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6 runs in 7 days!

    NEW YORK -- No offense. Ineffective bullpen (yep, Heath Bell blew another one). Spotty defense. It all added up to one atrocious 0-5 road trip for the Marlins. I was riding down the press box elevator after the game with one of the national writers and his words to me were, "I picked them to make the playoffs. What was I thinking?"

     Bell was abysmal this afternoon, laboring through a 46-pitch inning in which he walked four of the first five batters he faced. He didn't give up a hit until his 46th pitch -- the game-winning hit -- which prompted a friend of mine to write me asking, "What's the most pitches a pitcher has thrown in an inning before giving up a hit?" I thought it was a good question and sent it along to the great folks at Elias Sports Bureau. They came through for me earlier this week when I asked if a team had ever walked four batters in an inning with four different pitchers (Answer: No -- not until the Marlins did it Tuesday), so hopefully we'll hear back from Elias tonight on the latest query.

     The story of the trip wasn't Bell or the bullpen, though. It was the offense. The lineup produced a grand total of six runs in the five games. That's not bad. It's awful.

      And it all starts at the top, meaning the top of the order. The Marlins' 1-2-3 hitters -- Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez -- combined to go 4 for 57 -- let me repeat that, 4 for 57 -- over the five games. Ramirez didn't have a hit, and in typical Ramirez fashion, didn't want to discuss it afterward. Bonifacio and Reyes did, however, and said it was unacceptable. Reyes is hitting .205 at the moment. Add in his five fielding errors and it is hardly the player the Marlins were hoping to see when they signed him to a six-year deal.

      The rotation is doing its part. The five starters posted a 1.82 ERA during the trip. But they don't have a single win to show for it.

       So there's my take. What's your's? Where do you place the greatest blame for the 7-11 start?

Comments

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rc

the bullpen takes the most blame

even with the poor offense they would have won some of those games due to their starting pitchers

bob

My take: Eduardo Perez has to go. Heath Bell either needs an intervention, or Guillen absolutely can't allow him to go a week without pitching. He can't go more than a couple of days without pitching. And you think part of the problem might be that the same lineup doesn't play every day? While the bottom six of the lineup is unpredictable, Reyes and Hanley stay stuck at 1 and 3 with absolutely no production. If Guillen won't move them, then he shouldn't move anyone. Give us one solid week where the lineup doesn't change. One solid week where the opening day lineup plays every day.

Oh well, maybe coming back home against the D'backs will give them some wins.

Baseball Stew

Face facts..this team was over-rated. Period. Get over it.

Flav C

The responsibility falls on everyone's shoulders. Teams go thru slumps but good teams find ways to win games during this slump. Hayes bunt-single and stealing 2nd base showed how much he wanted to create something, to find a way to score a run.
Look, the Mets simply cannot hit. They can't. They have a mediocre team, in a rebuilding mode. But guess what; they are 10-8 overall and 9-5 against NL East foes. We all know this will not last long, but their young players are leaving everything on the field. They are playing (and winning) on the opponent's mistakes.
The Nats has great pitching but not enough offense. They don't steal bases. Their 1-2 does not have good OBP, therefore when all is said and done, the clock will strike midnight and they will be pumpkins again. But as of today, they are 14-4. 8 of those wins scoring 3 runs or less. They are 6-2 in one run games. Small ball, hit-and-runs, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice fly. They are winning games by scoring on every possible way. And once they get their 1 run lead, their pitching takes care of the rest.
What I'm trying to say is teams go thru slump. Bad ones stretch this slump for a long time. Good teams find ways to win games during the slump.
Its not Eduardo Perez, St Claire, Bell, the hitters only. This is on everybody. The big-mouth manager too. He has to design the strategy of a game. For each separate game. Boni is on a slump? BUNT!! Reyes is on a slump? Be patient, draw a walk. Don't swing on 1-0, 2-0 counts. Instruct your pitchers on what to do. Like yesterday, with a 1 run lead, Mets had 1 on base. They send their most dangerous run driver to the plate, Wright. Gee, someone, instruct Buehrle to pitch around Wright. Maybe that's Buck's job. If a BB happens, take your chances with Duda, who came hitting .230 to the game and had already struck out and grounded out.
Or today, where Bell had walked Wright with 3 of 4 curveballs for Ball, then grounded out Duda, but not without 2 more curveballs in dirt for Balls. Then the unimaginable: He walks Ike Davis. Ike ".132 bat avg" Davis. With more curveballs in dirt!!! Then comes St CLaire and i thought: He's going to tell Bell to stop with that BS of throwing curveballs. Then on a 3-2 count to Thole....CURVEBALL!!! On a 3-2 count!! Really Bell?
No signs of leadership in this ballclub. The sad part is that they can turn things around, you just don;t have that feeling that the players really want to turn it around.

