The Miami Marlins did not take kindly to a bitter 4-3 loss that not only was stolen from them in the ninth inning but also clinched a playoff berth for the division rival Atlanta Braves. The Fish will go against the Braves again tonight in the penultimate road game of the season, and the Marlins at least will send ace Josh Johnson to the mound in this case. Against him will be the slow-tossing Paul Maholm, who has done pretty well against the Marlins this season.
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The Marlins will send ace Josh Johnson to the mound again, but they really wish they knew which Johnson they were going to get in any given outing. Johnson has had some shaky outings, including his last two against the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. Johnson has walked six batters in 13 innings but also has whiffed 11, so his strikeouts and walks are both up. As of late, he has also given up plenty of home runs. Since the start of August, Johnson has given up six home runs, and that has brought his season total one shy of his career high for a single season.
Maholm has been solid for the Braves after being solid for the Chicago Cubs. In fact, Paul Maholm has basically been the same guy since 2008, so at this point, people can refer to what happened in 2008 to see what Paul Maholm has done in any given season. He is basically the same guy back then (3.71 ERA, 4.15 FIP) that he is now.
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Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Ruggiano remain out of the lineup with their day-to-day ailments, and while Stanton has expressed the desire to get back on the field, he probably will not be pinch-hitting until at least tomorrow. As for tonight's lineup, oh my goodness. Petersen and Dobbs have been forced to play against the lefty Maholm, as Austin Kearns's bad back apparently is still bad enough to keep him from playing the outfield as well. Dobbs may be the least useful player in the lineup, and we have Gil Velazquez in there.
- If you did not already see it, please check out Fish Stripes's Ehsan Kassim and his piece on the decision the Marlins will have to make regarding Johnson's future with the club. It is a must-read.
Bold Prediction: Braves def. Marlins 3-1