Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marlins Lose First Series of Season

April 22, 2010

Two games into the series against the Houston Astros, the Florida Marlins have officially lost their first series of the season. Prior to dropping the first two of this three-game series, Florida had won three series and tied one. As fate would have it, the two consecutive losses to the Astros came at the hands of for Marlins' closer Matt Lindstrom.

Drowned under the limelight of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Marlins will avoid a series sweep tonight before they head to Colorado Friday for a weekend series versus the Rockies. Currently the Marlins hold a record of 8-7 and are third in the NL East, behind the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

Just 15 games into the season, there is not much to be said about the team's future. But plenty can be said of the brief past. For one thing, the relief pitching has been as consistent as a politician's promises, while the offense has been honest to its expectations. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Manager Fredi Gonzalez to make his bullpen decisions game-in and game-out without second guessing himself. While he expects the bullpen to balance out as the season progresses, the Marlins must sure up their pitching if they hope to stay close in the division race.

The Marlins currently have five batters with over 35 AB exceeding the .300 batting average mark.Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla are posting averages north of .320 and both have 18 hits for the season. However, Jorge Cantu has surpassed the production of Ramirez and Uggla combined with four HRs and 18 RBIs. Even Cameron Maybin has chipped in with a .369 OBP at the lead off spot. On average, the complete Marlins offense tallies five plus runs per game.

What we are left is a team that shows sparks of brilliance, such as in the recent series against the Phillies, and glimpses of trouble like we are seeing in Houston. Last season was definitely a rollercoaster kind of season for the Fish and they still emerged with a solid 87 victories. If they can minimize the drastic freefall drops and stay on the climb more often, we may witness a post-90 wins season. But there is much work to be done.

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