There are many ways that the second half can play out, but the Fish want one result and that is to make it over the hump this season. It's truly been a roller coaster type of season - with a zero to sixty 11-1 start, a seven game drop, a bumpy stretch of bad luck and a stabilizing recovery. Now they start the second half just above .500 at 46-44 with striking distance from playoff contention.
In all the team has gone through a growing experience as a unit. The pitching has stabilized and the offense has become less sporadic. Josh Johnson has emerged as the ace and Chris Volstad and Ricky Nolasco have strung together solid starts. Hanley Ramirez has gotten back to a .300 plus batting average and is one of the top batters in the Majors once again.
On the other hand, relief pitching is still a major question with the team and some position players are still underperforming. Matt Lindstrom has been very volatile - having some very dominant saves and some embarrassing finishes. Leo Nunez is still young and not ready to grab the reigns as a closer. As for the position player questions, fans are still waiting for the real Dan Uggla to emerge while Jorge Cantu and Jeremy Hermida have cooled down in recent times.
Where the Marlins stand now is on a sturdy ship sailing over rough seas. Direction, focus and proper team work can sail this ship towards the promised land, but inconsistency, stagnation and lack of passion could stray the ship away into peril. Will they grab hold of the wheel and steer towards their desired destination? That's the big question that will be answered in the second half.
* * *
For in-depth analysis of the Florida Marlins all season long, Marlin Maniac offers some of the most detailed analyses of Marlins baseball. Whether it's using a complex calculation to determine the team's overall performance or statistical observations on individual players, Marlin Maniac provides plenty of information for Fish fans. He's even taken Miami Sports Generation to task over a story on a trade proposal, but he's still our buddy.