Miami Marlins’ Bats Perk Up, Koehler Pitches Well in Win Against Braves


After starting 1-6, I think the Marlins would’ve taken any kind of win tonight, especially after the way they lost last night’s loss in a severely rain affected game.  More than anything the Marlins needed to score some runs, and in a refreshing change of pace, the top of the order got on base and were able to score.

I was worried as before the game, when Christian Yelich was scratched by Mike Redmond, and replaced by Ichiro Suzuki, batting second in the order. 

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The top of the order came through with Dee Gordon and Ichiro Suzuki getting on base 4 times altogether. Gordon also showed off his speed stealing his sixth base of the year in only 7 games. Ichiro walked once, collected a single and scored twice.

I don’t think anybody questions that Gordon and Yelich or Ichiro, in the rare occasion will be adequate at getting on base. But what has been severely lacking has been the production from the middle of the order, including Giancarlo Stanton himself.

The heart of the Marlins order broke out today going 6-of-11, with a couple of doubles and 6 RBI. Most of the pop was provided by Giancarlo who drove in 4 runs, on a couple of singles and deep double to left field, against Marlins Rule 5 Draft pick Andrew McKirahan.

Prado got his first RBI of the year and Morse drove in a run with a double.

On the negative side of the ledger, Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued to struggle going 0-5 with 3 more strikeouts, which brings his season slash line to .091/.200/.273 with a 44% strikeout rate. I don’t know what’s wrong with Saltalamacchia and I don’t like to speculate but it might be something that could maybe potentially get him a long rest on the DL.

Tom Koehler filled his role very well as the Marlins most consistent, yet unimpressive pitcher. Going 5 1/3 innings with 2 ER, 2BB and 3K, while throwing 89 pitches. He left the game with bases loaded in the sixth inning with only one out.

A.J. Ramos came in the game in a very high leverage situation – the bases loaded – and got Kelly Johnson and Andrelton Simmons to end the threat in the home half of the sixth. According to Fangraphs Ramos’ .144 WPA contributed the second most to the Marlins winning the game, only behind Stanton’s 3-4, 4 RBI performance.

I would say that if the Marlins can get 5 1/3 but more like 6+ every night from their starting pitchers, good performances in high leverage situations from the bullpen, and the middle of the lineup actually producing runs, the team could win a few games in the NL this year.

This has been as complete of a win as the Miami Marlins have had this year. It hopefully will be a trend during the rest of this road trip, which takes us to two more NL East cities, Queens and Philadelphia.

Next: Time to Panic?