August 2012

Marlins put on hit parade at Arizona

PHOENIX — The ball was flying out of Chase Field on Monday night like it was Coors Field in Denver.

The Marlins hammered out four home runs — with two by Giancarlo Stanton. And they collected a season-high 20 hits. The previous high for hits was 14, done twice before. The most recent at Colorado last Saturday.

The franchise record for hits in a game is 25, set on July 1, 2003 at Atlanta.

Monday marked the 17th time the Marlins have reached the 20-hit plateau in a game.

MARLINS 20 hit games

7/01/2003 vs. Atl 25

7/15/1996 vs. Hou 24

4/05/2003 vs. Atl 23

6/15/1994 vs. StL 22

8/05/1996 vs. Col 22

7/04/2008 vs. Col 22

9/09/2011 vs. Pit 22

6/11/1993 vs. Pit 21

9/17/1995 vs. Col 21

9/24/1996 vs. Atl 21

9/11/2007 vs. Was 21

9/20/2007 vs. NYM 21

6/06/1994 vs. LA 20

6/15/2005 vs. ChC 20

7/23/2005 vs. SF 20

9/11/2006 vs. NYM 20

8/20/2012 vs. ARI 20

Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins match record with 10 hits in fourth inning

PHOENIX — The Marlins matched their franchise record with 10 hits in an inning.

Miami reached double-digits in the fourth inning on Monday night at Arizona. Nine hits were off Joe Saunders, who exited after facing 11 batters in the frame. Brad Bergesen surrendered the 10th hit.

The Marlins scored nine runs in the inning.

It’s only the second time ever the Marlins reached 10 hits in an inning. They previously did it on Sept. 9, 2011, in the third inning at Pittsburgh.

Donovan Solano, Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee each had two hits in the inning. It’s the first time ever three Marlins have had two hits in the same inning.

The nine runs are a season high, passing the previous most of six runs.

The Marlins opened the fourth with six straight hits — singles by Solano, Reyes and Lee, who drove in a run. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a three-run homer to left, and Justin Ruggiano connected on a solo shot to center.

It was the fourth time this year Miami has gone back-to-back. John Buck collected a single.

After two outs were recorded, Emilio Bonifacio reached on an infield single, Solano singled and Reyes had a two-run double. Bergesen replaced Saunders, and allowed an RBI single to Lee, who was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw home.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton shows power out West

PHOENIX — California native Giancarlo Stanton is definitely comfortable playing out West.

The Marlins right fielder paces the team with 24 home runs overall. But he’s shown considerable power while facing teams in the National League West.

According to STATS Inc., Stanton is tied for the most home runs against NL West teams this season. Stanton has hit 11 home runs against the division. In 24 games, he’s connected on four against the Rockies, four vs. the Giants, two vs. San Diego and one while facing Arizona.

Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun has also hit 11 homers against the NL West. Three players currently have 10 homers against the west: Paul Goldschmidt, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday. Of Stanton’s 11 homers, seven have come in just 10 road games.

Miami opens a four-game set at Arizona on Monday.

Joe Frisaro

 

 

Stanton on historic run at Coors

In time, Giancarlo Stanton promises to collect his share of firsts.

The 22-year-old Marlins’ slugger blasted a three-run homer to left field in a 6-5 win on Saturday night against the Rockies at Coors Field. The night before, according to the ESPN Home Run Tracker web site, Stanton smashed a drive estimated at 494 feet, making it the furthest home run in the big leagues this season.

With his shot on Saturday, Stanton became the first player in MLB history to homer in each of his first six games at a particular ballpark.

“Anytime you do something no one’s ever done in the big leagues, it’s something pretty cool,” Stanton told reporters afterwards.

Obviously, Coors Field is a hitters’ park. But it’s also a place the Marlins visit just once a year. To roll off a string of six straight over two separate seasons is remarkable.

Stanton also is moving up the Marlins’ ladder in terms of homers at Coors Field.

Jeff Conine holds the franchise high of homers at Coors, belting seven in 22 games.

Stanton right now is tied with Gary Sheffield for second most by a Marlin. Sheffield posted six in 16 games. Stanton has six in six games.

By comparison, Dan Uggla, the Marlins’ all-time home run leader had two in 11 games at Coors.

MOST HOMERS BY A MARLIN AT COORS FIELD

Jeff Conine, 7 (22 games)

Giancarlo Stanton, 6 (6 games)

Gary Shieffleid, 6 (16 games)

Cliff Floyd, 5 (19 games)

Alex Gonzalez, 5 (23 games)

Charles Johnson, 5 (18 games)

Miguel Cabrera, 4 (15 games)

Mark Kotsay, 3 (13 games)

Hanley Ramirez, 3 (16 games)

Preston Wilson, 3 (19 games)

Joe Frisaro

Green to DL, LoMo’s season is over

Still hindered by a sprained left thumb, Nick Green was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday before the Marlins opened a four-game series with the Rockies at Coors Field.

