The Miami Marlins are coming home today after a short road trip, and they will be back for nine games. The team will host three different series, starting tonight with the first of a three-game set versus their expansion team brethren, the Colorado Rockies. While the Marlins are riding high in May, owners of a 14-5 record in the month, the Rockies have gone the completely opposite direction, posting a 4-14 mark in the month. Their difficulties have lied in mediocre pitching even for Colorado's standards, alongside a difficult stretch for some of their top hitters.
Tale of the Tape
|.300 (25)||wOBA||.323 (9)|
|85 (26)||wRC+||93 (16)|
|3.33 (4)||ERA||5.07 (29)|
|3.43 (2)||FIP||4.28 (26)|
The rankings for the Rockies with regards to their offense shows you just how important it is to park adjust. While their raw wOBA totals rank as ninth best in baseball, the thin air of Coors Field has certainly influenced that, and after adjusting for their park, their offense comes off as below average with a wRC+ of just 93. The Marlins, on the other hand, have no excuses for their offensive performance, as the Fish struggled through another weekend and lost ground in terms of wOBA and wRC+.
The pitching staff for the Rockies also deserves a little credit for a pitching a mile higher than everyone else more often. However, even after adjusting their ERA with park adjustment, they still rank 26th in the league in ERA- and 22nd in FIP-. The moves the team has made this season have not paid off; in particular the acquisition of Jeremy Guthrie (5.55 ERA, 6.30 FIP) for Jason Hammel (3.12 ERA, 2.87 FIP in Baltimore) looks awful thus far. Meanwhile, a number of pitchers cannot stay healthy and the Rockies have had to turn to desperate sources for arms. The Marlins continue trucking along with their pitching staff, as the Fish's starters carried them through the last series and through most of this month.
Stadium: Marlins Park
What I find interesting about Marlins Park as it pertains to this series is how similar in dimensions it is to the spacious Coors Field, yet how completely different it plays given their different environments. Coors Field is unbelievably spacious; it is a good 15 feet further down the right field line, for example. Left field over there compares similarly to our own dimensions as well. But the thin air really carries the ball over there, while our stadium has allowed very few home runs.Pitching Matchup
|Proj Win%||Proj ERA||FIP||ERA||Marlins||Rockies||ERA||FIP||Proj ERA||Proj Win%|
In tonight's game, we have a battle between two of the softest-tossing lefties one can find in baseball right now. Mark Buehrle has been nothing if not consistent throughout his short tenure as a Marlin, and the Fish have to be happy to see him continuing what he has always done in Chicago with little to no discernible decline. At this point, it looks like Buehrle could pitch for years, and he will look to start proving that tonight versus the Rockies and their struggling lineup.
Speaking of lefties who have pitched for years, the Marlins' old nemesis Jamie Moyer has returned to the majors after not seeing the bigs in 2011. If you will recall, Moyer terrorized the Marlins during his time as a Philadelphia Phillie, and even though he returns two years older, he still probably frightens this team terribly, especially the guys who remember his slow offerings. Moyer is the epitome of the crafty lefty at this stage of his career; he is somehow managing to strike out 14.0 percent of his batters faced (career 14.1 percent, so consistent as well) despite a fastball that, this season, is clocking in at an almost absurd 77 mph! How he is continuing major leaguers out is beyond comprehension.
|Order||Player||Proj wOBA vs. LHP|
This lineup is just baffling. Austin Kearns is once again cleaning up despite the presence of Logan Morrison, the team's regular cleanup hitter, in the lineup. This cannot even be construed as an argument of familiarity, as Morrison has batted cleanup more than any other hitter on the team this season. Morrison is a lefty, but as you can see from the projections, Morrison projects to hit lefties better than Kearns probably does. Meanwhile, Bryan Petersen is batting second for the second game in a row despite having previously been slotted for places such as seventh and ninth in the order. A hitter who is expected to hit seventh or ninth should not suddenly be good enough to bat second, but Ozzie Guillen is a crazy traditional manager through and through and I am sure he wants Petersen's "bat skills" and possible bunting capability at the top of the lineup. I can't stand his lineup cards anymore.
- You know I do not believe in splits against particular teams, but just as a fun factoid, you should look at how Jamie Moyer has done against the Marlins. In 490 PA, the Marlins as a collective team unit, past and present, have hit .237/.293/.379 against him. Yikes.
- Over at Purple Row, Bryan Kilpatrick has their side of the series preview. The readers over there do not sound very optimistic about their season or their team right now, and who can blame them? Seriously though, they don't feel good.
Bold Prediction: Rockies def. Marlins 5-3 (Illogical as it may be, I simply cannot take the Marlins versus Moyer. Here's hoping this leads to a counter-jinx win!)