Typically, when a team is struggling, you can pinpoint one aspect of the game to determine what caused the slump. However, that has not been the case with the Miami Marlins thus far in June. Coming off of a disastrous June in 2011, the Marlins knew that if they wanted to stay in contention, they would have to play good baseball in the month of June. Through twelve June games, they have yet to do that.
In this situation, the Marlins' 3-9 clearly shows that they have been slumping. But, for the Marlins, nothing has been going right. Although the team took two out of three against the Phillies to begin the month, Miami went 1-8 on their previous nine game homestand. It doesn't take a baseball expert to conclude that the numbers the Marlins put up during that last homestand were atrocious. The team was just 8-for-63 with runners in scoring position, and opposing batters had an average over .300 against the pitching staff. Starting pitches had an earned run average over six, and the bullpen was not much better with an ERA over eight. Defensively, the Marlins committed errors that opponents took advantage of, and were unable to take advantage of the few errors committed by Atlanta, Tampa Bay, or Boston.
Emilio Bonifacio, with his 20 stolen bases, seems to be the player the Marlins have missed most. The bottom of the lineup has had a really hard time getting on base, and the Marlins haven't put the game in motion as much while their stolen base leader is on the disabled list.
Although he is not letting it affect his ability to call games, catcher John Buck is also having a rough time at the plate. Brett Hayes has seen more playing time, and is swinging a hotter bat. The Marlins are also having a hard time finding somebody to protect Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup, even though Logan Morrison has been swinging a hot bat of late.
Pitching wise, the Marlins have received quality outings from several pitchers, most notably Josh Johnson, but the bullpen has struggled getting outs. A quick turnaround is necessary before the Marlins have a June that for the second consecutive year indirectly eliminates them from the playoffs.
-With two runners on and two outs in the ninth inning against Boston of Wednesday, Ozzie Guillen decided to pull Heath Bell out of the game. Bell was not happy with Guillen, and called their heated exchange on the mound a "misunderstanding."-Outfielder Chris Coghlan, who was consistently batting .140 while playing in the outfield almost daily, was sent to Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday night. Scott Cousins, who is batting .292 with the Zephyrs, could be a possible replacement.
-Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is a native of Wellington, is turning into one of the American League's best catchers. Saltalamacchia is giving Red Sox fans something to cheer about after the departure of Jason Varitek.
-Manager Ozzie Guillen has told Carlos Zambrano to stop trying to hit the ball out of Marlins Park during batting practice. Zambrano has 24 career home runs, but Guillen fears that his home run swings might have contributed to his lower back stiffness. Zambrano will make his next start on Friday in Tampa.
-Jorge Bonifacio, brother of Emilio Bonifacio, is a prospect in the Kansas City system and was recently named a Midwest League All-Star.
-According to manager Ozzie Guillen, Emilio Bonifacio will likely remain in the disabled list until after the All-Star break in July.
-The results of a recent player survey showed that Ozzie Guillen was voted the least respected manager in baseball. Giancarlo Stanton, though, was voted as being the player in 'the best physical shape."
-Former Marlin Cody Ross is currently on the disabled list, but hopes to play against his former team when Miami travels to Fenway Park next week.
-Carlos Zambrano is controlling his emotions, which is leading to solid performances on the mound. Miami is 6-2 in Zambrano's past eight starts.
-Pitchers struggled and the hitters were lost at the plate, which resulted in a 1-8 homestand for the Marlins. The Marlins, over the past few years, have played better baseball away from home.
-After a few days off, Logan Morrison is six for his last eleven at the plate. Guillen sat Morrison for a couple of games after he was in the midst of an 0-17 slump at the plate.
-Despite adding several key players in the offseason, the Marlins are just 32-31 through 62 games. That is the same record the team had through 62 games in 2011.
-When asked how he would grade his performance thus far, manager Ozzie Guillen responded, "I would give myself a C plus or a D, because I should be in first place with this ballclub."
-Donovan Solano and Justin Ruggiano continue to play well when they get playing time. With the Marlins slumping, they might see even more action in the coming weeks.
Around The League
-Matt Cain, who has been tough on the Marlins in his career, pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night against the Astros.
At Fish Stripes
-Josh Johnson and Carlos Zambrano have been two of the Marlins' most consistent pitchers. Take a look at some of their numbers here.
-Is Ozzie Guillen baseball's least respected manager?
-With Emilio Bonifacio on the DL, the Marlins will have to use several other players in center field until he returns.