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No innings limit yet, but Marlins are being smart with Jose Fernandez, other young starters' workloads

ATLANTA -- With a day off on Thursday and another coming up on Monday, the Marlins had the choice of either going with a four-man rotation this week or starting veteran long-reliever Kevin Slowey in Saturday's open slot against the Mets.

They opted for the latter, a move manager Mike Redmond said Wednesday was all geared toward giving his young rotation an extra day of rest.

"If we can get guys an extra day here it's going to be better for them down the road," Redmond said. "Slowey has pitched well against the Mets. Now we don't rush these guys too much.

"At the end of day, at the end of this year, all these guys are going to be in unchartered territory with all of their innings. It all sounds good at the beginning of the season, but you know how it is at the end of the season. These guys are in unchartered territory. It just made sense to push them back, give them an extra day."

The Marlins haven't discussed putting an innings limit on 21-year old ace Jose Fernandez like they did last year during his National League Rookie of the Year season. But Redmond made it clear the Marlins still have Fernandez's "best interest in mind."

"We showed that last year how we kind of handled him," Redmond said of Fernandez, who was shutdown the second week of September after throwing 172 2/3 innings. "[An innings limit] will be a conversation to have later in the year, end of the year. We'll see how it goes. But we've talked about possibly giving him extra days when we can throughout the year to save him and make sure he's fresh at the end of the year as well."

In Tuesday's masterful 1-0 victory over the Braves, Fernandez matched a career-high with 14 strikeouts and 109 pitches over eight innings. It marked the third time in his career Fernandez had taken a shutout through eight innings, but didn't come out to pitch the ninth.

Redmond reiterated Wednesday he would have let Fernandez pitch the ninth inning on Tuesday had his pitch count after the eighth been closer to 100 pitches. 

"That was the most he's pitched in a game this year, but he was fine," Redmond said. "He really didn't run into [trouble]. His innings were pretty quick, didn't really get into any jams the whole night. I would say those were 109 stress-free pitches.

"Like I said, it just kind of goes from start to start, see how he feels and how effective he is in the zone and how hard he has to work. Sometimes 109 pitches is a max effort for some guys. Sometimes 109 pitches is easy. Last night was an easy 109 pitches. Had he been at around 100 I might have let him go out there to finish the game. We didn't have to make that decision obviously."

Fernandez, by the way, made history again Tuesday. He became the fourth-youngest pitcher since 1900 to record 14-plus strikeouts with no walks in a start, according to Elias. Only Gary Nolan (19 years, 11 days in 1967), Dwight Gooden (19 years, 301 days and 19 years, 306 days in 1984) and Kerry Wood (20 years, 324 days in 1998) were younger than Fernandez when they accomplish the feat.

Within his first 33 starts, Fernandez now has five games of 10-plus strikeouts with one or no walks, the first pitcher to pull off that feat since Mark Prior.

> Redmond said Jacob Turner, on rehab assignment with a right shoulder sprain, will throw 50 to 60 pitches for Single A Jupiter Wednesday night. It's first game action since he strained his shoulder in the batting cages before a game. 

> Infielder Ed Lucas (fractured left hand) still has not begun playing in games, but he is working out in Jupiter.

WEDNESDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (10-11): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Marcell Ozuna CF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Casey McGehee 3B, 6. Derek Dietrich 2B, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.

> Braves (13-7): 1. Jason Heyward RF, 2. Andrelton Simmons SS, 3. Freddie Freeman 1B, 4. Chris Johnson 3B, 5. Ryan Doumit LF, 6. Dan Uggla 2B, 7. Jordan Schafer CF, 8. Gerald Laird C, 9. Aaron Harang RHP.

Comments

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A Regular Here

That kid Fernandez is beyond dominant havent seen a picture like him since Randy Johnson in his heyday

Flav C.

The other day everybody complained about Red putting Baker to pinch-hit against a right-hand pitcher, instead of Dobbs.

Well...there you have it! Mr. Dobbers in all his plenitude against a right-hand pitcher!

