Will The Real Marlins Stand Up?
The Marlins broke out of the gate this season with a three game sweep of the Nationals. They took two out of three from the Mets in their next series. The Marlins then swept the Braves and Nationals in their next two series and were atop the NL East with a 11-1 record.
All seemed to be going great when they traveled to Pittsburgh with a seven game winning streak. The Pirates showed they are not the pushovers they have been since 1992 by sweeping the Marlins and leaving the Marlins with a 11-4 record.
The Phillies visited the Marlins last Friday night and it looked like the Marlins were back on the winning track when they took a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning. All they needed was three outs and they would be 12-4 but Freddy Lindstrom couldn’t close out the game but instead opened the floodgates as the Phillies scored seven times in the frame.
Shane Victorino’s grand slam was the big blow in the inning and Chase Utley homered in the seven run inning. Josh Johnson was enroute to having a 3-0 record but had to watch his win disappear as Lindstrom struggled in the ninth inning and the Phillies won 7-3.
The Phillies defeated the Marlins 6-4 and 13-2 on Saturday and Sunday as the Marlins record fell to 11-7. The Marlins hit the road again on Monday to play the Mets and lost again 7-1 and lost their shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the process.
Emile Bonifacio the Marlins second baseman started the season on fire with 14 hits in his first 24 at bats and his batting average was .583. Bonifacio would only have only seven hits in his next 55 at bats over a 13 game stretch as his average tumbled to .266.
The Marlins offense could only muster two singles last night as John Maine handcuffed them and allowed only one unearned run and one hit in six innings.
Cameron Maybin was expected to have a breakthrough season in 2009 but so far he has been a huge disappointment to Marlin fans. He is hitting .189 and has one homer and one run batted in after his first 53 at bats of the season.
Dan Uggla has hit four homers and drove in 16 runs but is only hitting .217. After the first game of the second sweep of the Nationals Uggla has struggled and his .314 average then has dropped to .217. He was 0 for 21 over the last two games of the Nationals series and the three game sweep by the Pirates.
Matt Lindstrom had an ERA of 1.50 coming into the Phillies game on Friday night. By the time the smoke had cleared after the seven run outburst in the ninth inning his ERA was 10.80.
Ricky Nolasco has struggled out of the gate this season and hasn’t had a good start this season and is 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA. Andrew Miller the fifth starter has also struggled with a 0-1 record and a 6.94 ERA.
So now with the Marlins barely holding onto a half game lead over the Phillies in the NL East we will see if Nolasco can finally have a good start against veteran Livan Hernandez.
Tonight is the night for the real Marlins to stand up. Will it be the Marlins who started the season 11-1 or the Marlins that have a seven game losing streak?
The Red Sox have the longest current winning streak with a eleven game winning streak that enabled them to take over first place in the AL East last night…. The Marlins have the longest losing streak with seven consecutive losses.
The Blue Jays lead the majors in runs scored with 125 while the Orioles have given up the most runs with 134 runs scored against them…. The Astros and Diamonds have scored the least runs with 70 each while the Royals have allowed the least runs to score with 65.
Kevin Youkilis is the last .400 hitter this season and is hitting .414. In addition Youkilis is leading the majors in OBP at .523, is second in slugging behind Torii Hunter with his .729 mark. He also leads in OPS with a 12.52 percentage.
Carlos Pena is leading the majors in home runs with nine and is leading the AL in runs batted in with 24…. Chris Davis is leading the majors in strikeouts with 31 in 64 at bats with only four walks. ESPN.com projects Davis to strike out 277 times this season which would shatter the record and is also projected to hit 45 homers and drive in 81 runs.
Johan Santana, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum lead the majors in most strikeouts in a game with all three having 13 strikeout games….ESPN.com rates Aaron Harang with a 90 for the best pitched game of the 2009 season when he defeated the Pirates 2-0 pitching a complete game while allowing three hits and striking out nine.
Ryan Zimmerman with a 15 game hitting streak and Robinson Cano with a 13 game hitting streak have the longest current hitting streaks.
Felix Hernandez, Paul Maholm and Kyle Lohse will be trying for 4-0 records today while Chad Billingsley will be trying for a 5-0 record….Francisco Liriano and Manny Parra are the only 0-4 pitchers this season.
Andruw Jones continues to hit well for the Rangers as he is hitting .370 with two homers and five RBI’s. Seven of his ten hits have been for extra bases with two homers and five doubles. He has an OBP of .514, is slugging .778 and has an OPS of 1.292.