2012 Archives http://marlinsbigcatch.com/table/2012-articles/april/ Tue, 23 May 2017 20:38:04 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Marlins Fall Flat After Saturday's Walk Off http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-fall-flat-after-saturdays-walk-off.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-fall-flat-after-saturdays-walk-off.html After the great come from behind win on Saturday night, everyone was wondering if that could spark the Marlins offense and start to turn the season around.  Two days later it is pretty safe to say the answer is no.  The Marlins not only dropped the next two games against the Dimondbacks, they were hardly competitive in either game.  In the two games the Marlins were trailing the Diamondbacks 8-0 and 7-0 respectively before the Marlins put any runs on the boards.  Of course if that was not embarrassing enough, the Marlins two ace pitchers were out dueled by D-Backs pitchers making their second and first career starts respectively.

The previous seven games going into Sunday the Marlins had lost 6 of the 7 games, but the one thing they all had in common was that the Marlins had good starting pitching.  In all 7 games the Marlins starter went at least 6 innings giving up only two runs, however on Sunday Josh Johnson gave up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings and on Monday Buehrle gave up seven runs (only four earned) in 5 innings.  Meanwhile in his second career start Wade Miley gave up just one unearned run in 6 1/3 innings and was flirting with a perfect game into the fourth inning.  Then on Monday in his first career start, Patrick Corbin gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.  Of course then to add insult to injury for the Marlins, Heath Bell came into the game on Monday after the Fish had fought their way back into the game at 7-5 and gave up two runs in the ninth.  Bell now was a 10.80 ERA and a 2.70 WHIP this year for the Marlins.

It is two bad because the Marlins have been better the last two games.  After a stretch where the Marlins scored 6 runs in 6 games, the Marlins scored 9 runs in the previous two games.  On Sunday finally ended his homer less streaking hitting his first of the season in the ninth inning.  Then on Monday, both Donnie Murphy and Austin Kearns hit their second home runs of the season.  The Marlins ended April with their second lowest team batting average in team history for the first month of the season with an average of .228.  However in the last three games the Marlins have totaled 24 hits.  So hopefully they are starting to turn things around.

The Marlins did make some moves following their loss on Sunday.  The Marlins sent OF Chris Coghlan and RP Mike Dunn down the Triple-A New Orleans and have called up OF Bryan Petersen and Dan Jennings.  Coghlan and Dunn have both really struggled in the last two weeks.  Coghlan's batting average has dropped down to .118 while Dunn's ERA has risen to 9.53.

The Marlins are now flying out to San Francisco for a nine game road trip starting Tuesday.

  • Tuesday at 10:15 in San Francisco: Ricky Nolasco (2-0) vs Matt Cain (1-1)
  • Wednesday at 10:15 in San Francisco: Carlos Zambrano (0-2) vs Barry Zito (1-0)
  • Thursday at 3:45 in San Francisco: Anibal Sanchez (1-0) vs Ryan Vogelsong (0-9
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Tue, 01 May 2012 00:38:28 +0000
Sanchez Ks 14 and Hanley Breaks Long 0 for Slump with Walk Off Hit http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/sanchez-ks-14-and-hanley-breaks-long-0-for-slump-with-walk-off-hit.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/sanchez-ks-14-and-hanley-breaks-long-0-for-slump-with-walk-off-hit.html Hanley_Celebrates_WalkoffWith Stanton standing on second base and two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of a 2-2 game, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to intentionally walk Jose Reyes to pitch to Hanley Ramirez who was in the middle of an 0 for 26 slump.  Then with one swing of the bat Hanley's hitting streak and the Marlins six game losing streak both came to an end.  In what can only be described as a hell of a win for the Fish, the Marlins fought back from an 0-2 whole to win 3-2 tonight.

To say this game did not start out well would also be an understatement.   In the first two inning, starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez gave up four walks, three hits, and two runs on 56 pitches.  He looked as though he was on his way to being pulled very early in this game, but he was able to get the final two outs before giving up a run and then retired the next 15 consecutive batters on his way to a career high 14 strikeout night.  However, despite as good as Sanchez played it looked as though the Marlins were still on the verge of their seventh loss in a row.