Marlin Fan

Eovaldi pitched great today . Hechavarria 's head was up his ... Today. Lackadasical error , can't bunt... Marlins first and second and NO one out . Can't even advance runners or even make contact . I sai before , I think Dobbs is done . Please please stop hitting Jones clean up. He's a nice 6 or 7 man , not clean up. With Mcgehee's hitting , it's a no brainer to hit him behind Stanton .

Lou Vales

We DESERVE this. Marmol apparently just tweaked a hamstring with that crazy delivery of his.15 DAYS!!!!!!!!

Marlin Fan

Marmol and Dunn slam the door. How many times can we say that this year ??

Flav C.

Marlin Fan, that's exactly what I wrote the other day about Jones. He can be very productive at 1B granted he does not bat clean up and is platooned every other start against a LHP.

Hopefully they will make these (obvious) moves sooner than later.

Lou Vales

Finally!!!! Casey hit the ball on the NOSE with runners on 1st and 2nd and 2 out in the Top of the 8th. Heyward was of course playing him like a left handed pull hitter-so the ball nestled into his glove. For our sakes I can only hope the Atlanta Braves have gathered together the most powerful bullpen arms of the last 25 years. The inability to make contact off these guys is frightening and this is with Fredo already having destroyed Venters and O'Flaherty and now on the way to taking out Medlen.

Lou Vales

Flav, Did you get to see the 6!!!!!!!!! foul ball bunt attempts by Eovaldi and then with 1st and 2nd and nobody out he has Hecheverria try to lay one down and of course he gets buried 0-2 and then---of course---goes down swinging. Intriguing team if you are doing a blood pressure study.

Flav C.

Lou, I was thinking something along those lines. I thought bunting was something taught since you start playing in the little leagues!!!

A Realist

I am so sick and tired of Mike Dunn! You are garbage! You can pray all you want behind the bump. You have pitched absolutely horribly this year. Unbelievable. And they send down Caminero instead of Dunn. Get him out of here. I'd rather have some young guys come up and get their experience.

What good are all these batting averages if none of them can produce runs? These boys have no intestinal fortitude. Can't produce under pressure. Three games in a row where they have scored 2 or fewer runs. It's nice that they can rake against sorry Seattle. Where are all of you in big games within your division?

F@#king choke artists! Great. Staton hit a monster home run against Seattle. Where has he been since. He hasn't done squat. One big game followed by 3 or 4 games with basically nothing.

Flav C.

What a disaster of a game by Hech...

- 2 men on, nobody out and can't get the bunt down.
- critical fielding error, ending up costing a run.
- couldn't get Yelich's relay on the 8th.

For the ones who still say Dunn is bad and A.J. Ramos is good based on the assumption that Dunn cannot pitch when he inherits runners:

2013/2014 seasons: Pitchers with inherited runners:

Dunn: 33 Inherited Runners - 11 Scored (33%)
Ramos: 26 Inherited Runners - 11 scored (42%).

If I were a Marlins starting pitcher, I would work my rear-end off to pitch 8+ innings and avoid handling the ball to any reliever not named Cishek.

A Realist

This team is infected with a losing mentality. Down the stretch of tight games they will find a way to lose. Night in, night out. Doesn't matter who they bring in (Mcghee, Jones.....).

A Realist

1-10 in our division. Really guys? I have holes in my walls because of you pansies....

Alex

I'm sorry, I'm not buying it, Flav. Dunn's numbers from last year are irrelevant. He is just horrible RIGHT NOW, this year. Is Ramos a better pitcher when he starts an inning clean without any runners on base? Of course he is. Most pitchers are. And Ramos is a KID. He is still learning and developing. Dunn? He's DONE. Finished. Either he comes and gets hammered, giving up game winning HR's, or he pitches SCARED. Pitching SCARED is what a pitcher does when he KNOWS his stuff is garbage, and has seen his best pitches get slammed. So he starts nibbling and hoping that hitters swing at pitches out of the zone and get THEMSELVES out. But smart hitters don't do that and they end up walking. That's what started everything today, the walk to Johnson. Then he fell behind to Uggla and I just KNEW it was going to be a disaster. Which it was. Dunn has gotta go. Ramos? The catcher should have had more sense than to allow him to throw any kind of fastball to Gattis. Dunn has gotta go.

