hand were negative. Mujica hand was struck by a line drive on Tuesday, which at the time gave the Mets a 2-1 advantage.

Around The League

-Brandon Allen of the Tampa Bay Rays belted a walk-off homer as the Rays defeated the Angels at Tropicana Field on Thursday.

-Former Met Angel Pagan hit a three run homer off of Cincinnati closer Sean Marshall as the Giants defeated the Reds 6-5.

-Elbow surgery is almost a guarantee for Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey is still going to visit with Dr.James Andrews.

-The Tigers released veteran infielder Brandon Inge on Thursday. The Phillies reportedly had interest in trading for Inge during spring training.

-Yankees pitcher Micheal Pineda will be out for the season, as Phil Hughes had a rough outing against Texas.

At Fish Stripes

-The Marlins are having a hard time scoring runs on the road. As a result, their quality pitching staff is not receiving decisions.

-Who could the Marlins possibly be interested in drafting come June? Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison both came up through the Marlins' system.

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