You've heard it before but it doesn't make it any less true: The Fish are floundering. While the starting pitching in particular has held up it's end of the bargain, in the last seven games Marlins hitters have scored three runs or less, punctuated by a four hit shut-out last night in the first game of the series against the Reds in Miami. The Marlins miss the big guy in the middle of their line-up in a major way, and will have to find some means of generating consistent offense in order to climb out of the huge hole they've dug themselves in, now 15 games below .500.
The pitching match-up for this game had the potential to be much more interesting. Initially, we had Mat Latos going up against the man he was traded for (along with minor league catcher Chad Wallach) in Anthony DeSclafani. Unfortunately, DeSclafani has a strained glute and, in a bizarre turn, Latos was scratched with a right foot contusion after being hit through the netting by a Christian Yelich fouball while he was sitting in the dug-out. Thus has gone the year for the Marlins. So, instead, pitching for the Reds will be Raisel Iglesias, and on the mound for Miami we find Adam Conley.
Iglesias is recently coming off of the DL from a strained oblique, last starting for the Reds on May 30th. The Cuban righty features a variety of pitches but relies heavily on his sinker which he throws for good velocity (90.6 MPH on average). A good effort here could secure him a rotation spot moving forward.
Conley made his major league debut earlier this season, pitching one scoreless inning of relief against the Blue Jays. He was starting in New Orleans, where he threw almost 90 innings in 15 starts, compiling 63 strikeouts and a 2.33 ERA. The second round pick in the 2011 draft will also be looking to make the most of his unexpected opportunity.
|CINCINNATI REDS||MIAMI MARLINS|
|Brandon Phillips - 2B||Dee Gordon - 2B|
|Joey Votto - 1B||Christian Yelich - LF|
|Todd Frazier - 3B||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Jay Bruce - RF||Justin Bour - 1B|
|Marlon Byrd - LF||Casey McGehee - 3B|
|Brayan Pena - C||Cole Gillespie - CF|
|Eugenio Suarez - SS||J.T. Realmuto - C|
|Raisel Iglesias - RHP||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Billy Hamilton - CF||Adam Conley - LHP|
Recently re-acquired Casey McGehee will start at 3rd base and bat 5th. Cole Gillespie gets the nod in center and bats 6th, Ichiro slots into right field and bats 8th.
- Will the Marlins still be able to move Latos before the trade deadline?
- Despite yesterday's win, the Reds are also trending in the wrong direction, with a chance to head into the All-Star break with their worst record by the Mid-Summer classic since 2007. Unlike the Marlins, however, Cincinatti will be trading their ace shortly, so there's that, at least.
Bold Prediction: Marlins down the Reds 4-3.