Sinking Out of First Place
After falling out of first place for the first time all season, the Marlins continued their downward spiral like T.O.’s career. Their recent struggles have come at the hands of the Atlanta Braves in a two game series at home.
In the first inning of the first game, Jorge Cantu smacked his eighth home run out of the park to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. However, Graham Taylor could not hold the lead giving up four runs the following inning. He ended up giving eight runs over 2.1 innings but only four were earned. Still, the eight runs were too much for the Marlins to come back as they lost 8-6.
In the second game of the series, Jair Jurrjens stymied the Marlins offense besides Hanley Ramirez who launched two solo home runs in the Atlanta Braves 4-2 victory. Jurrjens gave up two runs over seven innings while Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez allowed four runs in 4.2 innings.
Sanchez gave up a two run home run to catcher David Ross in the second inning, erasing Ramirez first inning solo homer. The following inning, Casey Kotchman also took Sanchez deep giving the Braves a 3-1 lead. Before being pulled, Sanchez allowed an RBI double to Kotchman leaving with a 4-1 score.
In the sixth inning, Jurrjens allowed another solo home run to Ramirez but the rest of the Marlins offense could not muster up anything else in the 4-2 loss.
The silver lining in all of this is that the Marlins bullpen after looking sluggish during their depressing losing streak pitched 11 shutout innings over the two game span.
The entire Marlins pitching staff this season has been like a weekend golfers’ golf game. Once you get one thing working, another aspect of your game fails. The starters were pitching well and the bullpen was in question. Now that the starters are faltering, the bullpen is flourishing.
The Marlins are going to Coors for their next series against the Rockies. This series might help Cantu and Ramirez keep up their current hitting galore. At 11-15, look for the Marlins to come out on top during the series although the Rox are throwing out two starters (Hammel and De La Rosa) with sub 4 ERA’s.
By: Nicholas M. Tasso
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