In the previous six games the Marlins had had all six starting pitchers pitch a minimum of six inning and not let up more than two runs, but do to a hitting slump by seemingly the entire team they lost all of those games, scoring just six runs in six games.  And threw six innings today the Marlins continues to strand runners in scoring position, the worst of it being when after a Greg Dobbs lead off triple Brett Hayes and Chris Coghlan both struck out before Anibal Sanchez lined out.  This was just after an inning where the Marlins had runners on second and third with one out and failed to score.  Then in the seventh inning Omar Infante, who did not start today due to his sore groin, pitched hit for Anibal and was able to leg out a triple he hit over the head of Geraldo Para.  Two batters later, Jose Reyes, who blamed himself for the teams struggle to hit and was moved down to second in the batting order today, was able to single to right and score Infante.  It was the Marlins first run scored in 19 innings.  Then in the bottom of the 8th Logan Morrison hit a solo home run, the first home run to right field in Marlins Park history, to tie the game at two.  Hanley then went on to win it in the 9th, and when all was said and done the Marlins finished the game today with 10 hits and only allowed one Diamondback player to reach base after the second. 

So now that they were able to not only win a game, but to do so in such dramatic fashion and to have both Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez get such huge RBI singles today, the question that people want to know is can this win spark the offense for the Marlins?  In truth only time will tell, but you would like to think so, especially with the way it ended you would think that it would just be a huge confidence boost to both Hanley and Reyes.  However it does need to be pointed out that this was also not the typical Marlins line up.  Both Stanton and Infante did get in the game and both got a hit and scored a run, but they both did so as a pitch hitter.  The Marlins actually started Dobbs in right field, Chris Coghlan in center, Brett Hayes (who hit two doubles today) at catcher, and Emilio Bonifacio was moved up to the leadoff position and played second base.  

So will the Marlins just fall back to their slump when they go back to a normal line up? Will this win spark a hot streak for the Marlins? Was today just an aberration?  Only time will tell, and for now it the 32,000 people at Marlins Park and the other thousands who watched on TV should just bask in the good feeling that comes from such a great win.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Sun, 29 Apr 2012 02:08:33 +0000
Marlins Coming Home After Disastrous Road Trip http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-comeing-home-after-disastrous-road-trip.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-comeing-home-after-disastrous-road-trip.html 0-5It seems only fitting that on the last day of the road trip, with the Marlins with their best chance to finally get a win they had Heath Bell blow his third save of the season by walking four batters and giving up a single to end the game.  While not all of the Marlins played poorly, the 0-5 road trip the Marlins had against divisional opponents can only be described as a disastrous trip.  In the five games the Marlins played (two at Washington and three at New York) they scored a total of six runs.  An embarrassing fact that was only made more painful by the fact that the Marlins lost three of those games by a run and just gave up a total of 15 runs in those five games.  Just miserable.  While the bullpen deserve some of the blame for the Marlins failure to win a game on the road trip (they gave up 8 half of the teams runs and walked about a months worth of batters), I put most of the blame on the everyday guys.

Possibly had the Marlins been able to hit the some runs it would have taken a little pressure off of the bullpen so they did not have to come to the mound and feel like they had to pitch perfect or else.  In the five game stretch as a team the Marlins went 25 for 159 (.157 average) from the plate with only eight extra base hits, three by Gaby Sanchez. After today's game only Omar Infante, Logan Morrison and Greg Dobbs are still hitting over .300 with the next two highest batting averages being Emilio Bonifacio (.261) and Gincarlo Stanton (.246), who only has four extra base hits all year.  It is staggering just how poorly this team hits in the games that they lose in comparison to the games that they win, (check out my last article to see the numbers going into Tuesday night's game).  And if that was not bad enough, the team has also hurt themselves by making plenty of fielding mistakes on this road trip.  While only credited with two errors in the five games, anyone who watched every game could tell you that at least three out the 15 runs let up this road trip were due to fielding mistakes.

