When I wrote a column about the Nationals’ struggles, they seemed to arise from the depths of losing and began to win games. So in the superstitious world of baseball, maybe the Marlins will have similar results after I remind the world that they are not winning at the moment. The Fish have lost seven in a row, and the worst part, six games came by one run.
At the beginning of the year, the Marlins were finding ways to win the one run games. Their starters went deep, their offense produced, and their bullpen locked down. Since Josh Johnson has been out, the one unfilled rotation spot has caused unease. Hanley Ramirez’s production has obviously been down, but now it seems that his mere presence in the clubhouse could have helped Florida. With both all stars on the DL, the team has been suffering. One other possibility for their low production is the distraction of the Buster Posey injury and continuing saga of blabber in response. As Florida ended a West Coast road trip, Brian Sabean, the Giants’ GM, called out Scott Cousins for the incident. Since then, the Giants have apologized and the Marlins have defended Cousins.
The Fish were swept for the first time this year, in four games to the Milwaukee Brewers. The first three of the series were really intense struggles lost by one run each. In game three, the Brew Crew dashed out to a 5-0 lead. But the Marlins battled back, and Brett Hayes hit a game tying grand slam in the sixth. With the score knotted at 5, the Marlins loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but failed to score. They lost in extras after an 11th inning Brewer homer.
Florida stayed at home for this week’s series against the Braves, and Brad Hand made his major league debut with a start on Tuesday. Hand pitched six innings of one-hit ball, but the one hit he allowed was a solo homer to former-Fish Alex Gonzalez. It’s hard to lost that great of a start, but the Marlins found a way not to score at all. Hand received his first major league loss in his first major league quality start.
Stranding runners has been a problem in recent times for Florida, especially in the clutch. Last night, Mike Stanton came through in the clutch, a feat that a Marlin has not accomplished in a while. He hit a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 2. Unfortunately, the Marlins couldn’t close it out that inning or in extras, losing bya score of 3-2.
There is good news here though, the Marlins have officially hit rock bottom, or close to it. So they can only go up from here. I guess technically they could be in a larger losing streak, or this streak could get longer, but they are at a low point right now nonetheless. Throughout this losing streak, the Phillies and Braves have not been doing amazingly either. I have stopped checking the standings altogether, though, because I don’t want to start a week morning out with a low point.
Well, writing a negative column about the Nationals seemed to kick start them, so it’s your turn Marlins!