Truthteller

Worst team in the major leagues. Again. Tampa Bay's AAA team is better than this collection of heartless, gutless, apathetic bums.

Flav C

Before I forget, let me finish my rant. The Braves, everybody knows at this point, has this young formidable player called Craig Kimbrel. He finished last season with 46 saves I guess and a low 2.1 ERA. Amazing feat for a 22 years old kid. This season he already has 7 Svs in 7 opportunities. 1.13 ERA. I am mentioning that because Kimbrel started in 2010 as a mid-reliever pitcher, not as a closer. He pitched so well 7th innings, 8th innings, that the Braves started to give him the opportunities to be the closer in a few games. And in 2011 he started the season as their closer, the rest is history.
Last year, I mentioned that the Marlins had a big opportunity to do the same experiment with Cishek. He pitched really well in 2011, very low ERA. Solid kid. I thought 2012 would bring him as our closer or late inning pitcher, "a la" Kimbrel. Guess I was dead wrong.

Flagstafffishfan

Flav, gotta agree it falls on everyone. I do feel that the manager has to shoulder the most blame however. That's the position he's in and has to accept. How long will ownership stand by and watch is the real question? It's a shame because they need to build a following and right now the Miami Marlins are by far the laughing stock of the league. I certainly feel that good old Larry Beinfest has to shoulder some blame too.

They go out and sign free agents and I have to wonder if anyone watched Heath Bell throw other than last year, no issues with his weight, velocity?
Like Flav said, why take a chance with Wright yesterday, he's the one guy you cant let beat you. I really want you writers to get to Loria or Beinfest and have them field some tough questions about what's going on. How bout Cishek closing? Try anything....sacrifice a chicken....losing fans by the dozens can't be part of the plan.

bob

Yeah it's on everybody, that's why you need to make a lot of changes. Eduardo Perez, Bell, and the lineup all need improvements, and all at the same time so there isn't one part of the Marlins' game holding them down.

Marlins Fans R Samson Suckers

No changes will be made. It's gonna be a loooong season.

S Flynn

Heard that Loria, after he dumped Samson's mother for a 30yr younger goldigger, wanted to use Samson for his penile implant. Problems arose when Samson, while bragging to be a real prick, could'nt get hard for women like a real prick should. Another Samson lie. Instead ,Loria had to promise the new wife that he would always provide her prompt service from the 25-man roster. The roster will be changed at Loria's wifes' request. Boni is cooling down,she might want a pinh-hitter,looking for full time at-bats.And Buck is no buck. She's upset with Giancarlo,and thinks he JO'd to much when he was younger,and now needs glasses..Reyes is good with his mouth ,but has no stick. Hanley justs likes to jerk-off all the time. Hmm,maybe their will be changes.

Truthteller

The latent lawyer is doing a 50-mile run today. Hopefully, nothing bad happens. Not.

Flav C.

Well, the DBacks are in town. Another team (like the Marlins) that struggles on 1-Run games. Brings in a next-to-last ERA in the NL (4.43) and already allowed a NL worst 22 HRs. Maybe, just maybe, Stanton and Reyes will find their groove back.