It really is an absolute shame that the Marlins offense was so bad because the Marlins starters were outstanding.  In the five games the Marlins starting staff pitched a total of 34 1/3 innings and gave up only seven total run while striking out 32 and walking only three, Josh Johnson being the only one who did not go a full seven innings.  Again, the Marlins starters walked only THREE total batters in the five games, meanwhile the Marlins bullpen had two innings where they gave up four innings in each.  Putting up the numbers that the Marlins pitchers did you would have expected the team to have gone at least 4-1 not 0-5.  

The only other bit of good news is that Edward Mujica, who had a line drive hit him in the throwing hand appears to be okay.  Although it is unclear about whether or not he will pitch in this weekend's series, no bones were broken and he is not expected to go onto the DL.

So the Marlins down return back to Miami for a four game home stand versus the Arizona Diamondbacks starting tomorrow night.

  • Friday at 7:10-- Carlos Zambrano (0-1) vs Joe Sauders (0-1)
  • Saturday at 7:10-- Anibal Sanchez (1-0) vs Ian Kennedy (3-0)
  • Sunday at 1:10-- Josh Johnson (0-2) vs Wade Miley (2-0)
  • Monday at 12:40--  Mark Buehrle (1-3) vs Josh Collmenter (0-2)
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:01:25 +0000
Consistency is Killing the Marlins http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/consistency-is-killing-the-marlins.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/consistency-is-killing-the-marlins.html With the Marlins 2-1 loss against the Mets last night a real trend has begun to emerge with the Fish.  When the Marlins struggle from the plate they don't win.  In the teams nine losses the Marlins have scored on average only 1.7 runs per game, and if you take out the two losses the Marlins have because of Heath Bell's blown saves that number droops to 0.9 runs per game.  It is an absolutely staggering drop off when you take into account the fact that the Marlins are scoring 5.4 runs per game in their victories.  It is almost like the Marlins on any given day are either going to hit the ball all around the ball park or the team is not going to hit at all.  Part of the reason the team is not scoring on a consistent bases is that that have the National Leagues 12th ranked batting average (.237) and the team is still waiting for Jose Reyes (.217), Hanley Ramirez (.250) and Gaby Sanchez (.215) to get stated this season and hit with consistency.  Those are three players who should be hitting .280+ for the season.  The Marlins are also waiting for Giancarlo Stanton to be more productive as well.  Still waiting for his first home run of the season, Stanton has only 5 RBI this year (2 more than Donnie Murphy) and has been moved down to fifth or sixth in the batting order depending on the night.  When Omar Infante has been arguably your most productive offensive player and you have the lineup that the Marlins have, something is wrong.

Of course their hitting woes are also taking away from the good job the Marlins pitchers are doing, ranked sixth in the National League with a 3.22 ERA.  In the games the Marlins have lost, they are giving up 4 runs per game, but if you take out the Heath Bell blown saves that number drops down to 3.6 which is not that far from the average runs per game against the Marlins in their victories (3.2 runs per game).  It is almost amazing to consider how good the Marlins would be had that not blown so many save opportunities.  Despite getting succeeding on only 33% of their save opportunities, the Marlins bullpen has the 3rd lowest ERA in the NL and the 2nd lowest bating average against.

So while many will say that the Marlins just need to score and they will turn things around, thats not exsactly the caes.  The Marlins could just need to score on a more consistent bases (they actually average 3.6 runs per game thru 16 games) instead of scoreing 6 runs in one game and 0 in the next, and then they will be on the right path.  Hopefully guys like Reyes, Hanley, Gaby, and Stanton will start hitting like the players they are and the Marlins can get some consistency starting tonight.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Wed, 25 Apr 2012 20:01:40 +0000
Marlins over .500 with Sweep of Cubs http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-over-500-with-sweep-of-cubs.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-over-500-with-sweep-of-cubs.html Although it was the lowest home attendance of the year, it was still as loud as almost any game from Sun Life Stadium at 4pm on Thursday as Heath Bell got his second save of the season.  The 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs gave the Marlins their first series sweep of the season and improved their record to over .500 for the first time in 2012, at 7-6.

