Ladies and gentlemen, the Miami Marlins that you expected to see before the season began have finally arrived. The Marlins were sitting at 8-14 before heading west. The teams chances did not look too bright and there was some immediate thought that the teams off-season was all for naught. After six games, the optimism in Miami is growing again!
After sweeping up the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres, the Marlins will move away from the state of Californication (yes, that is a Red Hot Chili Pepper reference) and try their fortunes in Houston. The Houston Astros were in Miami just a couple of weeks back and the Marlins took two of three in the series, and in all honesty, should have swept the Astros. That is, if it were not for some closer whose name I will not be mentioning in this article.
I have been extremely busy with work the past two weeks and I apologize for the lack of activity on Marlin Maniac. That means, once again, no chat with the opposing teams Fansided blog. I will get back onto doing this when we take on the New York Mets later this week.
Miami Marlins (14-14) @ Houston Astros (13-15), May 1-3, Games 28-31
NL East Standings
Minute Maid Park
Five-year Run PF*: .98
Five-year HR PF*: 1.04
Left field – 315 feet
Left-center field – 362 feet
Center field – 436 feet
Right-center field – 373 feet
Right field – 326 feet
*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here
Projected Pitching Matchups
ZiPS In-Season Projections
- During the six-game winning streak, the Marlins have outscored their opponents 27-17. The Marlins have scored 100 runs this season and allowed 104.
- The guy most excited about the Marlins closer, whose name I have sworn not to mention in this article, not being the closer anymore is Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano has had three blown saves occur due to that closer in his starts for the Marlins.
- Carlos Zambrano will try and deliver his fifth straight quality start.
- Last time against the Astros, Zambrano delivered a solid start, going six innings and only allowing one run. In his career against the Astros, Big Z has a 2.69 ERA in 224 innings with 190 punch outs.
- Opposing Zambrano will be the Astros ace, Wandy Rodriguez.
- Rodriguez has a 3.18 ERA in 51 innings career vs the Marlins, although a number of Marlins hitters have hit him well in the past.
- In Anibal Sanchez’s last three starts, Sanchez has given up five earned runs in 21 inning. Sanchez has 38 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings this season for the Fish.
- Like Zambrano, this will be Anibal’s second start vs the Astros this season. Sanchez allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings in his first start against the Astros.
- Anuery Rodriguez will be making his first appearance of the 2012 season against the Marlins. Rodriguez is taking the rotation spot of Kyle Weiland.
- Last season, Rodriguez went 1-6 with a 5.27 ERA in 43 games (eight starts) for the Astros. He was 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA at Triple-A this season.
- Only Jose Reyes and John Buck have any career at-bats vs Rodriguez, and they are both hit-less in 4 combined at-bats.
- The finale of the series will have the Marlins sending Josh Johnson to the mound in hopes of Johnson turning things around. Johnson had his worst start of the season last time out and concern in Miami about Johnson and his health are rising.
- Johnson has gone just 14 2/3 innings in his last three starts and sports a 7.36 ERA in them. He is going to need to step up his game, or the Marlins are in deep trouble.
- Johnson in his career has struggled against the Astros with a 5.82 ERA in just 17 innings.
- JJ has only gone 6+ innings in two of his starts this season. The Marlins bullpen need Johnson to start stepping up, otherwise it could be another long season for the pen.
- The Astros will counter with Lucas Harrell in the finale. Harrell did not enjoy a strong start earlier this season vs Miami, surrendering four earned runs in just four innings on April 13th.
- Harrell, like Johnson has a 7+ ERA in his past three starts. This game could become a high-scoring affair right away if either pitcher is off his game.
The Miami Marlins starting pitching will continue to grab the headlines. All three of the Marlins starters will pitch into the eight inning of their respective start, with Anibal Sanchez throwing a complete game shutout. The Marlins will sweep the series and extend their winning streak to 9, heading back to Miami. The Marlins hot streak will start to steal some of the headlines away from that championship caliber basketball team also located in Miami. Hanley Ramirez will have six hits in the series and Logan Morrison will go deep three times, twice on Monday night.
The Marlins will take game 1 of the series by the final score of 8-2. Big Z will leave after 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run. Morrison will go deep twice in this ball game, driving in six of the Marlins eight runs.
*May 11-13: New York Mets
*May 14-15: Pittsburgh Pirates
May 16-17: @Atlanta Braves
*Get your tickets now from TiqIQ.