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Game 9: Houston Astros @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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Houston Astros
@ Miami Marlins

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Bud Norris vs Carlos Zambrano

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 15-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Fish Stripes Will Be LIVE At Marlins Park!

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The Miami Marlins got off of their snide and defeated the Houston Astros in an extra-innings affair last night, and the team looks to get on board with another victory tonight. Standing in their way is an Astros team that took the honor of being the first home run in Marlins Park and almost came back against a Marlins club that looked to have the game well in hand before said home run tied it up.

Tonight, the Fish send the surprisingly decent Carlos Zambrano for his second start versus the Astros' Bud Norris, one of their most impressive starters. In contrast to yesterday's game, this may very well be a low-scoring game.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Astros ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.458 4.33 4.08 6.00 Zambrano Norris 2.57 4.19 3.92 .504

Zambrano's numbers do look weak from his last start, but a focus on his 4.08 FIP shows that he pitched fairly well and simply had bad events clumped together. He allowed two hits and two walks in the first inning but then cruised for much of the rest of the game, not walking anyone and striking out six. He did allow a home run, but all in all that performance was much better than expected, especially following the ugly first inning. His velocity is still a concern, and it should be a focus for radar gun watching tonight. Reports of his Spring Training velocity in the low- to mid-90's seemed exaggerated when faced with his 89 mph fastball against Cincinnati.

Norris is in line to take over the eventual role of staff ace from Wandy Rodriguez if and when he is ever dealt by the Astros. Norris flashes a pretty prototypical low-90's fastball with a slider, changeup, and occasional curveball, but his results are highly impressive. Last year, he struck out 28 percent of batters faced and posted a 4.19 FIP along with his 3.77 ERA, so he is definitely a candidate to show growth in 2012.


Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .362
2 Emilio Bonifacio .305
3 Hanley Ramirez .355
4 Giancarlo Stanton .380
5 Logan Morrison .361
6 Omar Infante .307
7 Gaby Sanchez .338
8 John Buck .300

We will post this lineup once more despite last night being an odd evening for the Fish. Logan Morrison sat and the lineup was shifted to move Omar Infante to the fifth slot and Gaby Sanchez to the seventh slot. Of course, it seemed like Gaby responded because he hit very well, recording three hits including the game-winning double that drove in Chris Coghlan and allowed the Marlins to escape with a win. As far as Infante is concerned, he certainly stayed hot by recording two hits of his own, but moving him up the lineup is at best an inconsequential move and at worst a confidence downer for Sanchez. Of course, none of this will matter in the long run, so no one should be all that concerned, but the thought process shows you exactly the sort of traditional thinking that manager Ozzie Guillen and acting manager Joey Cora have.


- You will not be seeing much of this Fish Striper on the game thread tonight, but I have a good reason: I'm going to be at the game tonight! If you will be at the game, you should come visit me! Again, if you'd like to drop by and say hi, I'm at section 27, row 12, seat 19, sitting alongside a couple friends of mine. Come by, say hi, tell me how much you like Fish Stripes, and tell me what I can do to make the site better for you!

Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Astros 3-1