The Miami Marlins can take away a lot of positives from this series as the Marlins pretty much dominated this series from start to finish.  The Cubs scored the first run of the series, but were out scored 19-5 the rest of the way.  The Marlins were lead by some good pitching for starters Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Ricky Nolasco, and also the offensive play of Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio.

Josh Johnson wad unquestionable his best start of 2012 going seven innings, giving up only two runs, but also the fact that his fastball was back up to the usual 95mph.  He still gave up seven hits while only striking out three, but with him just really now starting to get back into his usual form I’d let it slid for now.  Of course it will also help JJ knowing that Mark Buehrle can have nights like he did Wednesday so he will not have to carry the Fish’s rotation.  On Wednesday night in Buehrle’s first start in front of his new home crowd he pitched eight innings giving up only one run and striking out five.  Buehrle was able to get his first win of the season while lowering his ERA to 2.66 and his WHIP to 1.16.  The Marlins pitching staff was also able to breath a sigh of relief as closer Heath Bell recorded his first two saves of the year, both of them retiring the Cubs batters in order.

On the offensive side Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio have been on a real hot streak.  In the three games versus the Cubs Hanley went 4 for 11 with 4 runs, 5 RBI, 2 HR, and a stolen base.  Meanwhile Emilio Bonifacio was 5 for 11 with 3 run, an RBI, and 4 stolen bases.  Bonifacio has actually hit safely in every game but two and he leads MLB with 9 stolen bases already this season.  Actually the Marlins lead the major leagues in stolen bases as Reyes, Bonifacio, and Hanley have combines for 16 stolen bases.

The Marlins also got a lift from their bench in this series with Donnie Murphy playing for Infante on Wednesday, and Dobbs, Hayes, and Murphy all playing on Thursday.  Combind this series they were 4 for 13 with 2 runs and 5 RBI, including a two run home run by Murphy on Wednesday.  It can not be underestimated just how big it is that the Marlins bench continues to play will.  It allows guys to take a day off every now and then so they can stay fresh for the end of what is a long baseball season, and also if the Marlins want to make serious noise getting into and advancing in the playoffs having good play from players off the bench will a big advantage.  One only needs to look at the ’04 Red Sox and the Yankee teams that won 3 out of 4 World Series in the late 90’s to see how a good bench can make a real difference.

While the Marlins had a lot of positives to take away from this past home stand, it needs to be mentioned that the Marlins did go 5-1 versus two teams that are not even going to sniff the playoff this year.  In all likelihood the Astros and Cubs will finish in fifth and sixth place in the NL Central.  Also not everything came up roses for the fish.  Omar Infante had to miss three of those games to rest a tight groin, and Jose Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton are still having trouble getting started this year.  In this past six game home stand Reyes went 5 for 23 and Stanton was 6 for 21, and they have combined for 3 RBI (same amount Donnie Murphy had on Wednesday).  On the season Reyes is hitting .226 and Stanton is at .261 but neither has gone yard this year either.  It is still early and both teams have time to turn it around in terms of putting up good numbers in 2012, but the Marlins will need both to be more productive if they wish to go 5-1 on their up coming road trip.

The Marlins will fly out Thursday night to prepare for a six game road trip starting in Washington to play the 10-3 Nationals.  The Marlins then will take a train, yes a train, on they’re off day on Monday and head up to New York to play the Mets.

