Sunday, August 1, 2010

Marlins Make July Count

August 1, 2010

A grim picture faced the Florida Marlins entering the month of July with the season's midway point just around the corner.  In the games leading up to the All-Star break, Florida broke even with a 5-5 record in July, leaving them 10 games out of the division lead. At the month's end the Marlins are now 6.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves and are playing some of their strongest baseball all season long. In sum, the Marlins went 16-10 in the month of July and are 11-5 in their last 16 games.  

While Jorge Cantu is no longer part of the Marlins organization (traded to the Texas Rangers), the Fish acquired more help for their bullpen in the form of two minor league pitchers and a veteran arm from the Baltimore Orioles, Will Ohman. That still leaves the Marlins with a solid batting lineup and a potentially improved pitching staff down the stretch.

The team's performance in July may have put them back in the playoff conversation, but August will prove whether they can stay a part of that discussion. Facing all four division rivals this month, starting with the Philadelphia Phillies on August 3rd, the Marlins will need to extend their success in order to survive and advance in the standings.

Rapid-fire Recap of July Highlights
  • Dan Uggla gets hot after the All-Star break, hitting seven home runs in the last 16 games. Uggla's batting average for the month stood at .316 with a .396 on-base percentage and .611 slugging percentage.
  • Pitching improved in July with a team ERA of 3.76 (second lowest month of the season) and 208 strikeouts (most of any month this season). Marlins closer, Leo Nunez, touted a 2.31 ERA in July and had 10 saves in 11 save opportunities (only 16 saves in the previous three months combined).
  • The Fish pulled off a total of four walk-off victories in the month of July, all in the span of seven days during their late-month home stand. Donnie Murphy delivered two of those walk-offs, while Emilio Bonifacio had a significant impact in those games as well. 
  • The Marlins were 37-41 (four games under .500) prior to entering July and leave the month at two games over .500 (53-51).

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