The Marlins had a four game week consisting of match-ups against the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians. Miami would post back-to-back shutouts on Thursday (Mets) and Friday (Indians), with the latter showcasing the the Marlins' marvelous mound-manager. The next two games, wrapping up a three game series against the Indians, resulted in losses for the Marlins. Their record on the week was an even, though telling, 2-2.
Fish Stripes Coverage
Flamethrowers, Sans Fire Power
On the first Friday of August, a warm one, the Marlins witnessed a reminder of what was painfully obvious to batter after opposing batter: Jose Fernandez is special.
From the first frame onward, Fernandez was rolling. And for the Indians, it only got worse.
Top of the first inning, Michael Bourn steps in only to be dismissed by a backdoor slider. The Marlins defense would end the frame watching their starter put Asdrubal Cabrera on a knee with a dirt-bound change-up.
Three innings and five strikeouts later, Cleveland's batters were now little more than casualties of an eight-inning game of catch.
Catcher Jeff Mathis needed, at the very most, a half inch or so to either side to meet Fernandez's pitches. Redmond could just as well have taped a catcher's mitt to a tripod out there
Fernandez was backed by something wholly uncommon for the Marlins' offense: offense.
Miami scored ten runs against the Indians on 16 hits (or 13 more than Cleveland). It was the second shut out in as many nights served up courtesy of the Fish, the first of which came from Tom Koehler (6 IP, 5H, 5BB, 5K's).
But, as it has been for most of 2013, the Marlins' success was short lived. Miami would lose the next two games, failing to support some solid pitching.
On Saturday, Jacob Turner put in six innings of quality pitching. He'd give up two runs on six hits while striking out six. Nathan Eovaldi followed that up with seven innings of one run baseball.
The response from Miami's bats? A combined 12 runners left on base over the two games, 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and four runs in 18 innings.
This trend, contrasting with the Marlins' run production, has been evident all season. Miami's clearest signs of power outage come in the form of runs, batting average, OBP%, and slugging percentage--each of which ranks the Marlins as 30th in baseball.
With that being said, the Marlins' arms are throwing the ball very well.
At 3.66, their team ERA ranks 9th in the majors. The Marlins' WHIP and BAA totals are middling, but their 61 quality starts put the team is good enough for 11th in baseball.
Redmond's thoughts on his team's offensive struggles? He's perplexed by the lack of timely hitting. Any other thoughts? As told to MLB.com's Joe Morgan, "That's it. I don't really know what else to say."
Plays of the Week
-Jacob Turner goes six innings strong:
-Nathan Eovaldi powers through seven frames:
-In cleaning up a mishap at centerfield, young Jake Marisnick shows a lively arm:
-And of course, the unquestioned high point of this week (heck, this year) in Marlins baseball, Jose Fernandez:
The Marlins are set for a busy upcoming week, slated to play in two away series.
Jeff Locke looks to bounce back for the Pirates after allowing four runs on ten hits in his last start. He'll be facing a streaking Hector Alvarez (2-1, 2.61 ERA in six starts) on Tuesday. A pair of 4.00 ERA righties take the mound on Wednesday as Tom Koehler takes the bump for Miami, with Charlie Morton manning the mound for Pittsburgh. Jose Fernandez is set to pitch in game three, facing off against the Pirates' own young gun in Gerrit Cole.
Brandon Beachy, finding his way back to from after Tommy John surgery, kicks off the Marlins/Braves series against Jacob Turner on Friday. Saturday's game features a battle of pitching opposites, with Nathan Eovaldi's power arm going against the unconventional arm of Alex Wood. The starters for Sunday remain to be announced.
The Marlins will also be playing a Monday game against the Royals, one of three in their third straight away series.