If there is one message the Miami Marlins need to take from the Atlanta series, it’s: FORGET IT EVER HAPPENED. After an unforgettable month of May that saw the Marlins win 21 games, the month of June has not started off in the fashion expected from fans. Coming off a encouraging series in Philly, the Marlins were 3 game swept by the Braves in a series that quite honestly never seemed to favor the Marlins. Even worse, the Marlins were swept in their home stadium where they have been playing so well. Now I understand losses and sweeps are going to happen. Every team in baseball goes through some sort of slump with the best teams finding ways to play through them. Still, when your team has not lost a series in over a month and a half and you get 3 game swept at home, it defiantly creates a different vibe.
The number one reason the Marlins should put this series in the back of their head is past history. Though all true Marlin fans hate talking about it, no one can forget the month of June last year when the Marlins went 5-23 with a club record 11 game losing streak. Even though last years club did not have the month of May this years club had, they were still in contention going into June but fell out of the race very shortly. While I refuse to believe this will happen to this years club, watching the Atlanta series made me draw quick comparisons to last years June. Basically zero offense, poor run production, and untimely pitching haunted the Marlins both last year and during the Atlanta series. Another sour note: the schedule does not get any easier. The Marlins now face the Rays, Red Sox, Rays (again), Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Phillies in their next 6 series opponents. A very tough stretch indeed. Safe to say the month of June does not favor the Miami Marlins.
With Emilio Bonifacio being down with an injury, the Marlins outfield has been very weak. Ozzie Guillen has been forced to start Chris Coghlan and Bryan Petersen the majority of games, and neither has produced acceptable numbers. Shortly after the Atlanta series, Petersen was optioned back to AAA so the outfield depth is just weaker. John Buck, as we all know, has been horrible this year and has been an automatic out at the plate. Logan Morrison is hitting just .231 and has been horrible with runners in scoring position. Basically, everybody under Giancarlo Stanton has been under-producing in the lineup forcing Miami to rely on their pitching and top of the order to snag wins. If the Marlins want a different outcome this month from last year, more production will be needed from the bottom of the lineup as well as the bullpen. Luckily, Austin Kearns seems to be healthy again and has been activated and seems to be ready to return. In case you do not remember, Kearns was ON FIRE before he got hurt and has been a consistent force for the Marlins this year.
In conclusion, I am going to cross my fingers and hope the Marlins bounce back strong. A series win against the Rays would be huge in building much needed momentum going into the Boston series. However, if the Marlins come out against Tampa and look sluggish/dead-beat then we may have an actual problem on our hands..