  • Friday 7:10pm at Washington: Carlos Zambrano (0-0) vs Detwiler (1-0)
  • Saturday 1:05pm at Washinton: Anibal Sanchez (1-0) vs Stephen Strasburg (2-0)
  • Sunday 1:35pm at Washington: Josh Johnson (0-2) vs Gio Gonzalez (1-0)
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:41:48 +0000
Small Fish: April 18 News & Notes http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/small-fish-april-18-news-a-notes.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/small-fish-april-18-news-a-notes.html Ozzie Guillen: In his first game back after a five game suspension many were waiting to see what fan reactions to Ozzie Guillen were going to be in Miami after his comments about Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and his apology.  And as it turns out the reaction was very inderwelming.  Their were only one or two portesters outside before the game and maybe just a hand full of comments yelled at Ozzie from inside the stadium.  Not to sure if this is becuase people were waiting to see if he lives up to his words of becoming more involved in the Cuban community, people accepted his appology, or people were just boycotting Ozzie by staying home.  If anything more comments were yelled at Heath Bell on Tuesday night on his way out to the mound in the 9th inning on Tuesday.

Omar Infante:  Omar will be sitting out of Wednesday and Thursday's games against the Cubs due to tightness in left groin.  This is pretty much just a precausionary messure and Infante will be avalible to pitch hit in both games if needed.  Donnie Murphy will be starting in Infante's place.

Heath Bell:  Marlins fans can finally beath a sigh of relief as last night Bell got his first save in a Marlins uniform.  After blowing his first two save opportunities as a Marlins, Bell came into Tuesday's game with the Marlins leading 5-2 in the 9th.  Bell, after being told by a fan sitting at the Clevelander not to "blow this one", was able to retire the Cubs in order and secure the Marlins victory.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:46:15 +0000
Marlins Overcome Themselves to Take 2 of 3 from Astros http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-overcome-themselves-to-take-2-of-3-from-astros.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/marlins-overcome-themselves-to-take-2-of-3-from-astros.html Despite the Marlins best efforts they were still able to win their first series of the season taking two of three from the Houston Astros.  Oddly enough all three of the games ended with the same 5-4 score.  The first two games of the series both saw the Marlins take 4-1 leads going late into the games before giving up the lead in the 9th inning.  Luckily on Friday night the Marlins only gave up the tying run and the Marlins were able to win the game later thanks to Gaby Sanchez's first walk off hit of this career.  Saturday the fish were not as lucky on Saturday night as Heath Bell in his second save attempt as a Marlins let up four runs and got the loss.  Sunday was different as the Astros took a 3-1 and 4-2 lead before Hanley Ramirez hit a 2-run home run to tie the game in the 8th.  Luckily Chad Gaudin was able to pitch three scoreless innings in relief and in the 11th inning Hanley Ramirez again came to the rescue hitting a walk off hit with the bases loaded and one out.

All and all it was just a series of miss ques and errors for the Marlins, from Logan Morrison dropping a fly ball, balls getting past Omar Infante and Jose Reyes, Reyes and Infante colliding together on an infield fly, Emilio Bonifacio unable to pick the ball up cleanly on the warning track, ext.  In the three games the Marlins had a total of seven errors.  The bullpen gave up seven runs and had two blown save.  Even the television broadcast had technical difficulties in the 11th inning.  So all and all it was just a calamity of errors for the Marlins this series and they were lucky to get away from it with two wins.

Even with all of that the only real question the Marlins fans and team has to wonder is what is wrong with Heath Bell.  Bell was one of the Marlins major additions this off season and had a good spring training so no one was anticipating what has happened in his two save opportunities this year.  The two times Bell has come in for a chance to get a save he has given up six runs (four earned) on eight hits.  In his other two appearances Bell has two innings pitched and has given up no runs, no hits, three walks (all in one game), and two strikeouts.  For now the Marlins have no choice but to continue to send him to the mound and hope that this is just some weird aberration, considering his numbers and efficiency the past few year it should be, but out side of Mariano Rivera it is not uncommon for a closer to go from best in the game to just an average guy in a matter of a season.

All that being said the Marlins did have some good individual performances in the series.  Omar Infante hit the first Marlin to hit a home run at Marlins Park.  All three starting pitchers in this series, Nolasco, Zambrano, and Sanchez, gave up less than two earned runs, although none of them made it past the sixth inning.  Although it ended on Sunday Emilio Bonifacio did have a eight game hit streak. Also Gaby Sanchez got his first career.  Finally Hanley Ramirez seemed to have come alive in the final two games of the series as he went 7 for 9 with four RBI, two runs, a home run, and had his second career walk off hit on Sunday.

