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Are the Marlins turning it around?

PHILADELPHIA -- Ever since their 11-1 start the Florida Marlins have been going in the opposite direction. For every step forward, it's been two, three, four steps back.

This week, though, they might have finally figured out the way to snap out of their funk. It's called starting pitching. Remember that three week period when Marlins starters couldn't buy a win? Remember when the Marlins bullpen, the most overworked in the bigs, was eating innings like cops at a donut shop?

Marlins starters have stepped it up. Burke Badenhop's five innings Wednesday were huge and followed the current trend Fish starters began last weekend against the Rays.

Since Josh Johnson's start Sunday (their last four outings) the rotation has combined to go 2-0 in 24-2/3 innings, giving up just eight earned runs (2.91 ERA) while striking out 14 and walking 10. If not for Joe Blanton's best start of the season Tuesday, the Marlins might be on a four-game winning streak.

"You usually play as good as your starting pitching," Marlins manager Gonzalez said. "You hate to cover five, six innings every night. It can't work. It doesn't work. We had JJ, Volly, Miller and now even today. Hopefully we keep rolling and have guys go deep in ball games."

> It's a bit of a strange stat. But the Marlins improved 4-0 in the last four games Hanley Ramirez hasn't played. The Marlins won their last two against the Mets April 28-29 and then the opener against the Cubs on April 30 when Ramirez was nursing a bruised wrist. Wednesday was win No. 4.

> Dan Uggla hit another home run against Brett Myers -- that's five, more than any other pitcher he's faced. Uggla has also homered in five of his last nine games. Of his last nine hits, five have been homers.

> Cody Ross got three hits for the second consecutive game. He went 7 for 12 against the Phillies with a homer and two RBI.

> Be sure to check out the postgame audio I uploaded after the game. Listen to manager Fredi Gonzalez, pitcher Burke Badenhop and second baseman Dan Uggla field questions from me and the rest of the Marlins beat writers.

Comments

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FireFrediCutAmezaga

Tough to say if we have turned it around and will get back on track. With Fredi as the manager, just when you think things are about to get better, they get worse than you could ever imagine them getting.

oaktree

Do cops eat innings at donut shops? That sentence needs some work. You might want o go with: Remember when the Marlins bullpen, the most overworked in the bigs, was eating innings like cops eat donuts?

I believe this turnaround actually started with the West start in that 10-3 loss to TB. He went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs. Not bad for a rookie. Unfortunately, the bullpen was horrible all around. The only reliever out of five that didn't give up a run that day was Meyer.

Cane_Hopeful

A little off topic...

But, do players who get suspended for drug violations, like Manny Ramirez, still collect their full paychecks ??

Thanks...

Javi

Cane_Hopeful, Manny is not collecting paychecks during his suspension. He stands to lose about $7 million out of the 25 million he is due this year.

Also, the only way this team can turn it around and maintain it is by removing the huge black hole we have at the top of the order named Bonifacio.

FireFrediCutAmezaga

Kinda on called for there Javi. A little racial comment there. Boni will be just fine.

Javi

There was nothing racial about that comment. Bonifacio does nothing absolutely to help this team win. He needs to be benched or least removed from the leadoff spot.

Jorge

firefredicutamezaga,

Black hole is not racial. He is referring to Bonifacio being the worst leadoff hitter in the major leagues. He also has made a league-leading seven errors. Hard to find a reason to keep him in the lineup as you cannot utilize speed when the runner is not on base.

Also, we sent Nolasco down to work on the kinks because, as GM Hill said, "we cannot afford to have him work out the kinks on the big league club." Well, why can Bonifacio work out the kinks on the big league club? Because Willingham is healthy and we could use the Olsen innings from this failed trade.

Same reason why Andrew Miller trots out there all the time even though he needs more time in the minors and same reason why Maybin was rushed. The real fish fans hated the Cabrera trade and are still struggling to find the greatness of that deal. Miggy is hitting 380 with 10 hrs while we have bonacrap, mill of crap and cameron the minor leaguer crap.

Beinfest really does not get criticized for bad trades and gets a heck of a lot of praise for lucky ones.

FireFrediCutAmezaga

I agree, maybe Boni needs to be moved to the 8th spot. Give Coghlan another shot at leadoff -- Maybin and or De Aza, one of the two should be up here playing CF, either one could also lead off for us.

oaktree

Bonifacio's days are numbered at the big league level. He strikes out too much, has horrible ball/strike recognition, and does not make contact.

It's too early to judge the Cabrera trade. The fact is Willis was part of that trade and we got 6 players for two guys. So to insinuate we traded Cabrera for Maybin straight up is ridiculous. Are you guys really going to sit here and say that Miller, Badenhop, Rabelo, De La Cruz, and Trahern are all irrlevant pieces to that trade? Miller could end up being an ace one day. Badenhop looks like a damn good reliever. Rabelo looks like he can be a solid backup.

Bonifacio does not belong in the 8th spot. That is actually a crucial part of the order. You actually want a good patient hitter there to turn the order over.

Chama

Bonifacio, Hermida, and the whole coaching staff must go. The amount of game lost are due to lack of players with MLB quality.

oaktree

Hermida is definitly one of the players that we will try to trade again or will not resign at the end of the year if his performance at the plate does not improve. From what I remember he was considered a future superstar, but it just has not panned out. You can even see the potential now because he has a great approach at the plate. He is patient and has great ball/strike recognition. For some reason it just does not translate into a .300 average.

As for firing the coaching staff. That is a ridiculous suggestion. You are talking about a coaching staff that took a team to the playoffs that was supposed to finish last. You are talking about a coaching staff that develops players other clubs pay big bucks for. Another sign of how good the coaching staff is, is that when some of the players leave our club they do poorly with their new team. This shows that the coaching staff knows how to use guys.

thejuandiggler

Playoffs ? I must have missed that.
Bonifacio should Amezega spot as utility back up boy. He can play 3b , 2b , ss and ocassional of. This guy is well out of his leauge at leadoff.
Admit the trade sucked Beinfest and Fredi and stop trying to justify it.
So you got it wrong , stop costing us games with Boni as a regular starter !
Keep him as a pinch runner , he will excell at that !

FireFrediCutAmezaga

Fire Fredi!

oaktree

Sorry bout that. I should have put an "almost" in there.

You can not close the book on the trade yet though because Bonifacio may become a good hitter in the next couple of years. When the Marlins make trades you have to remember that a big factor on whether the trade was a sucess or not is whether the players develop. In addition, the trade did get us Leo Nunez who has been a good set up man.

I can see Bonifacio being the replacement for Amezaga though. Amezaga is starting to get old. Bonifacio shows flashes of the solid defender he will hopefully become down the road.

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