PLAYING THE NUMBERS GAME

Here are some random Marlins facts and figures I came up with 30 games into the season. Feel free to use them to amaze your friends…

The Marlins are 15-15, 1-7 against NL East rivals and 14-8 outside of the division.

Emilio Bonifacio has 27 hits, all singles. Not only does he lead the major leagues in total hits without a single extra-base hit, but the next 2 men on the list total only 27 hits. Emmanuel Burriss of the Giants has 14 hits, all singles, while Nyjer Morgan of the Brewers has 13.

How important is Jose Reyes as a table setter atop the Marlins’ lineup? The Marlins are 10-1 this season in games in which Reyes scores at least one run and 4-14 when he doesn’t score.

Not only do the Marlins lead the major leagues by a wide margin with 34 stolen bases (Oakland is 2nd with 28), but the club also leads all of baseball with an 85% success rate, caught only 6 times in 40 tries.  A season ago, the Marlins totaled 95 steals and were caught 41 times, just a 70% conversion rate. In 2011, the Marlins didn’t steal their 34th bases until June 26 (game #78).  They reached 35 steals on June 28 (game #80). At their current pace, they’d steal 184 bases. The club record is 177 in 2002. The Marlins last reached 100 steals in 2007.

13 of the Marlins’ first 30 games have decided by a single run. The Marlins are 7-6 in one-run games and had won 5 in a row before last night’s 3-2 loss to the Astros.  The Marlins are 4-1 in extra-inning games.

While tonight’s starter Josh Johnson is 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA and a .359 batting average against, the Marlins’ other 4 starting pitchers (Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez) are a combined 9-6 with a 2.38 ERA and a .224 average against.

For all the talk about Marlins Park suppressing offense, a look at the Marlins’ home/road batting splits through their first 30 games shows the offense has been significantly more productive at Marlins Park than away from home: 

HOME: .255 AVG, .330 OBP, .397 SLG, 9 HR (0.8 per game), 4.2 RPG (46 R in 11 games)

ROAD: .212 AVG, .278 OBP, .361 SLG, 19 HR (1.0 per game), 3.2 RPG (60 R in 19 games)

Along those same lines, Marlins pitchers have fared significantly better AWAY from Marlins Park, again suggesting that there may be a little more offense in the new ballpark than you thought. Here are the numbers:

HOME: 3.58 ERA, .262 AVG, .345 OBP, .347 SLG, 4.3 RPG (47 R in 11 games)

ROAD: 2.96 ERA, .234 AVG, .288 OBP, .255 SLG, 3.2 RPG (60 R in 19 games)

Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio are the only Marlins who have appeared in all 30 games so far. Only 5 Marlins ever have played in all 162: Jeff Conine in 1993, Derrek Lee in 2002 and Juan Pierre in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

This may not be the kind of offensive consistency you were looking for, but it IS offensive consistency: The Marlins are hitting .227 as a team. Their catchers are batting .230, their infielders .233 and their outfielders .232.

The Marlins have been slow starters at the plate so far, hitting .197 and scoring a total of only 28 runs in the first 3 innings of games this season.

The Marlins rank last in MLB with a .192 average with runners in scoring position (the ML average is .248), while Miami is also last with men in scoring position and 2 outs at .144 (the ML average is .232).

On the plus side, 30 games in the Marlins are 3rd in all of baseball with a 3.20 team ERA, trailing only the Nationals and Cardinals.

Miami starting pitchers rank 6th in MLB with a 3.07 cumulative ERA. In the National League, only the Philadelphia starting 5 has thrown more innings than the Marlins’. 

Miami’s 3.52 bullpen ERA is 5th in the NL and 10th in all of baseball. Only the Angels, Phillies and Giants have thrown fewer bullpen innings.

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

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