Alex

Redmond is a MORON. I can't stand watching him laughing at these press conferences. He lets Jones hit against the lefty Avila with runners on 1st and 2nd...WHY? No RH pinch hitters available? How many failed AB's against lefties does Jones have to have before Redmond PULLS THE PLUG ON HIM?

And he NEVER makes defensive changes late in games. Solano MIGHT have made that play on Uggla's grounder over Dunn's fat stupid head that Dietrich kicked away.

Dunn and Dumber. Mike Dunn and Mike Redmond.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Flav, I could be mistaken, but I would put the botched relay on Yelich's throw. It looked to me on the replay like he missed Hech.

Lou Vales

Josh Johnson EPITOMIZES ALL that is wrong with Major League Baseball. What other profession, job or even charitable endeavor are you allowed to basically never participate and receive the full benefit as if you were not an injury plagued flash in the pan. Josh Johnson has had a "career" that is starting to rival Don Gullett. What an absolute farce. They should start calling operations "Josh Johnson Surgeries" and leave Tommy John alone. Tommy John HAD a career.

Stan M

Again I repeat that it's the little trades and give a ways that are killing this team. Some were made to save chump change in this baseball economy. These 3 relievers are in the Red Sox bullpen: Andrew Miller, Mujica, and the Hopper. But then again, what have the Red Sox done lately? These are just 3 examples. There is Choate, DeAza, Cody Ross, Bonofascio was a throw-in. We probably could have all of the above for the price that Jones is costing us to watch him misused by a manager who is over his head in a ML environment. Hyperbole? Yes. But you get the idea.

The kid's great win covered up this team's tendency towards last year's bad habits. 13 and 16 Ks over the last two games, Hech is swinging in an upper plain again and I will never understand Stanton. If this team had the winning run on 2B with 2 outs in the ninth inning, I would honestly rather have most other Marlins up. I'd even take Solano over Stanton. I still question his eyesight.

Lou Vales

I have NEVER seen a hitter of Stanton's obvious quality morph into someone who for days can go without anything resembling solid contact. Stan, it is bizarre. I really decided to get back into them again but they are exasperating and ESPECIALLY the situational hitting AND I really question ability to hit any kind of quality starters or relief men. Right now I'm starting to lose the good feeling I had earlier. By the way, did it appear to you that Hechevarria was actually behaving nonchalantly in the field and at the plate?

Lou Vales

The deAza situation was crazy. He was penciled in to be Opening Day centerfielder. He gets hurt in last exhibition game with what is diagnosed as a minor injury. It lingers until August when it is determined he needs surgery--Is Dr Virgin of the Dolphins back---and soon he is gone. I complained about his disappearance all the time and was ridiculed for my interest in a "nobody", he is not a nobody.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

The mark of a well-run organization and of a well-coached or well-managed team is that they do not beat themselves. And in that respect, I am seeing some disconcerting things.

First, Marlins didn't lose the first game when Gattis hit that HR. They lost that game at the end of spring training when they put Caminero on the team. We were given a ringside seat as to why he's been in the minors for the better part of a decade. He belongs there.

Second, there are few things that seem to energize the opposing team more than when you let them breeze through a seven-pitch inning. It simply should not happen, for a multitude of reasons. Marlins had two consecutive seven-pitch innings yesterday. Fortunately Joe Fez was on the mound. UNFORTUNATELY, he can't start every game.

Third and directly attributable to Loria's cheapness (you can't hide from us behind your lackeys, you miserable hijo de perra!!!) is bringing up the kids sooner than any normally-budgeted organization would, which gives them less time to work on and develop the fundamentals. Sac bunts are a part of fundamentals ... hitting the cutoff man (which Yelich, who has been super, failed to do). Careless errors and mental mistakes are a part of fundamentals. Seven pitch innings is a big fail on fundamentals. The MANAGER thinking a couple of innings ahead is a part of fundamentals. Plate discipline/pitch selection/working-the-count belongs in there also.

