The Marlins capped off the series versus the Chicago White Sox with a 13-0 bashing, but the series was otherwise disappointing. Against two of Chicago’s best starters, the team faltered and was outscored 12-1.
Series Hero: Josh Johnson (0.111 WPA)
Series Goat: Ricky Nolasco (-0.187 WPA)
Impressed By: No one.
Depressed By: Nolasco (5 1/3 IP, 8 R, 3 K, 0 BB, 2 HR)
Nolasco, Johnson do not impress
On the surface, you can easily tell that Nolasco struggled. He allowed ten hits, two of them sent out of the park by Alexei Ramirez and Mark Kotsay. While he did not walk anyone, he was certainly not getting much by the White Sox. He only induced four whiffs in 73 pitches, leading to just three strikeouts. The home runs had to be the most frustrating part. Nolasco’s season would otherwise be just fine if he were to allow home runs at an average rate, but he is allowing too many jacks out of the park. Part of it is likely bad luck (such as Ramirez’ homer), but according to FanGraphs, Nolasco’s HR/FB% are currently hovering close to his career rate. Hopefully, we don’t have another Chris Volstad situation on our hands
The odd game was the one Josh Johnson put up. Johnson allowed only six hits in six innings, but he walked and surprisingly struck out none. It is the first time in Johnson’s career that he had gone five or more innings in a start and failed to strike out a batter. Johnson had previously struck out only batter in three previous starts, and only two batters in another three starts. Looking at his start through Pitch f/x (thanks to Brooks Baseball as always) shows that Johnson only induced four swings and misses, three coming off of his typically good slider. Hitters put 24 pitches in play, and Johnson was able to help limit damage by inducing tons of ground balls. Of those 24 BIP, 15 were grounders, with three fly balls and six line drives according to BIS. With a few more K’s, this would have been a top-notch start; as it stands, it looks a bit like an oddity.
The second game of the series remained close in score, but the White Sox had it mostly in hand by the seventh or eighth inning. The only shot the Marlins had came in the eighth. Following a Chris Coghlan walk, the Fish had two of their best runners in Cameron Maybin and Coghlan up at the plate with one out. Gaby Sanchez stepped up for a PA with a leverage index (LI) of 3.15, the highest leverage situation the Marlins faced while batting. He promptly struck out, followed by a routine fly ball by Hanley Ramirez, ending the threat and erasing 13.8% of the Marlins’ odds of winning.
The other two games were as lopsided as they could have gotten.
Both games were decided very early into the contest. The White Sox had reached an 86% win expectancy by the bottom of the fourth inning, when Kotsay hit his solo home run to make it 3-0. The Marlins had more or less wrapped up the third game in the first inning. After Wes Helms flew out to end a four-run first inning, the Marlins had about an 80% win expectancy. Neither game reached much of an exciting climax after those events. The Marlins win did not have a play with an LI over 1.00 after the second inning.