Coming off a sweep of the Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins dropped 2 games to the Nationals after 2 low scoring, pitching led games. As expected, runs were scarce and the pitching dominated all series. Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez each tossed a brilliant ball game but lacked the run support to gain a win. Stephen Strasburg again dominated on the mound, proving yet again why he is a league top hurler. After game 3 was rained out, the Fish have a much needed off day before starting a 3 game series with the New York Mets. Below I will review my predictions for the Washington series: (Keep in mind, Game 3 was rained out)
The Starting Pitching will be the key to taking the series ***
Check. The starting pitching proved to be the factor for both squads last weekend, resulting in 2 very low scoring games. Unfortunately, the Nationals were just a little bit stronger, resulting in 2 wins. Through 2 games, Miami gave up only 5 runs while striking out 15. While this will get the job done 95% of the time, Washington manged to give up only 2 runs in 19 innings of baseball.
Heath Bell will continue to see pressure
Unfortunately for the Marlins, the Nat’s were up close in the latter innings giving no chance for Heath Bell to make an appearance. It’s a shame because Bell is starting to show signs of bouncing back from a poor start to the season.
Emilio Bonifacio had a tough series. Boni went 0-7 with 1 walk, just reaching base once in the first game. While he would have had game 3 to salvage his efforts, rain chose to make his weekend even more gloomy. Bounce back Boni!
Stephen Strasburg will give up less than 4 hits all game ***
Strasburg gave up 4 hits in 6 innings pitched. He manged to strike out 6 while walking just 1. While I said less than 4, I will give myself this one :).
The Marlins were beat in the only 2 games played. Game 1 (0-2) Game 2 (2-3)
Below I will make my predictions on the upcoming NY series. I promise these will be much more accurate
1. Josh Johnson will record his first win on the season.
Josh Johnson (0-2 5.94 ERA) will go head to head against another ace, Johan Santana (0-2 3.97 ERA). Both are still searching for their first victory of the season. If history is any indication, Josh Johnson will be just fine. JJ is 8-1 in his last 10 starts against the Mets with 65 strikeouts. Still, do not expect this to be an easy match up. Santana is 6-1 with a 1.97 ERA in his last 10 starts against Miami proving to be very difficult to hit. However, all that occurred before Santana went through major injuries and I expect him to be a little easier to figure out now. I expect Johnson to go 7 innings of strong baseball allowing just 1 run. While Santana will be strong out of the gate, I expect the Marlins to settle in and pounce on him for 3 runs through 6 innings.
2. Jose Reyes will record a hit in every ballgame.
This a big moment for Jose Reyes. After 9 seasons in NY, Reyes returns to Citi Field sporting a Miami jersey instead of the blue and white pin stripes. While this has to be a tad bit emotional for Jose, I think he will be motivated and pumped to play good baseball in front of his old hometown crowd. I expect Reyes to play error free baseball and record at least one hit in every ballgame.
Coming off his second win of the season, Ricky Nolasco now sits at 66 career wins in a Marlin uniform, 2 shy of The D-Trains record at 68. Nolasco will go head to head with Jon Niese who struggles against the Marlins. Niese is 1-4 against the fish with an ERA of 5.67. While Nolasco is known to be very inconsistent, I expect him to keep an eye on the record and pitch good baseball in order to grab the crown.
4. The Marlins will steal more than 3 bases this series
If it wasn’t obvious a week ago, it is now. The Marlins are going to be aggressive all year long on the base path. With the likes of Emilio Bonifacio, Jose Reyes, and Hanley Ramirez, it is almost a given there will be some stolen bases this year. Especially off the knuckle ball throwing R.A. Dickey. Hell, even Greg Dobbs recorded a stolen base last series.
5. The Marlins win 2 of 3 and take the series on the road.
I expect the Marlins to win game 1 and game 3 of this upcoming series. I see trouble from R.A. Dickey during game 3 as the Fish typically struggle sitting back on the knuckle ball.