The Miami Marlins are returning home after their most successful road trip in team history, and such a trip could not have come at a better time. When the team left Marlins Park, they were six games under .500 and floundering offensively before the team ripped off seven in a row against the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros. Were it not for an unfortunate set of errors late in the second game of the Astros series, the team could have very well escaped with nine wins in a row and an outstanding return to prominence after a dismal April start.
The team now hopes to continue their climb back into the NL East in a more direct fashion, as they play host to the New York Mets as part of a five-game home stand. The division rivals and the team directly in front of the Fish in the division right now are looking for a repeat of the last series with the team, as that involved the Marlins getting swept in Citi Field and losing all three games in comeback fashion.
Tale of the Tape
|.297 (23)||wOBA||.316 (12)|
|84 (26)||wRC+||101 (11)|
|3.16 (3)||ERA||4.29 (25)|
|3.30 (3)||FIP||3.86 (16)|
It has to be surprising that, at this point in the season, the New York Mets' lineup is outperforming the Marlins' lineup offensively. The Fish going into the season were supposed to be among the most talented lineups in the league, but with a number of players still in the tank from a miserable April, the Fish still have not dug themselves out of a terrible offensive rut.
On the pitching side, on the other hand, is another story. The bullpen notwithstanding, the Fish have been absolutely brilliant on the mound. ranking only behind St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals in effectiveness. This effort of course has been lead by their rotation, which ranks fourth in ERA and tied for third in FIP thus far. Of course, part of that has to be the Marlins' home stadium, but the Fish have been away from the spacious Marlins Park for a while and have continued to dominate on the mound, so they'll look to continue that against the Mets.
The dimensions of Marlins Park have been well discussed in the past, but suffice to say that it is quite a change from last season, even if the only major difference was moving the short fence in left field out 20 feet. The Marlins will host the next five games in our own very cozy parkPitching Matchup
|Proj Win%||Proj ERA||FIP||ERA||Marlins||Mets||ERA||FIP||Proj ERA||Proj Win%|
Mark Buehrle will take the mound for the Marlins, and Mark Buehrle is as Mark Buehrle as he gets. His current ERA is pretty low, and it is fueled by a .256 BABIP in the face of a defense that we have seen perform very poorly otherwise. Nevertheless, his 4.04 FIP is very familiar, as it is quite similar to his career 4.13 FIP. Outperforming his FIP is nothing new, and while we are not expecting him to continue at such a low ERA, it would not surprise me to see a carbon copy of almost any other Buehrle season in this one.
Johan Santana, on the other hand, is quite a surprise. Santana has been an absolute revelation after spending the majority of the last two seasons out of the game with injury. His strikeout rate is up to his 2007 Minnesota Twins level, which is pretty impressive given how that strikeout rate had been steadily declining in the seasons after that. His ERA and FIP are extremely impressive, and it is puzzling to see him performing so well despite a now 88 mph fastball. Part of the reason the Mets have been so competitive is that they have had the Santana they thought they acquired way back in 2008.
|Order||Player||Proj wOBA vs. LHP|
It appears as though Ozzie Guillen has decided to yet another new lineup in the face of small sample size struggles. With Bonifacio mired in a .222/.333/.250 slump during the opening of May, he has been moved down in the lineup in favor of Omar Infante, who occupied the second slot for the majority of the 2011 season. Of course, Infante is still pretty hot right now, but moving Bonifacio down is a benefit at least in the sense that having him hit in front of worse hitters like John Buck and the pitcher add value to his stolen bases.
However, having Logan Morrison, the team's only lefty, bat in the cleanup spot against a left-hander seems silly no matter what you think about Morrison's relatively even career splits. At least Stanton has moved up to the number five spot.
- MetsBlog is associated with SNY.tv, and I did a quick phone interview with friend of Fish Stripes Ted Berg to preview the series. Here is the interview:
Bold Prediction: Mets def. Marlins 3-1