Game 19: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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4 game series vs Diamondbacks @ Marlins Park

Arizona Diamondbacks
@ Miami Marlins

Friday, Apr 27, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Joe Saunders vs Carlos Zambrano

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 04/28 7:10 PM EDT
Sun 04/29 1:10 PM EDT
Mon 04/30 12:40 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are heading home tonight after a five-game rut of a road trip. The team will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a four-game series in Miami starting tonight. For the Marlins, they are looking to get back into some semblance of an offense after five games of miserable run scoring. For the Diamondbacks, they are looking to keep up with the Joneses in this young season and get back to .500.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Diamondbacks ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.455 4.35 3.84 2.84 Zambrano Saunders 1.29 3.04 4.56 .433

The Marlins will throw Carlos Zambrano for his fourth start of the season. Prior to this, he has done better than anyone could have imagined, putting up a 2.84 ERA with a relatively impressive 3.84 FIP. Of course, he has posted a .170 BABIP thus far, and it is very likely hitters will get a few more hits on balls in play against him. Still, through three starts, he has strikeout and walk numbers that look remarkably similar to his career numbers. Keep in mind also that his velocity is still way down (averaging 88.9 mph on his fastball down from 90.2 last year), so that is also concerning. But so far, so good.

The Diamondbacks counter with Joe Saunders, who is outperforming his expectations this season as well. As you can see, he is highly likely to regress. If you will recall, Saunders was tabbed as one of the names the Marlins might pursue for their fifth starter position in the offseason before they acquired Zambrano. Saunders was looking for a multi-year deal, and at this point in his career, he simply had not earned one, so it was good that the Fish went with one year of Zambrano at low costs over Saunders.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. LHP
1 Emilio Bonifacio .305
2 Donnie Murphy .308
3 Hanley Ramirez .375
4 Logan Morrison .338
5 Omar Infante .317
6 Giancarlo Stanton .408
7 Gaby Sanchez .366
8 John Buck .321

This may be the worst lineup Ozzie Guillen has ever built. Bonifacio leading off is a slight misuse of his skill, but Donnie Murphy batting second? Because he is playing shortstop, does that somehow qualify him to bat in a very important part of the order? A week ago, he was consistently batting seventh when he played second base, but now he has improved enough to bat second? Again, this is traditional managing at its finest: the number two hitter has to be a middle infielder or a speedy hitter for no apparent reason. Batting Murphy second is not going to lose a game, but it will deprive one PA from better hitters like GIancarlo Stanton and Gaby Sanchez. The mere idea of it is preposterous, both in the short- and long-term.

Murphy is in for Jose Reyes, who is taking the evening off. The Marlins had previously yet to rest Reyes all year, and so it makes sense for the team to give him his first day off in the midst of a season-long slump.

Notes

- Zavada's Moustache over at AZ Snake Pit has their own series preview. Should be a fun one. They think we'll split the series.

Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Diamondbacks 3-2

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