Fundamentals make all the difference in games like these last 3, which have each gone down to the wire. The Marlins were in every game, yet it took a phenomenal performance from Fernandez to keep from getting swept, and I think fundamentals are killing their chances to win right now.

The good news? It can all be fixed. But by Redmond? I don't think so.

Stan M

Lou, I had to watch the Braves telecast. And the announcers made an interesting observation. While Hech was hitting, he really smashed a ball off what I guess was his instep. The announcers thought that it affected him when he couldn't stoop enough for a ground ball, and didn't jump as high as usual for a ball that tipped his glove. It would explain a lot. Whether true or not, the guy really needs a day off. The team is off tomorrow and Monday, maybe that will help.

Lou Vales

Stan, What do you think of Furcal's extendedddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd Rehab?

Lou Vales

Baseball is such a funny game. I have absolutely no idea what Heyward was doing about 20 feet off the RF line when Casey hit that ROPE in the 8th. He hit the ball way harder than Gattis but Gattis finds the corner and our guy finds the glove. McGehee's ball falls and we lead by 2 and game has different feel in bottom of the 8th and Cishek to close in the 9th. base running blunder on Monday!!!! We have proven we can hang with the Bravos BUT Stanton must start to perform as a Super Star against quality team for this team to really surprise. The number of balls these guys swing right through is flat out amazing. can't blame Dunn for this one. He K's 3 of the 5 he faces and Uggla hits the bleeder up the middle. We STILL need a couple of guys who have some concept of SITUATIONAL hitting!!!

Lou Vales

I know Furcal is not in South Carolina. Have you seen him in North Carolina? Do we need an APB put out on this guy? I really don't think he would help that much but I would like to see him earning his salary somewhere outside of the Bushes.

Lou Vales

Raffy???? Oh Raffy!!! Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Alex

Am I the ONLY guy in the universe that can clearly see that Stanton's biggest problem is he lets just about every pitcher get Strike One on him IMMEDIATELY? Opposing pitchers ALWAYS throw pitch #1 to Stanton RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. And he TAKES IT, for Strike One. That's often the last really good pitch he sees! And if they get TWO STRIKES on Stanton, he might as well have a seat. Cause the next three pitches will be big sweeping breaking pitches OUT OF THE STRIKE ZONE that Stanton will take the lamest WAVE AT for STRIKE THREE.

If you don't believe me, why don't you check it out? Make a point out of watching Stanton's At Bats. See how many times he TAKES STRIKE ONE looking, and very often, Strike Two as well. Once it's 0-2, it's pretty much OVER for that AB.

Lou Vales

Alex, You are not a voice in the wilderness. Your first paragraph is obviously true BUT only when he is in one of these funks. When he is hitting he can get away with anything. You must also direct some attention to guys who continually swing right through fast balls. Just remember for your own mental health that the team still needs upgrades and won't be as good as we desire until about 5 positions---outside of starting pitching are addressed. I'll let you extrapolate on those areas of need that I did not mention.

Flav C.

Breaking down Stanton on 1st pitches (when count 0-0):

Total # of 1st pitches: 88
Total # of 1st pitches called BB: 60 (68%)
Total # of 1st pitches called ST: 28 (32%)

From all 1st pitches called ST, this is the breakdown:

10 of them mid of the plate (11% of total 1st pitches or 36% of total 1st pitches called ST).

11 of them inside of the plate (12.5% of total 1st pitches or 43% of total 1st pitches called ST).

5 of them low in the strike zone.

3 of them outside of the strike zone.

Truth is, pitchers do not challenge Stanton with 1st pitch down in the middle of the plate. So far this season, it happened 11% of the time. Most of them their 1st pitches go way inside and out of the Strike Zone (17%) or way outside and out of the strikezone (25%).

