The Marlins' offense did what it always does on days where I am responsible for writing the Fish Cap: absolutely nothing. This time, the Fish were shut out by ASU alum (I'm one as of this past week) Mike Leake, who threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing 9 hits, yet not giving up a run. It's safe to assume at this point that opposing pitchers circle their starts against the Marlins, eager to get their ERA's to respectable levels and throw what is essentially a simulated game that actually counts in the standings.
The story, as it has often been this season, was the club's inability to convert with runners in scoring position. The Fish were 1-for-10 with RISP and it's the billionth time (give or take) that they have struggled immensely with finding a way to put runs on the board. It's not often that a team puts up double digits in the hit column and manages to get shut out. The Marlins did that tonight against the Reds. Congrats, I guess?
My Prophecy Is Fulfilled
Remember when I said it was only a matter of time before Derek Dietrich was hitting third in the Marlins' order? Well, surprise! One Derek Dietrich (hitting .400 now on the season!) hit third in this game. If there's any indication just how bad this offense is, just consider this fact: Derek Dietrich, a guy with barely a week of experience in the major leagues, is hitting third in the order. That's not a knock on Derek Dietrich, but rather an illustration of how desperate this offense is to score runs. Did you get a few hits this week? You might be eligible to participate in a new experiment called "Hitting Third In The Marlins' Order!" No purchase or big league experience necessary. Side effects may triple digits in the loss column.
Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic for young guys like Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna continuing to make an impact on this roster. But even elite prospects are eased into their big league experience by hitting low in the lineup and not being counted on to drive in runs right away. That's what is being expected out of Dietrich and Ozuna right now. I love the way they're swinging the bat so far, but games like these only add to the pressure that they're feeling to prove themselves in their first taste of the big leagues.
Ryan Webb, Chad Qualls and Mike Dunn combined for three innings of scoreless relief following Alex Sanabia, and it's a unit that's starting to find its footing. Over the past week, the Marlins' bullpen has posted the ninth-best ERA in baseball according to Fangraphs. MINOR VICTORIES, AM I RIGHT PEOPLE?
The Marlins will play a professional baseball game tomorrow afternoon at Marlins Park, with 20-year-old ace Jose Fernandez on the mound. Fernandez will face of against Mat "One-T" Latos, so I have given you every reason you need to watch this game.