When you strand 12 runs on base and lose 2-1, it magnifies the importance of situational hitting.
The Marlins endured a frustrating one-run loss on Friday night against the Giants at Land Shark Stadium.
Jorge Cantu was up with the bases loaded and two outs against hard-throwing Brian Wilson. Cantu grounded out to short.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team constantly preaches the importance of situational hitting, but points out the opposing pitcher has a lot of say in how the game turns out.
“We talk about it all the time, putting the ball in play and all that stuff,” Gonzalez said. “We preach it in batting practice.”
Obviously, not all the results are going to pan out. You’re not always going to get that timely, two-out, walkoff hit.
Outfielder Cody Ross says it is tough to completely teach hitting in certain situations.
“In BP, we’ll sometimes work on situations,” Ross said. “Sometimes [hitting coach Jim] Presley will call out a situation with less than two outs — infield in or infield back. That’s what it comes to, working on situations. It’s really tough to work on. You have to put it in your mind when you get in those situations to do the best job that you can.”
Bottom line, Ross says, is finding a way.
“It’s a matter of getting it done,” he said. “That sometimes separates being a really good big leaguer and being an average big leaguer. It’s you thrive on situations when the game is on the line, and you get the job done.”
While the Marlins are coming off a 2-1 loss, the fact remains they still are generating their share of offense.
Heading into Saturday night, the Marlins were fourth of 16 National League teams in runs scored with 259.
The first four in runs scored in the NL are the Dodgers (300), Phillies (293), Rockies (266) and Marlins.
– Joe Frisaro