Replacing Green on the roster is infielder Gil Velazquez, who had his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans.

The transactions led to Miami transferring Logan Morrison to the 60-day disabled list, which means the club’s Opening Day left fielder is now done for the season.

Morrison recently had his right knee examined by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Col. Three weeks of rest was recommended, at the time. But a few days ago, Morrison told reporters he likely would not return this season. Surgery remains an option.

Morrison went on the disabled list on July 29 with right knee inflammation.

Green sprained his left thumb while making a diving attempt at third base against the Dodgers. There remains considerable swelling in the thumb.

Green appeared in seven games after being promoted from New Orleans.

Velazquez was batting .314 in 101 games at New Orleans.

Joe Frisaro  

Buehrle vs. Halladay, a perfect pairing

MIAMI — Wednesday wasn’t the first time Mark Buehrle was matched against another starter who had previously posted a perfect game.

It was actually Buehrle’s second. On April 11, 2011, the left-hander faced Dallas Braden of the A’s.

Still, it’s pretty rare. Just 12 times, starters with the distinction of throwing perfect games squared off.

Buehrle closed out the series on Wednesday, getting the nod against Roy Halladay of the Phillies.

In 2010, Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.

According to STATS LLC, here are the all-time pairings of pitchers who have tossed perfect games.

7/27/66 Jim Bunning, Phi. vs. Sandy Koufax, L.A.

10/2/66 Sandy Koufax, L.A. vs. Jim Bunning, Phi.

8/28/91 Dennis Martinez, Mon. vs. Tom Browning, Cin.

6/22/96 Kenny Rogers, NYY vs. Dennis Martinez, Cle.

4/8/00 David Wells, CWS vs. Kenny Rogers, Tex.

5/6/01 David Wells, CWS vs. Kenny Rogers, Tex.

5/11/01 Kenny Rogers, Tex. vs. David Wells, CWS

6/23/04 Randy Johnson, Ariz. vs. David Wells, SD

4/3/05 David Wells, Bos. vs. Randy Johnson, NYY

4/24/07 David Wells, SD vs. Randy Johnson, Ariz.

4/11/11 Dallas Braden, Oak. vs. Mark Buehrle, CWS

8/15/12 Roy Halladay, Phi. vs. Mark Buehrle, Mia.

Joe Frisaro

Is Marlins Park too pitcher-friendly?

MIAMI — For the most part, Marlins Park has been a big hit for the Marlins in an otherwise rough season.

With its retractable roof, the elements don’t play a factor. Games are played on-time and in comfort.

But from a run-production standpoint, the ballpark hasn’t been kind to hitters. According to StatsPass research, Marlins Park ranks 26th overall in total home runs (84), and teams are averaging 8.32 runs per game, which rates 19th out of 30 buildings.

Now, you can’t blame the ballpark for the Marlins being shutout in three straight games, the first time that has happened in franchise history. The club snapped the streak in the fourth inning on Wednesday, snapping a club-record drought at 30 consecutive scoreless innings.

But, you could wonder if the spacious park has caused hitters to alter their swings. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, an astute evaluator of hitters, says it is certainly possible.

“If you’re a hitter, and you usually hit home runs, it will make you swing harder, or make you think about swinging harder,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to just calm down, and try to hit the ball hard instead of trying to do too much with it.”

There is something psychological about hitting 400-foot fly outs.

“Very much so,” Manuel said. “I think they might try to put more into their swing. They’ll try to actually swing harder. When you start swinging harder, you’re more apt to not be in control of your swing.”

Center field is 418 feet, with a high wall. In left-center, the gap is 386 feet, and 392 feet in right-center.

If the dimensions stay as is, Marlins Park could develop the reputation of buildings like AT&T Park. The Giants are known for their pitching, but many accomplished hitters aren’t fond of playing there. If that is the case, will power hitters want to sign with the Marlins?

It’s not far-fetched to think so, if they know they can post bigger numbers elsewhere.

Entering Wednesday, according to StatsPass, here is where each ballpark ranked in terms of home runs and average runs per game.

Ballparks Ranked By Most Home Runs, 2012

Coors Field                    170

Miller Park                    167

Yankee Stadium                 166

Camden Yards                   164

U.S. Cellular Field            162

Rogers Centre                  153

Fenway Park                    150

Great American                 146

Rangers Ballpark               140

Chase Field                    134

Citizens Bank Park             134

Target Field                   128

Minute Maid Park               120

Comerica Park                  119

Citi Field                     111

Progressive Field              107

O.co Coliseum                  107

Angel Stadium                  106

Busch Stadium                  106

Wrigley Field                  105

Turner Field                   102

Nationals Park                  99

Kauffman Stadium                98

Tropicana Field                 95

PNC Park                        95

Marlins Park                    84

Dodger Stadium                  75

Safeco Field                    71

PETCO Park                      65

AT&T Park                       57

Ballparks Ranked By Most Runs/Game, 2012

Coors Field                     12.52 (751/60)