The Marlins have a day off on Monday to help rest a rather tired bullpen, and will have a three game series against the Chicago Cubs starting on Tuesday.  They will also have Ozzie Guillen back on the bench managing on Thursday.

  • Tuesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Josh Johnson (0-2) vs Ryan Dempster (0-1)
  • Wednesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Mark Buehrle (0-2) vs Matt Garza (1-0) 
  • Thursday 12:40 at Marlins Park: Ricky Nolasco (1-0) vs Jeff Samardzija (2-0)
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Sun, 15 Apr 2012 20:37:23 +0000
Phillies Take 2 of 3 From Marlins http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/phillies-take-2-of-3-from-marlins.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/phillies-take-2-of-3-from-marlins.html It is amazing how seemingly one play in one random inning can turn the tern the tides in an entire series.  In game one of the series on Monday the Marlins beat down the Phillies on their home opener, and the 6-2 score does not even show how badly the Marlins beat them.  After losing in the 9th inning the day before the Marlins came to Philadelphia Monday and knocked Cole Hamels around for four runs in 5 1/3 innings.  The Marlins ended up hitting three home runs that day, two by Omar Infante, and cruised to the easy win even with Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton taking the day off. 

Then after an off day on Tuesday that saw Ozzie Guillen fly back to Miami to apologies to everyone about his comments about Fidel Castro, the Guillenless Marlins (Ozzie was suspended for the next 5 games) took to the field on Wednesday to face Roy Halladay.  In the past several matchups between the Marlins and the Phillies where on the hill it had been Roy Halladay versus Josh Johnson runs had been at a premium with several of those games ending at just 1-0.  So things look good for the Marlins going into the third inning as they had a 1-0 lead and had three hits already off the usually unhittable Roy Halladay.  However things changed in the third when former Marlins Juan Pierre singled with one out in the inning.  Then on a steal attempt he was called safe by the umpire although most of the Marlins players believed, and the look on replay, that Jose Reyes had made the tag on Pierre before he reached the bag.  After that Placido Polanco singled to score Pierre and the wheels fell off for Josh Johnson and the Marlins.  Josh Johnson would give up six hits and five runs that inning.  The Phillies would go on to win 7-1 and the Marlins only had one hit in the game after the third inning.The next day the Marlins were not much better as they lost the rubber match 3-1. 

The Marlins are now just 2-5, and have scored a total of three runs in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle's combined four starts.  However neither of those pitchers have been as good as advertised in their four starts either.  Buehurle does have the better numbers with a 3.65 ERA and 7 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, but anyone who has watched the games this year would tell you that he have not been at the top of his game, as evident by the 15 hits he has given up.  Meanwhile Josh Johnson really has looked like a guy struggling to find his rhythm coming back after missing almost an entire season.  In 2012 JJ is 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA giving up 21 hits, nine runs, three walks, while only striking out five in 9 2/3 innings.  It is no where near time to panic, if the Marlins offense had been able to produce a little more run support in those four games the Fish could have a 2-2 record instead of 0-4.  Also the Marlins have six home games coming up against the Astros and Cubs, and you would like to think that the worse the Marlins will do in those six games is go 4-2.

With all that negativity their are still two players who continue to produce on the offensive side of the ball in Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante.  Omar Infante is having the polar opposite start in 2012 to what he had in 2011.  This year in the first seven games, Infante is hitting .360 with four RBI, seven runs, three double, a triple, and is the Marlins leader in home runs with three.  Boniffacio seems to be picking up where he left off last year as he has a six game hitting streak and is batting .370 with 1 RBI, 4 runs, and 4 stolen bases.  While most would prefer it if it were Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez hitting it this well to start the year (they are a combined 7 for 49 in 2012) right now the Marlins will take any offense they can get.