Now, what happens when Stanton swings at the first pitch?

He did that 22 times (or 24% of total 1st pitches when count 0-0).

Only 7 times he was able to put the ball in play. 4 of them for hits (1 HR, 2 2B, and 1 1B). The other 3 were ground outs.

Lou, as far as your point regarding Heyward's positioning during McGehee's at-bat, that wasn't coincidence or Heyward's trying to guess anything. This is a strategy the Braves (and other teams) have been using more and more with the shift. If you have a good pitcher, and someone in the organization with good knowledge of data, they will identify that if you pitch away on the strikezone against McGehee, big chance he will hit for the mid-right field. How big chances? From the 32 balls in play to the outfield by McGehee, only 6 of them went to the leftfield. The remainder 81% were all hit to the mid-right field. And that's the natural behavior when McGehee's is pitched away on the strikezone. That's exactly why the outfield players hade shifted several feet to their left.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

One of the hallmarks of a well-run organization and a well-managed team is that they do not beat themselves. In that respect, I am seeing some disconcerting things of late.

For one, there are few things will energize the opposing team as much as when they breeze through a seven pitch inning. After all, the time they're on the field can be literally reduced to a number of seconds (75, 90, 120, whatever). The Marlins had two consecutive seven pitch innings. Those should never happen, not even once. Fortunately, Fernandez was on the mound that night. Unfortunately, he can't start every game.

Also, Loria-budgeted teams as a rule bring up their players sooner than normally-budgeted teams would. That means that these players will have less team to work on and develop their fundamentals. These include sac bunts, hitting the cutoff man (Flav, I thought it was Yelich's throw), avoiding mental mistakes, plate discipline/pitch selection, and on and on. In a series like the three games with Atlanta, all close games that went down to the wire, fundamentals make all the difference. Consider that a win was within reach in each game, yet the only thing that prevented an outright sweep by the Braves was Fernandez' phenomenal performance.

Finally, the first game loss was not due to Gattis' walk-off. It was due to the decision made at the end of spring training to have Caminero on the roster. We were treated to a front-row seat on why he's been in the minors for going on ten years now. He belongs there.

Aside from the decision on Caminero, the good news is that these things can be fixed. The bad news? Probably not by Redmond, who seems to have his hands full trying to think and plan beyond the current inning.

yelnats

Flav, where do you get stats like that? Elias or the base ball cube?
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=Mike-Stanton-2&Page=Pitches

Flav C.

Yelnats, I get them from several sources, but the two best sources are:

brooksbaseball.net and pitchfx.texasleaguers.com.

You have to play around with it and get acquainted. I already have a lot of the data I want in excel and I've built some formulas that gives me the exact info I need. I just dump the data from those sources into my excel files. Both sites are excellent.

yelnats

Thanks Flav! Great sites. The write up on Stanton for 2014 :
Against All Fastballs (216 seen), he has had a very poor eye (0.72 d'; 61% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 33% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a steady approach at the plate (0.08 c) with a high likelihood to swing and miss (22% whiff/swing).Against Breaking Pitches (97 seen), he has had an exceptionally poor eye (0.30 d'; 68% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 57% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and an exceptionally aggressive approach at the plate (-0.33 c) with a high likelihood to swing and miss (42% whiff/swing).Against Offspeed Pitches (44 seen), he has had a very good eye (1.29 d'; 88% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 44% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a very aggressive approach at the plate (-0.51 c) with a disastrously high likelihood to swing and miss (61% whiff/swing).

Flav C.

DT, very good overview. And I'm happy someone else other than me agrees on the Caminero issue. I understand the team's philosophy on bringing him up; he pitched really well last season (considering all his ups and down) and, at 26, the team decided to give him a shot. Something like "it is now or never". Well, it was "never". "m glad the leash was short. There is no point on even keeping him in the 40-man roster.

