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The First pitch hitting Marlins

The Marlins can't be bothered with that working pitcher stuff, they brought that bat up to the plate and they plan to use it.

By now, opposing pitchers should know better than to split the plate with a fastball to get ahead of Marlins hitters. No other National League team does more damage when putting the first pitch in play.


Entering Monday's game against the Pirates, the Marlins were pacing the circuit with a .408 average (29 for 71) when putting the first pitch in play. No other NL team had a higher slugging percentage in those situations than the Marlins (.817). Only the Rockies (.425) had a higher on-base percentage (eight points higher).


Jacobs is a notorious first-pitch swinger and is 4 for 12 (.333) with a homer and a 1.083 on-base plus slugging percentage when he puts that first offering in play. Josh Willingham (.545) and Dan Uggla (.571) are a combined 10 for 18. Hanley Ramirez ranks third among NL hitters with a .714 average (5 for 7) when putting the first pitch in play. He trails Aaron Rowand (5 for 6) andKosuke Fukudome (6 for 8).

The young Marlins hitters have always been aggressive at the plate and the weird thing is that most pitchers won't adjust to this, at least early on.  Sure Smoltz, Madduxx, Santana, et. al. will, but your normal non-heading for the Hall of Fame pitcher won't.  Their success depends on getting ahead in the count which includes the ingrained theory of the best pitch in baseball is strike one.

While the Marlins probably won't continue putting up these kind of numbers on the first pitch as the opposing pitchers get a better feel for throwing breaking balls for strikes.  It should continue that when a pitcher throws a first pitch fast ball for a strike, the Marlins will make every effort to hammer it.