Stan M

It's obvious that something must be done to shake up this team. Ozzie has made some poor decisions but can't be fired at this stage. Hitting is awful so naturally Perez, who has shown nothing, must go. I would also push Hanley down to the #6 spot to shake him up. He might have the longest swing I've seen in some time. Bell blew another save and that's a physical error. That Ozzie didn't have someone warmed up in the bullpen in case Bell emploded AGAIN is a mental error and more unforgiveable.

mouzon

This is just a giant hangover from all the hype over the winter. Oh, and there is obviously not a good established core leadership; player and/or coach whatever. Too many people trying to get along and be buddies.

Pressure? Playing too tight? Seriously?! Have you watched the games? They are very, very relaxed out there. The whole issue with this team is a bunch of talent not being stoked and channeled properly. This team craves leadership right now...someone or some core group to ensure that the team as a whole gets serious and starts chasing a higher standard of baseball.

That said, this team will get red hot for periods of the season, which will be fun to watch. Games will be fun, win or lose. Baseball is a great alternative to NFL right now, which has turned into a circus. So I'm thankful for the Marlins and the sweet new park and I will enjoy it all the way through.

Flav C.

Just being devil's advocate here:

Perez was hired on early June of last year. So it would be fair to assess his work from that moment on, correct? So, let's look at our "strugglers" before and after Perez, last season.
Stanton:
Before Perez (Mar/Apr thru June): .252 avg, 16 HRs, .328 OBP, 44 RBIs, 27 BBs, 16 2B.
After Perez (July - Sept/Oct): .270 avg, 18 HRs, .386 OBP, 43 RBIs, 43 BBs, 14 2B.

So, good improvement overall. Was it Perez? Was it a continuation of Maallee's work? Or was it that Stanton was much more relaxed and focused?

Before getting injured in Aug, Hanley had the same number of HRs in one month under Perez (5) than under 3 months with Maallee. His bat avg jumped to .293, coming all the way from .200/.210 in Mar/Apr/May. Or does everybody here have short memory and forgot that Hanley was hitting so badly that Edwin didn't know where to put him in the batting order and pitchers were walking hitters in front of Hanley just to get to him? After Maallee was gone, Hanley improved drastically. Was it Perez's influence? Was it McKeon's presence, making Hanley "happy" again? Or was it that Hanley didn't like Maalle?

Gaby historically plummets his performance after All Star break, but even with low bat avg, he contributed with a similar number of RBIs before and after Perez (38 before Perez, 40 after Perez). Also, similar number of HRs before and after (10 before, 9 after).
Did Perez have any influence on Gaby's performance? Last year nobody said anything about Perez, but blamed it on Gaby not being able to get better after All Star Break, just like the season before.

Lomo is not struggling right now. He has high bat avg, high OBP, he is playing well. Just like he did in the beginning of last season.

For the ones who keep saying that Perez does not have "MLB numbers" as a hitter to make him a good hitting coach, remember a few names:
Rudy Jaramillo, considered one of the great hitting instructors in the League (15 years with the Rangers), has ZERO major league experience. Zero. Nada. He is hitting coach of the Cubs this season. Look at their hitting numbers. Some of their stats make the Marlins look good.
The renowned Kevin Long with the Yankees? Long history of minor league experience as a player, with the Royals. Almost zero experience as a major league player.
Greg Walker, current Braves hitting coach (the team that leads the NL and 2nd in the major on Runs scored), had an average career as a hitter. He became hitting coach for the White Sox only because he played most of his life there and had a great relationship with the ownership. He did a good job in a few seasons with the Sox, and others it was a disaster. But the Braves hired him and thought he could do a good job with young guys like Freeman, Heyward, and their new SS. It is working so far. Let;s see how far this is going to go. Last year the Braves fired their hitting coach after only one season,

The list could go on and on. According to specialists, most of the hitting coach positions are earned on the basis of being the "right arm of the manager", "good with young players", "motivates the veterans", etc... Most of the time, it has nothing to do with previous experience in the Major League.

So, this is a lot of info I guess. No assumptions made here, mostly data for your perusal.

