STAT OF THE DAY (JUNE 14 vs. PIT)

Despite last night’s heart-breaking 13-inning loss to Pittsburgh, that sound the Marlins hear could be opportunity knocking.

A game out of first place in the NL East, the club’s schedule between now and the All-Star break would seemingly provide a golden opportunity for a strong finish to the first half.

Beginning with last night’s game against the Pirates, 16 of the Marlins’ 29 games leading into the All-Star break will be at Marlins Park where, at 22-12, they’ve enjoyed one of the top home-field advantages in the majors so far in 2014.

Beyond that, 23 of the 29 games are against sub-.500 teams, and 20 of the 29 are against teams that entered play last night either last or tied for last in their divisions.

On this homestand, the Marlins play 3 against the Pirates, 3 against the Cubs and 4 against the Mets before a 4-game trip to Philadelphia. The Marlins then return home for 3 against the AL West-leading Athletics before 3 more vs. Philadelphia. The first half concludes with a 9-game trip to St. Louis, Arizona and New York.

Of the 9 series, the Marlins play between now and the All-Star break, only 2—against the Athletics and Cardinals—come against teams that currently have winning records.

Having an opportunity to surge and taking advantage are two separate matters, but the fact is the Marlins’ next month lines up very favorably from a schedule standpoint.

That’s today’s Stat of the Day. To have the Stat of the Day delivered to you directly via e-mail, click the “Follow” button and enter your e-mail address.

The Marlins and Pirates play the middle game of their 3-game series at 4:10 today, and you can catch all of the action on 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network. Our coverage begins at 3:40 with Marlins On Deck. A full list of network affiliates—and information about how you can tune in online, on your mobile devices or via satellite radio–is located at http://glenngeffner.mlblogs.com/2014/03/13/hear-here-2/

For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts and the Stat of the Day delivered directly to you via email, please click the “Follow” button and enter your email address. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

2 Comments

Of course there are reasons the Marlins won’t take advantage of the opportunity. 1)It’s pretty unthinkable to run out a leadoff hitter that will get on base at a clip of worse than .325 … however, that’s what the Marlins paid $3.5 million for the privilege of doing. Furcal was that bad or worse in 2011 and 2012, BEFORE taking a year off to recover from surgery. 2) They have also shown a wilingness to sign the dead and gone like Marmol, Wolf and Gregg. Marmol and Wolf have already put some losses on the team’s record that will never go away. Gregg will be given too many chances to do the same … bet on it. Personally, I am hoping that Brad Hand will have a chance to evolve after three great MiL starts in a row. I am hoping that Heaney gets his opportunity soon. I am hoping the same for DeSclafani. My final wish is that Nathan Eovaldi can develop a change up … what a shame he hasn’t been able to do that.

Glenn, would also be interested in your thoughts on Derek Dietrich. .378 av. .458 ob% in 8 games since being shipped to NO. 5 HR and 12 rbi in that incredible span. I saw almost all positives in Dietrich with the Marlins. Yes, 8 errors were a problem, but I saw some remarkable plays to offset some of them. I certainly didn’t see enough problems to merit taking one of the best hitters out of the lineup. And why not consider him at SS, where he played his entire career before being moved to second? He has more than enough offense in his bat to make up for mediocre fielding numbers.

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