In Giancarlo Stanton's second game since returning from the disabled list, his go-ahead eighth-inning home run led the Fish to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
It's going to take some getting used to, but seeing Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison penciled in on the same lineup card for the Miami Marlins is understandably a welcome addition. Stanton and Morrison have already returned to familiar spots in the middle of the order, and for a team that has struggled as much as the Fish have at the plate this season, having those two guys alone will undoubtedly make a huge difference.
In Tuesday's contest, Stanton and Morrison combined to go 3-for-7, scoring two runs and driving in three. Stanton's blast off of Jim Henderson (full name James Duffy Henderson) put Miami ahead in the eighth before Steve Cishek threw a perfect ninth to seal the victory for the Fish.
Sure, this is just one game and there are plenty of other problems that have plagued the Marlins this season. In the short term at the very least, however, the additions of Stanton and Morrison on a regular basis can pay huge dividends, especially for the young players on this team. Marcell Ozuna more than held his own during Giancarlo's absence, but who knows if he would have been able to sustain that level of production as one of the primary sources of offense over, say, the rest of the season.
The bottom line is that we've all missed watching delicious Giancarlo Stanton home runs over the past month and now they will return in all their glory.
Most Valuable Ozuna
As I mentioned before, if not for the hit machine that Marcell Ozuna has been since being recalled (not the kind where some food manufacturer accidentally puts razor blades in their peanut butter), the Fish's offense may have been flat out unwatchable in the month of May.
In said month, Ozuna posted a slash line of .330/.372/.462. As a team in said month, the Marlins posted a slash line of .217/.276/.325. That is what baseball experts would refer to as "not very good."
Like I said earlier, we'll never know whether Ozuna would have been able to sustain the level of production for the entire season without guys like Stanton and Morrison in the lineup, but one thing to keep an eye on is whether his approach at the plate changes in any way. Ozuna was a guy who routinely put up 20+ homers per season in the minors but has just one home run to date in his time in the big leagues. Perhaps he felt the need to prove he could hit big league pitching first before he focused on hitting balls out of the park. I'm purely speculating here and more than likely making absolutely no sense, but if Ozuna can find a way to turn the doubles he's been racking up this season into home runs, that makes the Fish's lineup that much more potent.
The Fish close out their series with Milwaukee tomorrow before hosting the Cardinals on Friday. Jose Fernandez will take the hill against Jake Westbrook to open the series. That'll be a fun one, folks.