07 June 2011
The Marlins came home after a tough one run loss from Arizona, one of the hottest teams in the NL, to face the NL's other hottest team, the Brewers. Unfortunately the Marlins were never able to shake the jet lag from their west coast trip. The Marlins in the first three games continued to leave runner after runner on base in games that the Marlins lost by a total of three runs. In those first two game the Marlins left a total of 31 men on base and batted 5 for 32 with runners in scoring position, those numbers would have been even worse if Brett Hayes had not hit his two out grand slam on Sunday. In each game the Marlins had either the tying or winning run on third base when the game ended. The Marlins also saw two of their most consistent hitters this year, Emilio Bonifcatio and Logan Morrison, go a combined 1 for 24 in the first three games.
By the time the fourth game of the season came around, and the Marlins had lost four games in a row by one run, it only took a three run blast by Prince Fielder to completely deflate the Marlins Monday night. It was actually Fielders third home run of the series and combined with Ryan Braun, who hit the game winning two run home run on Friday, they make a lethal combination that really destroyed the Marlins in this series. The Brewers hit a total of seven home runs in the four games, but Braun and Fielder combined had six runs and 10 RBI.
As bad as the Marlins in ability to score runs was this series, their starting pitching was not all that great either. Chris Volstad had the best outing of the four Marlins starters going seven innings giving up only three runs on six hits, and Ricky Nolasco was not that bad the opening night of the series going seven innings giving up four runs on seven hits. However the next two nights were pretty bad. On Sunday Anibal Sanchez had one of his worst performances of the year giving up five runs in only five innings, and then Monday night despite looking like he had some of his best stuff at the start of the game Javier Vazquez gave up six runs in only four innings of work. This becomes a serious issue for the Marlins Tuesday night as Brad Hand is going to make his first big league start against the Atlanta Braves. With no days off until Thursday, June 23 and the Marlins bullpen having to go 9 innings the last two day, the Marlins now need Brad Hand to pitch a good number of innings to give the bullpen a rest. Ideally with the Marlins in the middle of a stretch were they have to play 21 games in 20 days and with no indication on when Josh Johnson will return, they are going to need Nolasco, Sanchez, Volstad, and Vazquez to pitch six to seven innings a game so that they have extra innings for the bullpen to use on days that Brad Hand or other minor league pitchers make major league starts.
After losing their fifth game and a row the Marlins have fallen to a tie with the Atlanta Braves for second place in the NL East, four games behind the Phillies. The Braves now come to Florida for the first time this year for a three game series with the Marlins.
- Tuesday at 7:10pm at Sun Life Stadium: Brad Hand vs. Tommy Hanson
- Wednesday at 7:10pm at Sun Life Stadium: Ricky Nolasco vs. Derek Lowe
- Thursday at 7:10pm at Suun Life Stadium: Chris Volstad vs. Jair Jurrjens
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