Lou Vales

Flav, Thank You!! Great Info!!!! Since you obviously know what you are talking about, is it as unusual as I believe for a team to be this inept with runners in scoring position. It's not even a case where BABIP can come into play because they appear incapable of making contact in "game" situations. It is amazing to see guys swing through pitches and we are not talking Medlen. we are talking ANYBODY.

Stan M

Last year we seemed to be out of games as soon as they started. We never had a chance. But this year, we are in almost every game and the outcome can turn on one play or one decision. That is why Jones ineptitude is so apparent and Redmond's decisions show his inexperience or something more ominous. This team is so close. It doesn't need the infusion of a star (read that expensive) free agent. Rather, one or two relatively inexpensive relief pitchers could make a world of difference. Ditto a lineup adjustment is imperative. With a few perks, this team could easily finish 3rd. The trouble is those perks aren't coming while Loria is around and Redmond has shown little propensity to grow with the job. I will credit him with finally hitting for Mathis late in a game, but asking Hesh to bunt was unforgivable. Oh how this team misses Girardi.

Flav C.

Stan, you're saying that:

- Top of the 7th, game tied and your team playing against a Braves who have not given too many opportunities to score in this game.
- All of a sudden, you have two on board, nobody out and Hech (who is prone to hit groundouts) is at bat...and you don't ask him to bunt? You would have men on 2b and 3b...one out...and your chances to score changed from needing a hit to scoring on a: single, sac-fly, passed ball, wild pitch, balk, groundout, fielding error.
Had Hech effectively put down the bunt, all those opportunities would have opened up. Not that the Marlins would have scored, but they would have a much higher percentage to score. If not by their own merit and abilities, but maybe with a Braves error.

Flav C.

Lou, I wish I had the answer for the ineptitude issue that you brought up. I probably would be a millionaire right now, working as a consultant for a couple of MLB teams.

However, what I will tell you will blow your mind. Granted, it is early in the season, so whatever I will write here it is just for fun and amusement of everybody.

So far this season, the Marlins is ranked #6 in the MLB as far as bat. avg. with RISP. Remember, last season they were 26th. So, again, we have to separate perception from reality:
- Did they have a bad series as far as hitting w/ RISP against the Braves? Yes, that is reality.
- Are they having such a bad season scoring w/ RISP? No. If you think so, it is your perception.

Now, this is the most intriguing part of it all:

Those are the top 10 teams in 2013 as far as bat.avg w/ RISP (from #1 to #10): St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, Rockies, Royals, Tampa Rays, Oakland, Baltimore, Indians, and LA Angels.

Being a huge baseball fan, you will notice that 7 of those 10 teams made the playoffs (including wild cards). And even more interesting: that's pretty much the same trend if you look over the past 5-6 seasons.

So, instead of asking about the ineptitude of scoring with RISP during this series against the Braves, my question would be: Is this current bat. avg. (that currently puts the team as #6 in the MLB) sustainable?

If the answer is "YES", then I'd say the Marlins is very well positioned for the remainder of the season.

And just for kicks, did you know that the 2nd game against the Braves in this series, showed a Marlins with 100% production with RISP? True. One man only in RISP. And the Marlins made it count.

Al-Kendall

The next Braves series at home should be very telling of whether the Marlins are going to improve through this season or continue to miss scoring opportunities and also blunder into extra outs for opponents. Please get hysterical if we do not see improvements going into May and a 20 game stretch of games with 11 on the road!

Lou Vales

Flav, Thanks for all the input. You are obviously correct about the perceptions. I think what I'm going to start to do is check how they do with runners in scoring position against quality pitchers. There are some bad pitchers in the Bigs currently and I believe I can quantify which are quality guys and which are Carminieroesque. Now I know you would expect quality guys to do better jobs in pressure situations but the disparity should not be as stark as I am perceiving it. If I'm wrong, I will admit to it.

Flav C.

From the top of my mind, I know they did really well against good quality starters such as Strasburg, De La Rosa, Cashner, Lyles, Burnett, Zimmerman.

