The Miami Marlins have not been doing well as of late, as they lost a three-game set to the Atlanta Braves most recently at home and traded three of the team's current players for prospects in moves that were panned as part of a "fire sale" by irrational outsiders in the national media. Now the equally disappointed San Diego Padres are coming into town, except that thye are doing so as winners of 13 of 21 games in this month and six of their last ten games.
Today's matchup has two pitchers who have major question marks on them. For Carlos Zambrano, it is the continued downfall from his strong 2012 start. For Kip Wells, it is why he is still pitching in the majors to begin with.
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Carlos Zambrano has seemed terribly broken since the end of May, as he has posted a horrific 6.55 ERA and 16.4 percent (!) walk rate since June began. He has not looked good in one start since June 3 and appears all but on his way out of the Marlins' organization, as the team appears to be interested in trading him now that it no longer needs to worry about contention in 2012.
But as bad as Zambrano has been, he is definitely not Kip Wells. Wells has played sparingly in the majors since 2006, yet somehow he has ended up with five starts with the San Diego Padres. He has walked 14 guys in that time while striking out 13, so it has gone about as well as one could expect. Zambrano cannot be as bad as this guy, can he? We'll find out tonight.
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The Marlins have shaken up the lineup a little bit with the team's offensive struggles and lack of legitimate hitters. The team has moved Reyes to the perceived all-important third spot, dignifying that he is the club's best overall hitter (and they're probably correct right now). Donovan Solano batting second has to pain people, as he still isn't expected to be good. Meanwhile, the Fish will bat the struggling Logan Morrison sixth instead of his usual cleanup spot.
All of this is guaranteed to make very little impact on tonight's game.
- As mentioned earlier, ESPN's Jayson Stark says that the Marlins are working hard to get rid of Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Lee, as the team is paying neither of them and would simply ship the money from Chicago and Houston along to the willing other party. Ricky Nolasco is also avaialble.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Padres 6-5