Tag Archives: marlins

The Miami Marlins After 2 Months Of Baseball

It has been an interesting season for the Miami Marlins so far.  This team had a very new feel to it going into the season.  A new name came first, no longer are they the Florida Marlins they are to be know now as the Miami Marlins.  The new retractable roof stadium located in downtown Miami known as Marlins Park.  The new manager Ozzie Guillen, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the off season.  Also new were big time free agents in Short Stop Jose Reyes, Starter Mark Buehrle and Closer Heath Bell.  The team had not acquired free agents of this caliber since the 1997 season.  But the newest thing for the Marlins was hope of contending in the N.L. East and winning their first ever division title.

The Marlins new home, Marlins Park
(Getty Images)

The Marlins finished April with just 8 wins and 14 loses.  Many of those loses were to N.L. East foes the Phillies, Nationals and Mets. The Fish ended April at the bottom of the division.  Not much seemed to go right for the Fish in April.  Manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended by the team for a few games due to some ridiculous comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  The team also was not preforming well on the field.  Their production on the offensive side of the ball was horrendous.  Stars such as Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez not playing very well consistently.  Their young power hitter Giancarlo Stanton had no power to speak of.  The guy that was supposed to be saving games for the team Heath Bell was blowing leads and games left and right.  The team was in need of a restart when April ended.

They got their fresh start in May and boy did they take advantage of it.  The Marlins went on a road trip where they swept the Giants, Padres and took 2 out of 3 games against the Astros.  The fielding got better, the pitching was awesome and the bats came alive in May.  Giancarlo Stanton had an incredible month of May where he hit 12 home runs and had 30 RBI’s.  Stanton even had a walk off grand slam in a home game against the Mets.  Pitcher Ricky Nolasco got his 5th win of the season. Carlos Zambrano the loose cannon from the Chicago Cubs has pitched well and not lost his mind yet.  The Marlins also played a lot better against division rivals.  They took 2 out of 3 games against the Phillies, split a 2 game series with the Braves.  The Marlins finished the final series of May by sweeping the 1st place Nationals in a 3 game series.  The Fish had a record of 21 wins and just 8 losses for the month of May.

Marlins power hitter Giancarlo Stanton
(photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Marlins begin the month of June with a 29-22 record.  It took the Marlins 2 month to make it to first place but they did it.  They hold a tie with the Nationals for 1st place in the N.L. East.  June is not going to be an easy month schedule wise.  They will play 5 games total against the Phillies and 3 games against the Braves.  The biggest challenge could be when they play a total of 6 games against their inter state rival Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays are also tied for 1st place in their division and have played really well as a team this year.  So that series could be a tough one for the Fish.  The Marlins are hoping to finish June the way they are coming into it, very hot.

The rest of the season is going to be the real test of course.  The Marlins were looking bad in April but impressed in May.  The Fish play in the toughest division in baseball but have held their own so far.  I believe the Fish have a very good chance of taking their first division title.  This is a really good ball club that is finally playing as a team and are clicking on all cylinders.  The prospects look very good for the rest of the summer but we will know for sure what this team is made of by September.

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Giancarlo Stanton Has Come Alive In May

Miami Marlins Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton
(Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins are having a really good month of May.  Their record for this month so far is 18 wins and 8 loses.  The Marlins have shown themselves to be the contenders in the N.L. East many have thought they could be.  The Marlins have to give a lot of credit to Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton (formerly known as Mike Stanton) for their success.

May has been a month where Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton solidified his place as a superstar after two incredible months of play.  Hamilton has soaked up most of the mainstream sports media’s attention.  Now their is another star to pay close attention to.

The Marlins and Stanton had a rough opening month of April.  The power  hitter had only one home run in April and it was at the end of the month.  Stanton was also having a hard time getting on base at times.  He has had 2 previous complete seasons in the bigs.  He increased almost all of his stats from his first season in his second season last year.  I have a feeling he can go even further this year.

