Defense, defense, defense

Yesterday was ugly, certainly not the start to the season that we would have hoped for. If I had to poll you maniacs about the ugliest part of yesterday, I’d imagine the #1 answer would be something about airmailing pickoff throws and other defensive misgivings.

Let’s lay out that sixth inning.

- Clay Hensley airmails a throw to first, advancing a runner from first to second

- Dan Meyer airmails a throw to first, advancing a runner from first to third

- Gaby Sanchez bobbles a throw at his feet

Three errors is always ugly, especially when it all comes in one inning. But there were more defensive problems.

For example, Cameron Maybin misplayed two balls pretty badly. Admittedly, the sun was involved in those misses. But on a popup in the fourth inning and the Rod Barajas double in the sixth, Maybin took poor routes to start on the ball and ended up looking awful.

Outside of the solid play from Hanley Ramirez and the diving stab on a line drive by Jorge Cantu, you can’t say anyone was all that impressive defensively yesterday. But put it in perspective. That sixth inning was enough to make any fan throw something, but what are the odds of that happening again? What are the odds that it happens consistently? The team’s defense is projected to cost us about 25 runs. Yesterday, I’d imagine it literally cost us three of those runs. It’s highly doubtful the defense will hand out chunks of runs in this fashion again.

Sure, the defense will be bad, but expect that bad to be far more spread out than it was in that sixth inning. More disconcerting to me was Josh Johnson’s ugly performance, though I’ll be getting to that later in the series recap on Friday. For now, I’d say we should all be thankful that today is an off-day and it will let us regroup and recollect our bearings as fans for Wednesday’s game. Having to watch that team go on the field today after yesterday’s debacle would have been difficult.

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Tags: Cameron Maybin Clay Hensley Dan Meyer Miami Marlins

  • Port

    i have to agree with you on that last sentiment, although I must admit i’m a little selfish and need marlins games on every night! i think it’s safe to say that with the errors that it won’t happen again, but to me, those misplays by maybin seems like an extension of his former scouting reports. young man has sunglasses, he shouldn’t be losing that ball!

    • Michael Jong


      When I see Maybin, I think of a great defensive CF. But when I watch him PLAY, he does seem to be a little more lost than I’d like out there. Clearly, he can cover range, but he may be like Jacoby Ellsbury in Boston: speedy, but with poor jumps and first steps out there. If he has a hard time judging the ball, even his speed can’t make up the problems all the time. I expect he’ll be better, but it’s something to watch for.

  • JoeA.


    I think Josh had a couple of things going against him there. He was not only coming off an illness but he pitched against the Mets only a few days ago. I don’t understand why Freddi didn’t have him throw in a minor league game that day instead of facing the team he would be opening the season against. As for the defense, I guess it’s better to give up a few runs defensively in a game where we probably would have lost anyway than a close one.

    • Michael Jong


      Fair enough. I’m more than willing to give him slack; everyone has a bad start. Even as I watched yesterday’s game, I kept telling myself “Don’t jump to conclusions, everything’s fine. JJ’s fine. He’ll pitch better next time.” Hopefully he feels better and looks better.

      My biggest concern is that him pitching poorly yesterday may knock him out of starting on Saturday night against the Dodgers (I believe Tommy or Rich mentioned something like that in the broadcast). You know I still haven’t seen this core live at the stadium yet, and I would really like to catch Johnson rather than see Sanchez in my only live game for a little while (I may try to catch another one later this summer).

  • Moti


    Like Joe, I need fish games on every night! I think it would be best for the team to play tonight in order to avoid dwelling on yesterday. I would want to even the record ASAP.

    • Michael Jong


      If we had won, I’d be right there with you. With the loss, I’d be edgy, worried something like that 6th inning would happen again. Today has helped me calm down. Still, I waited five months for baseball, I want it back and as often as possible.

  • JoeA.


    Anibal is indeed listed as the probable pitcher for Saturday night. My deepest condolences to you….

    • Michael Jong


      A shame. I’ll settle for Anibal, hope he doesn’t throw a stinker. It’ll be my girlfriend’s first baseball game, and I don’t want to ruin the live experience for her.

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