Series Preview: The Marlins

Current record: 16-18, 3rd place in NL Central, 4 games back

Up Next: Miami Marlins, 18-16, 4th place in NL East, 7.5 games back

The Pirates head down to Miami for a quick two game set against the newly orange-clad Marlins. The Fish have an 85 OPS+ and 117 ERA+ which means that the pitchers have been doing more than the bats to help the team win. For comparison, the Pirates are at 72 and 117. Marlins Stadium has been a hitters park thus far in its short history. Miami is scoring 4.5 runs and allowing 4.64 at home, vs 3.25 and 3.15 on the road. The Marlins spent a ton of money to bring in free agents Jose Reyes (started slow, heating up), Mark Buehrle (as good as expected), and Heath Bell (already removed from the closer role). Giancarlo Stanton (133 OPS+) and Omar Infante (153 OPS+) are leading the Marlins’ offense most nights.

Probable Pitchers
Monday: RH Brad Lincoln (2-0, 14.1 IP, 16 K, 0.63 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
vs. RH Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 40.1 IP, 46 K, 2.01 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)

Lincoln fills in tonight for what would have been Erik Bedard‘s turn. Bedard will go on Wednesday. Sanchez is pitching like an ace this year and strikes out a ton of batters. The pitching will have to keep things close (again) for the Pirates to have a shot tonight.

Tuesday: RH Kevin Correia (1-3, 36.1 IP, 13 K, 3.47 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)
vs. RH Josh Johnson (0-3, 38.1 IP, 32 K, 5.87 ERA, 1.70 WHIP)

Correia hopes to continue getting  good results from his smoke-and-mirrors show. Johnson has yet to regain his Cy Young candidate form after injuring his shoulder last year but he still strikes out a lot of hitters.

Lineups:
Jose Tabata RF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Casey McGehee 1B
Alex Presley LF
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Brad Lincoln P

Marlins
Jose Reyes SS
Omar Infante 2B
Hanley Ramirez 3B
Logan Morrison LF
Giancarlo Stanton RF
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Emilio Bonifacio CF
John Buck C
Anibal Sanchez P

Notes from Last Night

The Pirates got their eighth 1-run win last night, scratching out just enough runs against one of the best pitchers around, Roy Halladay. Most of the credit should go to Zach Duke, Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan and Octavio Dotel who held the Phillies to one run.

Unfortunately I missed this game, instead going to see Ironman 2. My short review from twitter: Fun popcorn movie. Turn off your brain, ignore the plot holes and enjoy the ride.

Elsewhere:

In Atlanta, Bobby Cox was ejected from a game for the 155th time, extending his own all-time major league record. I hope he ends up with exactly 162, which would mean that for his 29 seasons managing he was essentially tossed out for an entire year. Alas, his current rate of 155/4385 means he’s only likely to be thrown out 4-5 more times. Time to pick up the pace Bobby!

From the always over-hyped NYY/BOS series: Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera blew the lead, Jonathan Papelbon came back from a terrible outing the day before to record a shaky save. I only care about this because I need Papelbon to rebuild some value in my AL only league.

Milwaukee: You got one good year out of Trevor Hoffman. Be happy with that.

Florida: Much has been written already about Hanley Ramirez’s lollygagging and subsequent benching. My favorite take come from Craig Calcaterra: “I have never won the “you can’t come out of your room until you apologize” game with my son. It’s way easier to be bad than it is to be good. I wish that weren’t true, but it is.”

I’ve always hoped in the back of my head that the Blue Jays’ third baseman would start a rally of people trying to effect change by staying in their automobiles for an extended period of time. This movement would of course be called the Edwin In-Car-Nation.

Programming note: I’m headed out to the Grand Canyon tomorrow for a long weekend. I don’t expect to post any new blogs while I’m gone, but I may post some pictures to twitter. You should be able to catch those on the left sidebar, or you can just follow me.

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