Stanton celebrates his walk off grand slam on May 13th, 2012.
(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

The most exciting event for the Marlins this month came just a week ago at their home stadium known as Marlins Park.  On Sunday, May 13th in the bottom of the 9th inning the Marlins were tied 4-4 with the New York Mets, Stanton came to the plate with the bases loaded.  Stanton did not disappoint,  he blasted a walk off grand slam to give the Fish a 8-4 victory.  In the very short history of Marlin Park this moment is the biggest ending to a game the team has seen.  The grand slam not only made Stanton look good, it showed that the Marlins are ready to battle it out with the teams in the really tough N.L. East.

Stanton was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2007 June Draft.  He was one of their top prospects until he made his Major league debut in 2010.

Stanton has been awesome in May.  He hit 11 home runs and has hit 21 RBI’s this month alone.  He has a season batting average of .291 and hit a total of 12 dingers and totaled 36 RBI’s so far.  He is on pace to have one of his best seasons.

Giancarlo Stanton is a well rounded player with the potential to be a superstar the likes of Albert Pujols.  The question is not if he will reach his full potential but when.  Even the player he has been right now has been a huge benefit to the club.   Stanton is the future of the Marlins franchise and their future is really bright.

The Miami Marlins Are on Fire!

Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez during Thursday’s victory over the Huston Astros
(Getty Images)

If you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks here is a message for you,  the Miami Marlins are on fire!  The Marlins have won 9 of there last 10 games.  They just came off of their best road trip ever taking 8 of 9 games during the trip. First sweeping the Giants in San Francisco, followed by a sweep of the Padres in San Diego and finishing the road trip taking 2 of 3 games from the Huston Astros.  The road trip was the best in franchise history.

The pitching of Carlos Zambrano is probably one of the most surprising things to have happened for the team in the past 2 weeks.  Zambrano recorded a complete game win earlier this week against the Astros.  Many expected him to fall apart this year and pitch poorly based on his past in Chicago playing for the Cubs.  He is showing all of the critics that he still has it and is here to stay.

Their other pitching stud Anibal Sanchez continued his winning ways picking up his 4th win on the road trip.  He pitched a total of 14 innings with 13 strikeouts.  Sanchez leads the team in strikeouts with 46 for the season.  He has really blossomed over the years into a big time pitcher and he is still highly underrated.

On the offensive side of the ball the Marlins have come alive.  Giancarlo Stanton snapped out of his funk blasting 5 home runs and bringing in 8 RBI’s on the road trip.   Second baseman Omar Infante proved very valuable with 10 hits, 1 home run and 8 RBI’s.  Infante is currently batting .342 for the season and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.  The offense was bright and really picked up the optimism of Marlins Nation.

The Marlins defeated the New York Mets on Friday at home by of score of 6-5.  The Fish have been dominating most of the games they have played this past two weeks.  The other games where they didn’t squash their opponents they have come back to win in the late innings.

The Marlins are going into their Saturday game against the Mets holding a record of 17 wins and 15 losses.  They are only 3 games back from first place in the NL East.  The lead in the NL East is currently held by the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.  That spot could be held by the fish in about a week if they keep up their superb play up.

The team started the season with a rocky first month.  They finished the month of April with an under .500 win percentage.  They received little production from power hitter Giancarlo Stanton,  which was a huge and disappointing surprise.   Their big time free agent Heath Bell was not pitching well from the closing spot and blowing games.  Jose Reyes also had his problem in the form of getting hits. Things did not look great after the first month of baseball.

A new month brought new hope and a chance for redemption.  And boy have the Marlins taken advantage of the restart in the form of a long road trip.  I think this is the team that we were meant to see, and will continue to see for the rest of the season.  They are finally heading places and the fans are getting excited about their prospects of winning.  The goal for this season is taking the NL East crown for the first time in franchise history and surging through the playoff en route to their 3rd World Series title.  The season is long and things could change, but I have confidence that what has happened in the last 2 weeks we will be seeing more of deep into the season.  So there is only one thing to be said “NL East watch out the Fish are coming”.

Marlins Give Guillen 5 Game Suspension

The Miami Marlins handed Ozzie Guillen a 5 game suspension on Tuesday. The punishment is for comments the manager made in a recent Time magazine interview. Guillen was quoted as saying “he loves and Respects Fidel Castro”.

