The second game of the season did not exactly go the way the Miami Marlins wanted. The team went 3-for-29 in the game and did not score a run. The Marlins offense has only been able to muster 1 run so far in two games. Is that a concern going forward? I do not believe so.
A WPA of over usually signifies a great game by a player. None of the Marlins were even close to that. The only Cincinnati Reds player to top that was Johnny Cueto.
Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins worst performer of the game. His strikeout in the fourth inning cost the Marlins a lot in the win leverage chart above. Before his strikeout and Reyes being caught stealing, the Marlins were headed back in the right direction.
Mark Buehrle had a decent start. He allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. Buehrle struck out five and only walked two. It was an impressive debut for the left hander. Buehrle was able to induce a ton of weak ground balls and fly outs from the Reds hitters.
It would have been more impressive if the Marlins were able to give him run support of any kind. The Marlins were unable to do anything off of Cueto. His biggest plays were picking off Emilio Bonifacio and striking out Hanley Ramirez, on the same play, Jose Reyes was caught stealing. Cueto went seven innings and only allowed three hits.
The good news for Marlins fans is that most of those outs Cueto recorded were on balls in play. Cueto only struck out four Marlins batters through seven innings pitched with a BABIP of .158. Compare that to the BABIP of .368 against Buehrle for the Reds batters.
Overall, the Marlins should improve at the plate as the season goes on. Yesterday, across the Major leagues, we saw some dominating pitching.
Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall each pitched effective innings for the Reds bullpen. Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica both labored through their innings. Cishek was able to get out of his inning without allowing a run, on the other hand, Mujica allowed a mammoth homer to Jay Bruce and an run scoring double to Chris Heisey.
The Marlins have today off to go back to the drawing board and figure out what is wrong with the team. There is no need to panic. Just need to make adjustments and the team will be fine.
The pitching match-up for Saturday will be Ricky Nolasco against Mat Latos. In his career, Latos has a career 3.11 ERA opposed to a 3.53 ERA on the road. The significance of that of course, being that he pitched his home games in previous seasons at the spacious Petco Park. Great American Ballpark is known to be hitter-friendly. It will be interesting to see how Latos pitches.