Next Series versus Houston Astros

  • Friday: Ricky Nolasco vs. Lucas Harrell 7:10pm at Marlins Park
  • Saturday: Carlos Zambrano vs. Bud Norris 7:10pm at Marlins Park
  • Sunday: Anibal Sanchez vs. J.A. Happ 1:10pm at Miami Park
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Fri, 13 Apr 2012 12:47:01 +0000
Ozzie Guillen Apologizes but Gets Suspended for 5 Games http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/ozzie-guillen-apologizes-but-gets-suspended-for-5-games.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/ozzie-guillen-apologizes-but-gets-suspended-for-5-games.html Ozzie_ApologySince last Friday, when Ozzie Guillen's Time Magazine quotes came out, the fire storm and negative momentum towards Ozzie has continued to swell in Miami, this despite the fact that Ozzie done nothing but apologize since.  On Monday Ozzie went on to the Marlins Spanish broadcast to apologize to the fans, and then he apologize personally to Jose Contaras, a Cuban born pitcher for the Phillies, and Contraras did accept his apology. With Cuban American groups in Miami vowing to boycott Marlins games, people calling in to sports and Spanish radio stations calling for Ozzie to be fired, and local politicians saying that the Marlins should fire their manager, Guillen decided to use the Marlins day off to day to fly back to Miami and address the media.  Then with 15 minutes to go before the press conference began it was announced that effective immediately he would be suspended for five games.

The with dozens of protesters outside the stadium looking up at the big screen and with just about every local media channel interrupting their broadcast, Ozzie Guillen sat down alone in the large interview room at Marlins Park at 10:40am and gave what seemed like a very apology, where he did get a little choked up.  Ozzie came out speaking in Spanish, which is something that even Dan Lebatard on Mike and Mike earlier that morning suggested that he do, both because it is his native language so it would be easier for him to communicate and also because the people he needs to address the most are predominantly Spanish speaker.  According to Ozzie what he said was altered slightly when his quotes in Time Magazine was misinterpreted as he was trying to put his thoughts, which are in Spanish into English words.  What he was trying to say was that he was simply surprised that Fidel Castro has been able to stay in power as long as he has with everything that he has done.  Guillen said that he is very embarrassed and sad about the whole situation and that he will accept the Marlins decision to suspend him for the five games.  Ozzie says that he plans to be in Miami for a long time and he will do what ever is in his power to help the Cuban and Latino community.

Several quotes from Guillen just so you get what he said in his apology:  "I'm sorry I hurt the city, the community,. It was not intentional but I did it. .. I would like to apologize." "I feel like I betrayed the Latin community." "I'm here to say im sorry with my heart in my hands. I'm here on my knees apologizing to all the Latin American communities."  "Pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship."

Ozzie did try to make it as clear as possible that he does not support any action taken by Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, and that he is extremely sorry for any pain that he has caused those in the Latin American community.  He also said that he understands and says that people have a right to be upset about his comments.  According to Ozzie he has only ever apologised twice for comments that he has made, and he does it because he is truly sorry for what he said.  He offered to go and talk to local business owners and individuals in the Cuban communities if the Marlins Ownership wanted him to.  Ozzie says that this was one of the biggest mistakes of his life and that he will learn from it, an maybe he has because it seemed like for the first time Ozzie seemed to actually think about his response to a question a little before answering it.  Guillen also vowed that his will be the last time that he would ever talk about politics.

While I understand the context in which the quote was said, I am also simply just a white guy who grew up in central Connecticut.  I really do not have a direct connection to the people who Ozzie's comments have upset.  So when I heard the context of the quotes I new that they were a horrible thing to say, but I understood that he is not saying that he likes Castro's politics but rather that he just likes the fact that Castro has despite everyone being against him he was survived and stayed in power.  I also understood that Ozzie Guillen who talks first and thinks about what he says afterwords, so I personally put very little stock into what Ozzie says.