Ozzie Guillen held a press conference today in Miami to apologize to the Cuban community in Miami for his comments. There were many Cubans outside of the press conference protesting. Many of those protesting want Guillen to loose his managerial job for his comments.

The Marlins hope that this punishment will be enough for the protesters and the Cuban community in Miami. The Marlins have worked very hard to appeal to the very community that dominates the Miami area. We will have to wait and see what long term affects Guillen’s comments will have on the team.

The Highs And Lows From The First Weekend of Baseball

Johan Santana throws out the first pitch on Opening day for the Mets in New York.
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Baseball is back and the first weekend is complete.  It was an exciting and surprising weekend for many teams.  If you missed any of the action here are some of the highlights and low lights.

For the first time since 1966 both the Yankees and Red Sox started off the season 0-3.  The Yankees were swept by the Rays in Tampa, beating them 3-0 on Sunday.  No need to fear Yankees fans.  The last time the Yankees started 0-3 was 1998, and they ended up winning 114 games and the World Series title.  The Red Sox lost an extra inning game on Sunday 13-12 to complete the sweep by the Detroit Tigers.  The Tigers proved to be as powerful as everyone thought going into the season.  Point proven when Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera both homered in the 10-0 during Saturday’s gave versus the Red Sox.  The Tigers scored a combined 26 runs during their first three games.   I expect both teams to bounce back from their sweeps this week.

The Pirates Andrew McCutchen celebrating on Sunday after a walk off RBI single against the Phillies.
(Getty Images)

Another shocking thing came from this first weekend,  The Pirates took two out of three from the Phillies.  Both of the victories were of the walk-off type.  The first happened on Saturday in extra innings when Rod Barajas drove in Alex Presley for the 2-1 victory.  The second came on Sunday after the Pirates tied the score at 4-4.  Andrew McCutchen drove in the winning run lifting the Pirates over the Phillies by a score of 5-4.  The Pirates could be interesting to watch if you base any value on this first weekend.

The “new” every thing Marlins began the season with a surprising 1-3 start.  They started their first two games with no offense and loses to the Cardinals and the Reds.  The first lose was to the Cardinals in their brand new ballpark in a 4-1 effort.  On Saturday in their third game the offensive power showed up in a 8-3 victory over the Reds, the fish had three home runs in that game.  Sunday brought their third lose of the season when the Reds rallied in the bottom of the ninth.  Scott Rolen came in as the pinch hitter and drove home the winning run to give the Reds the 6-5 victory over the Marlins.  It will be interesting to see how the Marlins play in Philadelphia this week against what many consider to be the best rotation in the league.

Opening Day history was made on Thursday when the Blue Jays went to the 16th inning with the Indians.  J.P. Arencibia hit the game winning three run homer to put the Blue Jays on top of the Indians 7-4 in that game.  The game broke the previous opening day record of 15 innings held by the Tigers and Indians from 1960 and another 15th inning game between Philadelphia and Washington in 1926.  There is something really special about seeing records broken that have stood for so long.

Albert Pujols went 0-3 in his debut for the Angels in their 5-0 victory over the Royals on opening day.   The Royals ended up taking 2 out 3 games from the Angels this weekend.  Pujols has a .143 batting average to show for his first weekend with his new team.  The Angels have to be surprised how this first series ended with Pujols slumping.  I have no doubt he will continue to be the most feared slugger in the game though.

The A's Yoenis Cespedes going long.
(Getty Images)

There is an emerging star in Oakland.  The high paid Cuban Yoenis Cespedes, has played incredibly during his first series in the Major Leagues.  He is batting .308 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI’s and 3 runs.  He goes against everything “Moneyball” GM Billy Beane has been able to do in the past with little money allowed to him for the A’s.  This year he was able to get big money for this highly touted free agent.  It appears that Cespedes will be worth the money spent if he keeps producing like he the past four games.

The Mets played better than expected by sweeping the Braves in three games.  Its is the first time the braves have started the season 0-3 since 2003.  The Mets were expected to occupy the cellar in the N.L. East and still very well could, but they are looking pretty good coming out of the first weekend.

