The Miami Marlins are mired in a complete slump, having lost nine out of their last ten games. The team was shellacked in perhaps their worst performance of the season, an 11-0 whooping at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight, the Fish go again in prime time against the Rays, and Ichthyomancy will try again at a Double Ichthy Points night after last week's 13-4 beatdown yielded nothing but sad faces. Once again, if we are blown out, I will pull the Double Ichthy qualifier, but for now, we need something to make these Marlins games exciting and worth our watch.
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This is a rematch of last Sunday's series ender, as Anibal Sanchez and James Shields dueled in what initially seemed like a fun matchup that turned horrible. Sanchez allowed four runs in six innings, but he walked three and gave up two home runs with just two strikeouts along the way, representing what was easily his worst start of the season in terms of FIP. His performance before that, a seven-run beatdown by the Atlanta Braves, was not pretty either, so Sanchez is on a bit of a cold streak in terms of his performance.
Shields had struggled in giving up runs in his three starts prior to facing the Marlins. When he faced us, however, he dominated. Shields allowed four hits and one run with five strikeouts and three walks against the Fish last Sunday, leading to a victory for the Rays. For the Marlins' currently flailing offense, even a mediocre strikeout / walk performance from Shields was more than enough to stuff them, so here's hoping the Fish can put up more of a fight tonight.
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Hanley Ramirez is back in the lineup after missing last night's game due to being hit with a foul ball during batting practice. Not that he would have helped us much last night, as the team's lone hit actually came from his replacement, Donovan Solano. Nevertheless, Ramirez is back, and hopefully he and a slew of other Marlins can snap out of their collective slumps.
Bold Prediction: Rays def. Marlins 5-2