Get Out the Brooms (Maybe They Will Work Better Than Bats?)
The Marlins closed out their first home series of the 2013 season with a bang by being shut out by the Atlanta Braves 8-0, helping Atlanta complete the three-game sweep.
Look, don't get me wrong. The Braves are a good team and I fully expect them to be neck-and-neck with the Nationals for the NL East crown at the end of the season. But the worrisome factor is that the Marlins are looking more and more like a team that is practically a shoo-in to lose 100 games. Or 110 games. How about 120? Get ready, Guinness Book of World Records! The Miami Marlins are hellbent on becoming the first baseball team to ever lose 180 games in a season! Pretty soon Adeiny Hechavarria and Co. will be gracing the same pages as some dude who ate 40 crickets in one minute! If things get any worse for Miami, I'm convinced MLB will start tacking on losses to next season.
Jokes aside, let's take a look at the numbers. Here are where the Marlins rank among National League teams in a variety of offensive categories:
AVG - .218 (13th)
OBP - .290 (13th)
SLG - .284 (14th)
HR - 2 (t-14th)
ISO - .066 (t-14th)
As you can see, the Fish's offense has been every bit as pathetic numbers-wise as it has been to the naked eye. In this game, the Marlins wasted two leadoff doubles in consecutive innings without scoring a run. For a team that has shifted between Greg Dobbs and Placido Polanco in the cleanup spot, wasting opportunities with runners in scoring position practically guarantees a loss. Tonight, they were a collective 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
I still fully expect Giancarlo Stanton to regain form and start displaying the ability to mash baseballs into the stratosphere, but if I'm an opposing pitcher right now, why in the world would I give him anything to hit? Stanton is going to have to get used to the slow trot down to first base this season because until the offense around him starts providing a legitimate threat to opposing pitching staffs, there's really no reason to even take a chance with him. So far, Donovan Solano has done a good job in the two-hole and currently sports the club's best OBP at .387, but with nobody stepping up to drive in runs at this point, many of those on-base opportunities are being wasted. The bottom line is that they have already been shut out in four of the first nine games of this season.
Sanabia Pleads (For Mercy In) The Fifth
As frustrating as things were for the offense in the early going of this game, the proverbial wheels came flying off the proverbial wagon in the fifth inning when Alex Sanabia gave up home runs to Evan Gattis and Juan Francisco that put the Braves ahead 6-0. The home run to Francisco was not as upsetting the Gattis home run, especially because it came off a changeup right on the outer half of the zone that Francisco somehow demolished to the second facade in right-center field. Up until that point, Sanabia had done a pretty good job of locating his pitches and even got Dan Uggla to yell an obscenity that was picked up by the Fox Sports Florida broadcast mics. Good times, good times.
Once Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi return from the disabled list, I'd bet that Sanabia is likely to be the odd man out in the rotation.
The Fish host the Philadephia Phillies for a three-game series starting on Friday. The second game of the series looks particularly intriguing, with Jose Fernandez matching up against Cole Hamels.