But older Cubans who have lost loved ones and still remember their fight to escape Cuba, many of whom live Little Havana where the new Marlins Park is located, do not care about the context.  The fact is, is that Fidel Castro in Miami is like Osama Bin Ladin and Adolf Hitler in the rest of America, just one of those people that you are just not allowed to say anything positive about them.  Personally I do not believe that he should be fired and the Marlins Organization does not want to fire him, and he will not be fired in the immediate future but at some point if their is a large scale ban and protest from the Cuban community the team maybe forced to get rid of him in the future.  While no one comment he could say today could completely undo what he has said, but he did seem to say a lot of the right things and hopefully this will be the first big step to putting this all behind us.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:48:04 +0000
Heath Bell Blows 1st Save Chance, Marlins Fall to 1-3 http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/heath-bell-blows-1st-save-chance-marlins-fall-to-1-3.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/april/heath-bell-blows-1st-save-chance-marlins-fall-to-1-3.html 8Coming off the first two game of the season in which the team failed to produce offensively, only one run and seven hits, and Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle were also less than stealer performance Friday's day off could not have come at a better time.  In that day off the team seemed to have been able to finally exhale and relax from all of the opening day charades they had to go through on Wednesday and Thursday.  So on Saturday the team came out and looked like the team that many expected to see coming into the 2012 season. 

After being so offensively inept in their first two games the Marlins on Saturday came out and pounded the ball all around the Great American Ballpark.  The Marlins scored eight runs on 12 hits, seven of which are extra base hits, and Omar Infante was a single away from becoming the first Marlins player to hit from the cycle.  The Marlins also had Ricky Nolasco pitch a great game going for eight innings with five strike outs and only giving up three runs. 

On Sunday the Marlins looked as though they were continuing their good play from the day before.  In his first start for the Marlins Carlos Zambrano gave up two hits and two walks to the first four batters, which resulted in a 3-0 Reds lead after the 1st inning, but after that Zambrano was able to settle down and pitch extremely well.  Before giving up a home run to Jay Bruce in the 6th, Zambrano retired 17 of 18 batters with the loan exception being a single by Brandon Philips in the 2nd.  In the end Zambrano gave up four runs, four hits, six strike outs, and while he walked over 20 men in spring training he gave up only two walks today. Offensively the team continued their hot play with 11 hits scoring five runs.  In the two games, Giancarlo Stanton and Omar Infante have played outstanding while Emilio Bonifacio is picking up where he left off last year.  Bonifacio since the off day is 4 for 9 with three runs, an RBI, and three stolen bases.

Going into the ninth inning on Sunday it looked as though the Marlins were on the verge of getting back to .500 before going to Philadelphia.  The Fish had a 5-4 lead with their new closer Heath Bell with his first chance to get a save for the Marlins, after getting a clean 1-2-3 ninth inning the day before.  Unfortunately things did not go according to plan as Jay Bruce hit his second solo home run of the game, third of the series, to lead off the ninth. Then later in the inning, with Drew Stubbs on third, a man on first, and one out, Scott Rolen hit a hard ground ball down the third base line and Hanley bobbled the ball allowing Stubbs to score and the Reds to win 6-5.

7While the Marlins are off to a disappointing 1-3 start heading into Philadelphia, the team has shown enough that should be encouraging to most fans.  Keep in mind the two teams the Marlins have played thus far would be in contention for the NL Central title and a wild card spot in the final month of the season.  Despite the first two games the Marlins offense is looking like they are as potent as most people believed they could be, and despite not all being at the top of their games the Marlins pitching staff looks as though they can be one of the tops in baseball.  The one aspect of the Marlins team that thus far has not living up to what most people would have hoped for is the bullpen.  The Marlins bullpen has given up six runs and has a blown save in only four games.

The Marlins start a three game series tomorrow against the Phillies in Philadelphia, and just like in Cincinnati they will be having to deal with the Opening Day and Opening Night celebrations.

  • Monday: Anibal Sanchez v Cole Hamels - 1:05pm
  • Wednesday: Josh Johnson (0-1) v Roy Halladay (1-0) - 7:05pm
  • Thursday: Mark Buehrle (0-1) vs. Joe Blanton (0-1) - 7:05pm
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) April Sun, 08 Apr 2012 20:04:20 +0000