The Marlins pulled out a gritty win in yesterday's contest to take game one and look to continue building momentum against a Chicago Cubs club that looks as vulnerable as it has at any point in the season thus far.
Personally, I ain't got nothing against the Cubbies. In fact, in lieu of a couple of maritime themed baseball squads, I wouldn't mind seeing them break that ridiculously long title drought. We all know what would happen after: Lovable Cubbie Nation would swarm our stadiums, becoming just as vile and despised as any Yankee or Red Sox horde before them. I don't hold that against the team, though. That's just the nature of a long held dam bursting.
Yep, they can go on ahead and resume their winning ways, plowing effortlessly through their foes -- after -- they leave Miami. The Cubs are a wounded animal right now and yesterday the Marlins got a taste of blood. I want the Marlins to show us -- to show the world -- that they are capable of taking advantage of the situation.
Helping the Cubs elude the trap will be Kyle Hendricks, catching the scent of prey on the wind for the Marlins is Tom Koehler.
|Team||Starter||ERA||FIP||2016 ZIPS Projected ERA|
You might think Kyle Hendricks is coming out of nowhere with his excellent season to date, but that's not the case. Last year, in 180 innings Hendricks was good for 3.4 fWAR. Neil Weinberg wrote an article for Fangraphs at the beginning of the month detailing how Kyle Hendricks was like Clayton Kershaw. In a nutshell, they both post very similiar infield fly ball rates (Kendricks sits at 11.9% and Kershaw at 10.7%, respectively). Strikeouts are the best thing a pitcher can do on the mound to induce an out; the next best thing is an infield fly ball, and Kendricks is the best in baseball at it. He hits his spots, he doesn't walk many batters, and he induces weak contact.
Now, you'd probably like to hear about a way that Tom Koehler is similar to Clayton Kershaw. Uh, sorry.
Koehler has actually been pretty good the month of June, going 3-1 over 24 innings to a 2.63 ERA/2.75 FIP, posting only 9 walks to 26 strikeouts. The first three starts of the month only saw him walking a batter per outing, which has been the main thing keeping him from joining the ranks of the reliable. This past outing he walked six batters but somehow managed to keep them from scoring. You can't average five walks per game, as Koehler has this season, and expect to keep runs off the board on a regular basis. So, from one Tom to another, more of what we saw in the first three starts, please.
|CHICAGO CUBS||MIAMI MARLINS|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Derek Dietrich - 2B|
|Kris Bryant - 1B||Martin Prado - 3B|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Christian Yelich - LF|
|Willson Contreras - C||Marcell Ozuna - CF|
|Chris Coghlan - LF||Giancarlo Stanton - RF|
|Javier Baez - 3B||Justin Bour - 1B|
|Addison Russell - SS||J.T. Realmuto - C|
|Kyle Hendricks - RHP||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Albert Almora - CF|| |
Tom Koehler - RHP
- A.J. Ramos is one save shy of Steve Cishek's Marlins' franchise record of successfully converting 32 consecutive saves in a row. Ramos has a 31 save streak dating back to last season (he has 23 this year).
- Ichiro! sits at 2,983 hits coming into play today.
Bold Prediction: Marlins win streak climbs to three, Cubs losing streak falls to five, 4-2 Fish.