The Miami Marlins began the month of June coming off the best month of May (21-8) in franchise history. Everything that could have gone wrong didn't, as the bloopers found holes and the Fish were taking advantage of opposing pitchers' mistakes. Emilio Bonifacio and Austin Kearns were placed on the disabled list, however players such as Donovan Solano, Bryan Petersen, and Chris Coghlan were able to play well defensively and show patience at the plate.
June of 2011, any player, coach, or front office official will tell you, was the month that saw the Marlins play their worst baseball in quite some time. The team was only able to earn five victories, as the starting pitchers were not going deep into games and the offense failed to score runs. The bullpen had some meltdowns and defensively, despite ending the year with fewer errors that the previous few, the team did not play as a whole. As if that was not enough, manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned, and Jack McKeon couldn't turn the team around.
Despite a June first loss, heading into this month, the Marlins have several things working for them. Starting pitchers, are getting deep into games, as Josh Johnson is beginning to work efficiently and Carlos Zambrano continues to make the Cubs look awful for trading him away. Anibal Sanchez is picking up where he left off in 2011, and Ricky Nolasco is now the all time winningest pitcher in Marlins history.
Offensively, the Fish are having good at bats. Logan Morrison is getting hot, and Giancarlo Stanton had one of the best month's in the history of the franchise, with 12 home runs. The bench is contributing key hits, as they did in Philly on Friday night, and the bullpen, including Heath Bell, is pitching well.
-On a rainy night in Philly, the Marlins fell to the Phillies 6-4 on Friday night. The Marlins had plenty of opportunities as they had the bases loaded several times, and Mark Buehrle didn't have his best stuff, as he gave up four earned runs, including a two run home run to Hunter Pence after the delay. Former Marlins Hector Luna had a big game.-Wednesday night was an interesting one for starter Josh Johnson. He thought that first base coach Gary Thurman was just joking when he told him to run and steal second. "I'm like 'kidding right,'" Johnson said.
-Everybody was waiting until the first few games at Marlins Park to be played so that they can determined whether it would be a hitter or pitcher friendly park. A few months into the season, according to the statistics, Marlins Park is becoming a hitter-friendly park.
-Heath Bell recorded three consecutive saves against the Nationals. His fastball was in the upper 90s with good movement, and he utilized his changeup to strikeout Adam Laroche a few times. "He's throwing strikes," Ozzie Guillen said.
-The Nationals series had a significant meaning to the Solano family. Donovan Solano, currently a Marlins, and his brother, Jhonatan Solano, both got playing time and performed well. The brothers are only the 12th and 13th native Colombians to reach the big leagues.
-On Wednesaday night, the Marlins had a promotion which featured many fans getting a Gaby Sanchez T-shirt uopn entering the stadium. That promotion wasn't helped by the fact that Sanchez is currently in AAA New Orleans.
-Starting pitchers were 15-7 with a 3.53 ERA in the month of May. Quality starts came in bunches and the bullpen was able to hold leads late.
-Manager Ozzie Guillen is not going to bench catcher John Buck, yet. Buck is struggling at the plate but is not letting that affect the way he calls games behind the plate. "The only way he is not gonna hit is by sitting next to me," Guillen said.
-Getting wins in June may be tough for the Marlins, as they will face opponents such as Tampa Bay, Boston, Toronto, Philly, and Atlanta multiple times.
-The bobblehead museum at Marlins Park reflects the "art dealer" side of owner Jeffery Loria. Loria's home run feature in center field may show the same side and reflect the same idea.
-Earlier in the week, Ozzie Guillen said that if the playoff started the following day, Mark Buehrle would be the Game 1 starter. "He's the only one I know what I'm going to get that particular day," Guillen said of Buehrle.
Around The League
-Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history on Friday night against the St.Louis Cardinals. The San Diego Padres are now the only major league team without a no-hitter.
-Mets third baseman David Wright has said that he will not negotiate or sign a new contract until the season has ended.
At Fish Stripes
-Anibal Sanchez has been one of the most consistent Marlin pitchers. Should he get a decent contract when it is time?
-Mark Buehrle, according to the stats, has been one of the best and most efficient pitchers in recent years. Just ask Ozzie Guillen, who lured him to Miami after time in Chicago.