Smell that? The fish must be in town. After a sorry start, the Marlins are suddenly 7-3 in their last 10 games, and have crawled their way over the .500 mark. Much of that is due to the fact they played a SF team that can't score, a Padres team that can't score, a Houston team that can't score, and a Mets team that can't stop you from scoring. Take away the wins in SF and SD on the road (since they are 25th and 29th in offense) and you've got a Marlins team with a 4-10 road record. I'd like to pile some more misery on top of their mediocrity.
Game 1: Buehrle v. Minor
Game 2: Nolasco v. Beachy
Oh good, Minor's on the hill. Yippee. In his last 3 starts, Minor's given up 6, 7, and 8 runs. Why is he still starting? Don't we have somebody in the minor leagues who can give up less than a run an inning? What about my buddy Medlen who has been banished to a bullpen purgatory even though he pitches circles around this kid? Is it because of the stupid hat? Must we all suffer because you can put a place-setting on Medlen's brim? Minor has given up 21 earned runs in his last 16 innings of work. He's walked 7 guys. He's given up 24 hits and 7 home runs. He has a 6.59 ERA on the season and opponents are slugging .509 against him. Maybe because he's a crappy lefty he gets to keep his job. I want to punch him in the face.
Minor faces off aginst Buehrle, the 12 year vet out of the White Sox who is now pulling a stint with the Marlins. Buehrle's got a 2.81 ERA on the season in 7 games with a 2-4 record. Reason? For the most part the Marlins lineup was wetting the bed in April. In Buehrle's 4 losses, he got 6 runs of support. In his wins he averaged over 6. Go figure. I'm actually fine if Freeman wants to take another day off today, because Hinske slugs .429 against Buehrle in his career. Also, BMac went 2/3 with a double last time he faced him. So in the limited ABs we have against a guy who pitched the majority of his career in the AL, we have fared pretty well.
Beachy is now into dancing bobcat status. 4 wins in his last 4 decisions, a 1.60 ERA, and a WHIP under 1.00 on the season. You all know that I believe he's the best pitcher we have. I don't need to go on and on with how awesome he's playing right now. However, he's the best pitcher in the NL. Go ahead and look it up. Nolasco is NOT the best pitcher in the NL. He has a 4-1 record as well, but with a 3.65 ERA, and his wins are against SF, SD, Reds, and the Cubs. Wake me when I care. The Mets lit him up in his last start for 6 runs on 9 hits, and he was gone after 4.2 innings. Matty D, JayHey, Chipper, BMac, Rossy, and Uggs all have an OPS over 1.000 against Nolasco. I'm not even going to qualify what needs to happen here. Losing this game would be a travesty.
Per request, I looked up our middle infield fielding stats to see what's been going on with Uggs and Pastornicky. Dan Uggla has 6 errors on the season, and is dead last amongst 2nd baseman in the NL. Pastornicky only has 3 errors, ranked 8th in the NL. In terms of combined errors in the middle infield we are tied for last with 7 other teams in the NL (Miami, Washington, Cubs, Colorado, Giants, and Dodgers). However, one stat I noticed as the Range Factor (Put Outs + Assists / 9 innings). Pastornicky is dead last in Range Factor amongst NL shortstops, and Uggla is 8th. In terms of combined range factor, we are 12th in the NL. I think the long and short of it is that we're struggling defensively up the middle.
Let's hope we don't give the Marlins any freebies tonight.