Stan M

That is correct Flav. I do not give the other team outs. Nor do I ask a player to do something that portends failuse. Had it been Lugas, I'd bunt. You love stats. You said the team would have had a better chance to score if he had been successful. I would suggest that on this team, there might be better chance to score the runner from second with 3 chances that from third with two chances, only one of which would have been possible on a productive out. The Braves were in trouble, two on, no out, and the opportunity was ruined. If you were that worried about Hech hitting into a DP, you could pinch hit for him. But under no circumstances would I have had Hech, of all people, bunting.

Flav C.

Stats prove you otherwise , Stan. But that is your opinion,and it is as good as mine.

All I can say is you having this opinion about that situational-hitting moment doesn't make Redmond wrong or right. It just comes to show that we all think differently.

Lou Vales

Flav, I agree with Stan on this one. I know it appears to go against baseball logic but I would just not have trusted anyone the Marlins could have sent up there in the 8th or 9th spots to hit a fly ball, let alone deliver a hit. I thought Hech--am going to learn to spell his name CORRECTLY, it is not that hard---was the best(dare I say ONLY chance to deliver a run that inning), this is why we need some help off the bench. Does not have to be great or good, just marginally better.

Stan M

Flav, are there not a plethora of stat heads who say that the whole idea is to not make outs. The bunt is the only play in baseball where both sides applaud. One for advancing the runner, the other for attaining the out. Also, when determining which case will produce the more positive result; that is, runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, vs. first and second with no outs, absolutely no relevance is given to the statistical probability that the batter will be successful. I don't remember who was on 2B at the time, but I'll bet that USUALLY, there is a greater statistical probability that the runner can successfully steal 3B than that the batter will bunt him to 3rd base. And in the former, there are still no outs while in the latter there is an out. I'm not saying that the runner should have tried to steal, I'm just saying that I don't like all of the probabilities. And we must consider who the batter is in any such situation as well as the game's momentum. With Lugas, I bunt. With any other Marlin, no. I don't like the probabilities and that's all there is to it.

Flav C.

Hech career's numbers with men on 1b and 2b, nobody out: bat avg .167. Anyway, he couldn't bunt and whoever came next couldn't hit. So it doesn't make any difference.

Lou Vales

The point is there ARE some guys either in the minors(who can be had) or in the Majors(who can be had) who at least have a chance of getting a hit in that situation. Could we try to get one?

Flav C.

Lou,

I rest my case. I showed the Marlins is actually:

- Hitting well w/ RISP (6th in the MLB)
- Hitting well w/ RISP against quality pitchers (Strasburg, De La Rosa, Cashner, Zimmermann, etc), and
- This series against the Braves was the only one where the whole team hit bad.

Just FYI, the team scored 3 or more runs in close to 70% of its games so far, and lost 3 games where they scored 4+ runs. So, I can't possibly imagine that at this point of the season hitting is an issue.

As Al-Kendall wrote above, time to get hysterical is if the team shows bad performance throughout May, when they have a real tough West Coast trip.

Until then I am very pleased with the teams' performance. They are in good position to finish April with a good 13-14 W-L record, which I doubt any fan thought it would be possible before the season started.

Lou Vales

Flav, I also predicted the team would far exceed expectations--you can verify this--but(BIG HUGE "but") to REALLY surprise people you can't depend upon Fernandez being brilliant--Well, maybe you can--in every series against the Braves. You must be able to give the slightest indication of NOT just looking for a way to lose when you play these guys.The Braves are VERY Good but not Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Roger Clemens good. The Phillies series they were in the games, the Nats series that I attended they were in 2 of the 3 and they were not in these games because of big clutch hits. They lost these games because they couldn't deliver big cluch hits and not because they were stellar with runners in scoring position. If they could play the Rockies, Padres and Mariners all the time I would be much more confident

Lou Vales

By the way, I am nowhere near hysterical and prefer watching the Marlins compete than watching the team I have followed since 1956, the Detroit Tigers. When I realize how close this team is it really makes me sad that the guy is too cheap to engage in a few minor tweaks that could come close to producing a MIRACLE.

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