Results tagged ‘ Chicago Cubs ’

THIS AND THAT

A few numbers I’ve thrown together as we get set for a 12:40 first pitch at Marlins Park, with the Marlins looking for a win to close out a 5-1 homestand:

With a win today, the Marlins would sweep the Cubs in a series of 3 or more games for the first time since 2007.

A look at the Marlins’ home-road offensive splits, having now played 6 games at Marlins Park and 6 games away from home:

HOME: .275 AVG, .341 OBP, .415 SLG, 5 RPG, 5 HR

ROAD: .236 AVG, .274 OBP, .404 SLG, 3.5 RPG, 6 HR

The Marlins established season highs with 9 runs and 14 hits in last night’s 9-1 win over the Cubs.  They’ve scored 5 runs or more in 4 of their last 5 games after scoring a total of 20 runs through their first 7, averaging fewer than 3 per game to open the year.

The Marlins have gone deep 5 times in the last 3 games, after connecting for only 6 homers in their first 9.

Having homered in 3 consecutive games for the 6th time in his career, Hanley has run his career long ball total to 138, tying Miguel Cabrera for 3rd in Marlins history. He trails only Dan Uggla (154) and Mike Lowell (143).

With 9 hits in his last 15 AB’s (including 3 homers and 10 RBI in that span), Hanley is batting .283 with 4 homers and 12 RBI through his first 12 games.  A season ago, he batted .200 in 23 April contests with no homers and 9 RBI.

With Emilio Bonifacio leading the way with 7 steals in 7 attempts, one shy of NL leader Dee Gordon of the Dodgers, the Marlins are tied with the Braves and Phillies for the NL lead with 12 stolen bases, while being caught only 3 times.

Bonifacio has reached base at least once in all 12 games this season. He’s 8th in the league with a .444 OBP and has 5 multiple-hit games, including a pair in the last 2 nights.

No Marlins pitcher has a sacrifice bunt yet. The Marlins’ only successful sac bunt was dropped down by Chris Coghlan.

Up next: a 6-game trip to Washington and New York.  The pitching match-ups for the Nats series are Carlos Zambrano-Ross Detwiler Friday night, Anibal Sanchez-Stephen Strasburg Saturday afternoon and Josh Johnson-Gio Gonzalez on Sunday.  Looking ahead to the Mets series, which begins Tuesday night at Citi Field, we should get Mark Buehrle-R.A. Dickey on Tuesday, Ricky Nolasco-Jonathan Niese on Wednesday and Carlos Zambrano-Mike Pelfrey in the Thursday road trip finale.

Then, it’s home for 4 against the D-Backs before we hit the road for 9 games in San Francisco, San Diego and Houston. So after today’s game, the Marlins play 15 of their next 19 away from Marlins Park.

Gonna miss this place!

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.

RELIEVED PITCHERS

Hanley’s multi-sensory 8th-inning home run (you could see it, hear it and even FEEL it if you were in the ballpark) may have decided last night’s game against the Cubs, but there was universal agreement in the post-game clubhouse that the biggest developments of the night for the Marlins came on the mound.

After a pair of rocky outings to begin the year, Josh Johnson worked 7 strong innings, limiting the Cubs to 2 runs on 7 hits.  And after Steve Cishek turned in yet another in a long-line of seemingly daily stellar outings to set down the side in the 8th, Heath Bell needed only 7 pitches (all strikes) to dispose of the Cubs 1-2-3 in the 9th to earn his first Marlins save.

For Ozzie Guillen, the performances turned in by his ace and his closer were the highlights of the night.

“To see JJ throwing the ball the way he did, I think personally, he needed that. And so did we, to get rid of those doubts and questions about him and how he performed the last 2 outings, especially the last one, it cleared a lot of people’s minds about how he is.

And second of all, to give the opportunity to Heath Bell to go out there and do what he does best. Those are the 2 things, besides the home run and the win, those are the greatest things that happened for us (last night).”

After allowing 21 hits in 9 2/3 innings his first 2 times out, JJ said last night felt different.

“I felt like I could let it go. When my timing’s off, this past month, it hasn’t really felt quite there. It was close, but it wasn’t quite there, and I wasn’t really sure what it was until we went back and looked at the video and saw that my hands weren’t breaking at the correct time and doing what I’ve always done through my career. Just to get deep into the game, and again, I gave up a couple of hard-hit balls, but there were some balls that just found holes and found ways to get through.  But I went out there and battled and got through 7.”