The Mariners Brandon League celebrates after getting the save against the A's on Saturday.
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Oh yeah, there was good pitching also.  Kyle Lohse had a solid 7.1 inning game against the Marlins on Wednesday and picked up the win.  The Nationals Stephen Strasburg had a great 7 inning game with 5 k’s in Thursdays victory over the Cubs, although he did not get the win.  The Mets Jonathon Niese had a no hitter going into the 7th inning against the Braves on Sunday.  The no-no was ended though, it would have been the first no hitter in the Mets 51 season history.  The Mariners Brandon League picked up 2 saves this weekend.  League could end up being one of the best closers in the A.L. if the M’s can continue to produced solid games for him to finish.  Other than Niese’s possible no hitter there were no amazing moments by any pitcher,  just a lot of solid pitching throughout both of the leagues.  Some experts are calling this season “The Year Of The Pitcher III”, but I think we will have to wait and see about that.

If you take a look at the standings right now there are 5 teams that started the season 3-0.  Those teams are Orioles, Rays, Tigers, Mets and D Backs.  The season is very long though and as we all know a lot of teams fall off by July.  So no one should get too excited or upset at this point.  This first weekend has been very exciting and if its any indication of what is to come I think it will be a great year for the fans.

Miami Marlins grab first win

The Miami Marlins came into Saturday nights game against the Cincinnati Reds, off of two loses to start the season.  There was question of where the offensive power and speed that the team has been built to have was.  It showed up Saturday against the Reds in a 8-3 victory.

The club received three home runs from Omar Infante, Hanley Ramirez and John Buck.  The starting pitching for the Marlins has been tremendous, but Ricky Nolasco was the first of the starting pitchers to win a game for the ball club so far.  The Reds offense was alive but not as much as the Marlins.  The Reds Zack Cozart had a triple and hit a homer in the teams loosing effort.

It was nice to see the Marlins get their first win this season.  This should be a season to remember with the new ballpark, new manager and high paid free agents.  The NL East is tougher than ever this year.  The Phillies will still be bringing great pitching and offense. The Braves have staying power to be in the division race going into September.  The Nationals have the makings of a strong team possibly the best they have fielded since their inception.  But the Mets will probably stay in the cellar even though David Wright should have another All Star season.  I still have the beief that the Marlins can take the division for the first time in franchise history.

The Marlins will be taking on the Reds in the final game of the series on Sunday.  The Reds will be sending Bronson Arroyo to the mound and the Marlins will be sending Carlos Zambrano.  It will be interesting to see how Zambrano will do this season and if he can keep from going insane like he has the past few seasons with the Cubs.  Ozzie Guillen has stated during Spring Training that he will be able to control Zambrano which made many people laugh.  Sundays game starts at 1pm and should be as exciting as Saturdays game.

Miami Marlins – Where is the Offense?

Rough couple of games for the fish.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The biggest story up to this point of opening week has to be the story of the Miami Marlins and their lack of offense.  They opened up their new stadium to much fanfare on Wednesday night, in a  4-1 loosing effort to the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Marlins Ace Josh Johnson pitched well but not up to the level that is expected of this potential Cy Young pitcher.  The reigning World Series MVP David Freese was the star of this game with 3 hits and 2 RBI’s in 5 visits to the plate.  The Marlins then traveled to Cincinnati to play the Reds yesterday and loss 4-0.  The Marlins new pitcher Mark Buehrle had a good outing but did not have the offense behind him to have any chance of succeeding in this game.  Cincinnati dominated with the pitching of Cueto and the offensive power of players like Jay Bruce.

The bottom line after two games is that the Marlins offense has sucked!  The entire team is batting below .200. The pitching is good but the team can’t succeed without the offense they are supposed to have.  Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton have been the two biggest problems on offense so far. Neither player have reached base off a hit in a combined 16 plate appearances.  They need to get it together quick or the team will be fighting to get back in the standings before April is over.

They have Friday off and will certainly be gathering themselves to play the Reds again on Saturday.  The team has finally garnered the attention of the nation and has opened up like the Marlins of old.  Time is precious and this team could get down in the dumps really quick.  I feel the Marlins need to snap out of this 2 game slump and play like the playoff contenders they are.  All of that money spent on free agents and new manager needs to be redeemed with wins.  The wins must start Saturday night!