Marlins Collapsing Under Florida Heat

Despite a valiant effort, scoring nine of the final twelve runs of the game, the Florida Marlins dropped the finale of last night’s four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks by a final score of 12-9. The loss capped a series victory for the Diamondbacks and one of the most disastrous homestands imaginable for the Marlins. Their only victory of the 11-game homestand came on June 10th, a 6-4 victory against Arizona. The other 10 games included a four-game sweep by Milwaukee and a three-game sweep by division rival Atlanta. Entering June, the Marlins were eight games over .500, leading the wild-card race, and only two games behind Philadelphia. Merely two weeks later, the Marlins are floundering at 32-33 and their early playoff dreams may be dashed. What went wrong?

There is plenty of blame to go around in Miami. The Marlins only scored 3.6 runs per game on the homestand while allowing 5.4, and no part of the team can escape finger-pointing. Relievers Leo Nunez and Mike Dunn combined for three losses in the later innings. The starting pitchers allowed four or more runs in six out of the 11 games. The bats have managed a 106 wRC+ in June (which includes this homestand as well as a loss to Arizona on the first of the month), but haven’t been able to get runners home, scoring nearly half a run fewer per game than the league average. Surely, the loss of Hanley Ramirez made a large impact, despite his struggles to begin the season, and the absence of Josh Johnson put extra pressure on both the rotation and bullpen.

Not that the Marlins haven’t had their share of close calls. Six of the ten losses came by one run, including the first three games against Milwaukee and all three games against Atlanta. In the first game of the homestand, John Axford walked the bases loaded in the ninth and managed to escape by striking out Brett Hayes with the bases loaded. The second game saw Nunez blow a one-run save thanks to a Ryan Braun pinch-hit home run. The third game saw another final at-bat loss as Dunn gave up an unlikely home run to backup shortstop Josh Wilson in the 11th inning after the Marlins squandered a bases loaded and one out situation in the bottom of the ninth.

The Braves series provided nothing but more heartbreak. Brad Hand‘s stellar debut performance (six strong innings, one earned run, and six strikeouts) went for naught as Tommy Hanson combined with the Braves’ bullpen for a shutout in game number one. Game number two saw a two-run ninth-inning comeback off Craig Kimbrel go wasted as the Braves would win it in the 10th on a Freddie Freeman single. At least in the last game the Marlins were never given false hope in game three, losing 3-2 but never mounting a true comeback after falling behind 3-0 to Jair Jurrjens.

Just to add insult to injury, the Marlins must now head on the road to Philadelphia. Only two weeks ago, this series could have been a battle for first place in the NL East; now, the Marlins are 7.5 games back. Throw in an bullpen in dire need of rest — over the last three games, Marlins relievers have been forced to throw 15.1 innings — and the disaster could just continue. It’s unfortunate, as the Marlins roster contains a variety of young and talented players. A homestand in early June typically doesn’t make a season, but in this case, it just may have broken the season for the Florida Marlins.




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18 Responses to “Marlins Collapsing Under Florida Heat”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s Hanley’s fault.

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  2. ServiteLegend says:

    Talk about Cleveland. It also seems that their season is lost since they went 2-8 in their last ten games and Detroit went 7-3.

    However, the Indians are tied for first, but the Tigers are more talented, thus they are expected to perform better, which gives them a slight edge that may allow them to win the AL Central.

    I don’t like the Phillies because they don’t let Ben Francisco start every game. He went to Servite!! I hate Domonic Brown for upstaging Ben.

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  3. atoms says:

    seems like they’ve been at or around a zero run differential the whole season (they’re -16 now, after this collapse). they weren’t as good as their record eleven games ago, plain and simple. correction/regression just came in a hurry.

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    • Garrett says:

      lol correction

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        How much can you base on that? I mean yea, good teams obviously will have a better run differential. However, if one team wins with pitching, and wins a lot of 3-1 1-0 2-0, etc games, and another wins with offense and wins 11-5 8-3 6-1 etc, can you really say the offensive team is better?

        One thing I’ve noticed is that the cardinals, arguably the NL’s best offensive team has a below .500 record against teams at or above .500, but kill teams below .500. Atlanta, arguably the NL’s best pitching team has a great record against teams above .500 but struggles against teams below.

        My theory is that the typically good teams have at least “good pitching” and good pitching beats good hitting. So the Cards lose to a lot of good teams but crush the bad ones and Atlanta will get shutout against San Diego but win 2-1 over the Phillies.

        The Marlins seem to have benefitted from a lot of luck though. It was such an extreme outlier from the norm for their record to be as good as it was.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        Teams that win by hitting but have bad pitching will often get blown out as well. So 10-4 wins are countered with 8-2 losses.

        Teams that win by pitching will often win 2-1, 1-0, but also lose by small margins.

        Run differential will actually be similar for these teams if they are equally ‘good.’

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  4. DO YALL WANT A HAM says:

    “Marlins” “Floundering”. I see what you did there.

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  5. delv says:

    I thought this article was going to look at correlations between home/away ballpark temperatures and team wOBA or something.

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  6. Splinter919 says:

    Great Point atoms, The question I kept asking all season was are the Marlins this good? The way I saw it, their offense was solid but behind Johnson and Sanchez they didn’t have much in the way of pitching to compete in that division. The injury to Johnson was devastating followed by the injury to Hanley, that was enough to break the back of the fast start they were having. They are still a good team and will find a way to win a few more games, but they are playing for third now that the Braves have been hot and the Phillies are… well… the Phillies.

    As for Cleveland, their early success was even more unpredictable and I’ll be honest I don’t know enough about their team or their players to even try to explain their early success or their recent struggles. It was especially surprising that they had most of that success without Grady Sizemore. I will just chalk their recent slide up to “correction/regression” as atoms said. Heck maybe thats the same reason the Red Sox have been tearing it up recently. How good are they going to get? and how long before they slide?

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  7. michael bourne says:

    Good timing for this article…

    for you and anyone else who didn’t know, hanley ramirez starts today. Cust Kayin’

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  8. michael bourne says:

    Are the la angels next without Morales? And they still have weaver.

    Take the best bat and arm off any team. Marlins struggling isn’t worth an entire article.

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  9. donnie baseball says:

    On this note, can I put in a request for a breakdown of R. Nolasco.

    Just from skimming through his page, and from my untrained eyes. The problem for him seems to be that he doesn’t throw his curve enough.

    His one big year (traditional stats) was 08′, and he threw the curve 27%. Since then he hasn’t thrown it more than 16% of the time with an all-time low of 13% this year. And not coincidentally, he hasn’t had a good season since.

    Why would he do this?

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  10. Adam says:

    It’s The Curse of Buster Posey

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  11. Steve Balboni says:

    Lebron just chokes in the late innings, no heart or grit. Get Danny Ainge in there and the Marlins’ll win 10 straight

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  12. Josh Johnson says:

    I am the heart and soul of this team. Without me the Marlins have no life. When I get back after the allstar break we will finish off the season 80-82 in third place. After I step onto the mound in my new ballpark with Hanley we will be brought back to life thanks to help of all 10 fans.

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  13. Brian says:

    michael bourne wrote:
    “Take the best bat and arm off any team. Marlins struggling isn’t worth an entire article.”

    Okay, let’s take the best bat and arm off another team. Let’s take Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman away from the Nationals for 58 games.

    Nationals record without SS or RZ these past couple months: 27-31. That’s not quite the epic slide the Marlins sustained, now, is it?

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