Stan M

If anyone criticized Perez because of his pedigree as a major leaguer I missed it. I think that your precept extends beyond baseball. Many who found it hard to do something are often the best teachers. Golf would be another example and certainly teaching in general would fall into the same category.
Flav, doen't you agree that something must be done? We can't fire Ozzie (too much salary owed if nothing else) and Cora goes where Ozzie goes. The starting pitchers have been excellent so the pitching coach must stay despite the bullpen problems. The 3B coach is terrific. That leaves either a sock it to 'em trade or Perez. I think it's still too early to complete any evaluation of the talent at hand for trading purposes, so again it comes down to Perez and some shaking up of the lineup.
I think the majority of knowledgeable posters here do not have short memories and it is an insult to make such a statement. Please understand that you are not the only one who follows this team closely.

flagstafffishfan

Maybe it's time to bring in a sports psychologist? I'm not kidding either. Winning and losing are both contagious but when you feel that you're always going to lose it may need a little tweak in the brain and not the batting stance.

Anyhow hope they can turn it around against a really pesky DBacks team that I watch out here in AZ.

spitballer

I still have faith....the Marlins will make the playoffs!

Jimmy the Geek

Keep on smoking that weed and get back on ur medication

Flav C.

Stan M, by no means I am insulting anyone in this board. I was just including some data that had the objective of being devil's advocate. I'm not a big fan of Eduardo Perez. But I don't think he is the reason for the bad hitting either. All I was trying to point out was that the Marlins (just like most teams) is going thru a slump and it is indeed very early in the season to decide to fire someone. But that is just my opinion. The Marlins has a business to run and tickets for the DBacks series are already being sold for $3.00 on stubhub (outfield seats). This basically means that people who have season tickets are trying to sell them and no one is buying. This impact the largest yield of revenue the Marlins has: Concession stands. Not tickets. No attendance, no booze, no hot dogs, no money.
So, if the team is bad, business is bad, goats need to be sacrificed. Last year were Edwin and Mallee. This year will be Ed Perez. And lazy bums like Hanley who has no intentions of improving his game, and Buck, who is .220 career bat avg hitter, will remain in the team, as if they had nothing to do with that. Guys like Hanley and Buck are extreme opposites: Hanley knows he is good. Ed has already told him what he has to improve. But he will do things his way. Now Buck, he is simply bad. It doesn't matter how hard you try, he won't get it. Buck had great hitting coach with the Blue Jays. Result: season after season of batting .230/.240.
See the example of the new Braves coach, while he was with the White Sox, with Adam Dunn. How can any hitting coach at this point teach anything to Dunn? Adam Dunn was struggling big time with the White Sox last season. No matter what Greg tried, it didn't work. Same thing with Alex Rios. He batted .229 last year. Blame it on the hitting coach. Coincidentally, both players are batting better this year. And Greg is not there.
But the Braves too are doing good, with the same hitting coach that, as per the White Sox, could not help Rios and Dunn. Go figure.

Adam

Looks like they're just picking up wehre they left off last season. Worst part about this is when Loria finally decides to splurge on guys like Reyes and Bell they do worse than our minor leaguers.

Stan M

I completely agree that Buck is a second division player at best and that Hanley is a Mutt. Above I suggested moving him to 6th to shake his ego a little...no a lot! Then think of DeAza leading off for the White Sox. Andino playing regular 2B for the Orioles, Jason Vargas a regular starter for the Mariners, Cody winning games for the Red Sox, and I think the Hopper and Hensley are at least better than a couple of our current relievers. And think of what we got for all of them? A minor league catcher who ranks below at least two of those we already had. And what else? Nothing! And is that because our minor leaguers are ranked so highly? No, our team is ranked near the bottom of all major league teams in minor league prospects. One encouraging sign. Our 1st round choice pitched 6 innings of a recent no hitter and has looked as if he overmatches the low A league he is currently in. And Yelich, our top prospect was player of the week in his league in high A after missing time with an injury. Both are very young.

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