Fish Cap: Marlins disappoint, lose two of three to Braves


Sadly, the Marlins did not have the series they would have liked against the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. After back-to-back losses involving five runs allowed against Atlanta, the Marlins salvaged at least one victory, but even that win was tainted with some odd numbers that have to have Marlins fans a bit concerned.

Series Hero: Ricky Nolasco (0.290 WPA)
Series Goat: Mike Cameron (-0.229 WPA)
Impressed by: Emilio Bonifacio (12 PA, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 4 K)
Depressed by: Hanley Ramirez (12 PA, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K)

Boni sends one out

This wasn’t as surprising as the first home run he hit out earlier this season, but it is still quite an eye opener when you see it.

Boni sent this ball a true home run distance of 395 feet according to ESPN Home Run Tracker, the further of his two home runs this season. Both the distance and the speed off the bat (102.6 mph) were right around the league averages for the 2011 season in the National League, making this a pretty prototypical home run from a pretty non-prototypical home run hitter. As you can see, Boni went to the shortest fence of Turner Field to get his homer, though the 330-foot fence played no role in his homer, as the shot cleared the fence well enough to score as a “No Doubter” according to the Home Run Tracker’s grading system.

Surprising as it may have been, Boni’s homer was very well-appreciated. It added 0.116 WPA to a game that was previously closely matched. The Marlins pushed their edge up to a 76.4 percent chance of winning after that solo shot, eventually leading to the team’s only victory of the series.

Sanchez, Nolasco with odd starts

Both Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco had weird starts during the series. Both starts involved decent peripheral performances, a lot of hits allowed, and as a result an anomalous number of runs allowed. Sanchez had a pretty solid start that was marred by one poor third inning outing. He gave up four of his eight hits allowed in that inning, including the 417-foot three-run blast to (unfortunately) Dan Uggla. All four of Sanchez’s runs allowed were given up in that inning, erasing an otherwise excellent start; in the remaining 17 batters Sanchez faced, he struck out five while walking one and allowing four hits. Sanchez’s stuff looked decent, as he induced six whiffs in 69 pitches, right at the league average mark for the 2011 season. Expect a bounceback the next time through the order.

Nolasco also had an odd start, as he posted four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings en route to one run allowed and a victory. Oddly enough, he also allowed 12 hits in 30 batters faced. Nolasco allowed hits on 46 percent of his balls in play, which is a pretty ridiculous number, but he somehow allowed only one run to go through. Contrary to what might be expected of a player who allowed a lot of baserunners but stranded a good number of them, Nolasco only benefited from one double play, and that double play actually plated the Braves’ only run that game. Instead, Nolasco pounded the zone, allowing no walks and a slew of hits that may have come from a persistent strike zone approach, and depended on his defense to assist him, which they did perfectly on Sunday. Nolasco’s actual swing and miss stuff has been disappointing so far this season, and the four strikeout performance did not change that perception. Currently his numbers are benefiting from a drastic change in home run rate, as hitters are hitting fewer fly balls despite non-outstanding ground ball rates.