For Bell, who led all of baseball in saves over the last 3 seasons, earning his first save in a Marlins uniform took a little longer than he would have liked with a pair of blown saves to begin the year, but following a Sunday morning throwing session with pitching coach Randy St. Claire, the righthander was confident he was back on track, and he didn’t try to hide the relief he felt following last night’s performance.

“This is like a huge weight off my back, plain and simple. I went out there and blew the first 2, and I’m big on trying to get my teammates to trust me in any situation at any given time. This is a good start.

Between talking to Buck and St. Claire, and me and St. Claire working out and playing catch, we fixed it on Sunday, It’s not something that’s going to come back. It’s fixed.  It’s done with. We’re going to go on and get a lot of people out.”

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.

ETC.

As the Marlins prepare to open a 3-game series with the Cubs at Marlins Park tonight, a few nuggets I’ve dug up for your enjoyment:

The Marlins lead the all-time series with Chicago 77-76.  The Cubs, Expos/Nationals and Brewers are the only 3 National League franchises against whom the Marlins are above .500 all-time. Miami is 169-129 (.567) against the Expos/Nationals franchise and 51-50 (.505) against Milwaukee. The 169 wins against Montreal and Washington are the franchise’s most all-time against any opponent. Next on the list, the Mets, against whom Miami is 147-154 all-time. On the other end of the spectrum, the Marlins’ worst all-time winning percentage against an NL foe is their .388 mark against the Giants.  Miami is just 57-90 all-time against San Francisco. While history indicates the Marlins might look forward to their visits to Washington and New York on this next road trip, they may dread their upcoming trip to San Francisco, just around the corner, May 1-3.

Through 4 games at Marlins Park, the Marlins have drawn 4 crowds in excess of 30,000.  That matches the number of 30,000-plus crowds the Marlins drew ALL SEASON over 81 games at Sun Life in 2011.

Records by jersey color so far…Orange: 1-0, Black: 3-4, White: 0-2.

Marlins pitchers allowed 20 walks in the 3 games against Houston over the weekend; however, only 3 of the free passes came around to score.  They’d walked a total of only 12 opposing hitters through the season’s first 7 games.

On the flip side, Marlins hitters drew 11 walks over the weekend against the Astros, including a season-high 6 on Sunday, after they’d coaxed only 10 walks in their first 7 games combined.

The Marlins are 3-0 when they homer and 1-6 when they do not.

Miami relief pitchers have stranded 9 of 11 inherited runners through the season’s first 10 games.

Carlos Zambrano has a pair of no-decisions despite leaving both of his first 2 starts on line for a victory.  Zambrano’s been terrific after the first inning.  He’s allowed 4 first-inning runs his first 2 times out for an 18.00 ERA in the first.  He’s allowed just 1 run over the other 10 innings he’s worked for a 0.90 ERA after the first.

Omar Infante hit his 4th home run of 2012 in his 9th game and 31st at-bat Sunday against the Astros. A season ago, he hit #4 in his 129th game and 497th AB.

With 7 hits in his last 8 at-bats, Sunday’s hero Hanley Ramirez has his season average at .282.  That’s higher than at any point in 2011, when he peaked at .256 on April 14 and was last at .250 on July 20 en route to a .243 finish. 

Hanley’s gone deep twice in 10 games (39 at-bats) so far. A season ago, he didn’t hit his 2nd home run until his 34th game and AB #126.

Giancarlo Stanton’s yet to go deep through his first 9 games and 35 at-bats. It should, however, be noted that the slugger formerly known as Mike didn’t slug his first long ball until his 14th game and 38th at-bat en route to 34 homers in 2011.

Josh Johnson tonight faces the Cubs for the first time since August 15, 2008.  He’s 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in 3 games (2 starts) against Chicago all-time. 

JJ has allowed 21 hits in 9.2 innings over his first 2 starts this season, with the opposition hitting .447. Last April, when he was 3-0 with a 0.88 ERA in 6 starts, Josh allowed only 18 hits in 41.0 innings for a .130 opponents’ average.

Of the 21 hits JJ has allowed, 19 have been singles. The only 2 extra-base hits he’s surrendered were both doubles.

Neither Carlos Zambrano nor Chris Volstad, who were traded for one another this winter, will pitch in this series.  Zambrano had spent his entire career with the Cubs, while Volstad had always been a Marlin, drafted in the first round in 2005.

Miami is 2-0 in games started by opposing lefthanders (Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ) and 2-6 in games started by opposing right-handers.

 

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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