Fenway Park                     10.57 (666/63)

Miller Park                     10.27 (606/59)

Chase Field                     10.16 (579/57)

Rangers Ballpark                10.16 (589/58)

Target Field                    10.10 (606/60)

U.S. Cellular Field              9.91 (575/58)

Rogers Centre                    9.79 (548/56)

Camden Yards                     9.49 (560/59)

Comerica Park                    9.45 (529/56)

Kauffman Stadium                 9.28 (501/54)

Busch Stadium                    8.98 (521/58)

Yankee Stadium                   8.90 (516/58)

Turner Field                     8.83 (530/60)

Progressive Field                8.66 (511/59)

Citizens Bank Park               8.39 (495/59)

Minute Maid Park                 8.37 (494/59)

Great American                   8.35 (476/57)

Marlins Park                     8.32 (491/59)

Wrigley Field                    8.26 (471/57)

Citi Field                       8.21 (476/58)

Nationals Park                   7.98 (431/54)

Angel Stadium                    7.82 (446/57)

Tropicana Field                  7.24 (427/59)

O.co Coliseum                    7.22 (419/58)

Dodger Stadium                   7.05 (409/58)

PETCO Park                       7.04 (401/57)

PNC Park                         6.95 (403/58)

AT&T Park                        6.63 (398/60)

Safeco Field                     6.32 (354/56)

Joe Frisaro

Marlins look to snap scoreless streak

MIAMI — For the first time in their history, the Marlins have been shutout in three straight games.

They have a difficult task in scoring runs on Wednesday afternoon, facing Roy Halladay and the Phillies at 12:40 p.m. ET at Marlins Park.

Miami sends Mark Buehrle to the mound. The veteran left-hander is seeking his 10th win, which would give him 12 straight seasons of reaching double-digets in victories. That would match CC Sabathia for the longest streak among active pitchers.

The Marlins giveaway on Wednesday is a Giancarlo Stanton All-Star Game poster. The original promotion was a John Buck pillowcase, but that has been moved to Sept. 2.

MARLINS

1) Petersen LF

2) Ruggiano CF

3) Reyes SS

4) Lee 1B

5) Stanton RF

6) Dobbs 3B

7) Solano 2B

8) Buck C

9) Buehrle P

Joe Frisaro

JJ showing how less can be more

MIAMI — Making every start was and still is Josh Johnson’s goal this season.

Coming back from a right shoulder ailment, many questioned if the Marlins’ ace would be able to hold up for 34 starts, and log 200-plus innings.

Thus far, health has not been an issue. Johnson on Tuesday is making his 24th start. Certainly, there have been some rough outings, and signs of rust. But since the All-Star Break, JJ has pretty much been effective — 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA, striking out 37 in 37 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .229 against him in those six starts.

JJ isn’t quite back to his All-Star form from a few years ago, but he’s made great strides since the first half, when he was 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA, striking out 85 in 102 innings. The opposition hit .280 against him in those 17 starts.

The Marlins have not placed any limits on Johnson this season. There are no plans to shut him down after 28 or 30 starts. As long as he’s not feeling any discomfort, he plans on being out there.

Let’s not forget that a year ago, he made just nine starts and threw 60 1/3 innings before being shut down due to right shoulder inflammation.

In hopes of making it healthy through September, JJ has made some adjustments in his preparation.

He’s received some pointers from veterans Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano. Basically, JJ has scaled back how much he throws between starts.

“I’ve been doing that every now and then, holding back a little on the inbetweens, just to kind of figure things out,” Johnson said. “Sometimes, I’ll take a day off here, a day off there. Buehrle has helped me out there, and so has Zambrano.”

A couple of weeks ago, Johnson dramatically reduced his between starts bullpen session, throwing 12-15 pitches, all fastballs.

“[Zambrano] was like, ‘Save your bullets,’ ” JJ said. “I’m just trying to figure it out.”

Joe Frisaro

 

Brantly makes his MLB debut

MIAMI — All the numbers point to success.

Now it’s a matter of seeing if Rob Brantly is ready for the jump to the big leagues.

The 23-year-old catcher is making his MLB debut on Tuesday night when the Marlins play host to the Phillies at Marlins Park.

Acquired from the Tigers as part of the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, Brantly is regarded as a potential every day big leaguer. A left-handed hitter, he is getting his first start against right-hander Kyle Kendrick.

At Triple-A New Orleans, Brantly batted .365 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games. Overall in the Minor Leagues this year, he is batting .298 with five home runs and 41 RBIs in 96 games.

LINEUP

1) Petersen, LF

2) Ruggiano, CF

3) Reyes, SS

4) Lee, 1B

5) Stanton, RF

6) Dobbs, 3B

7) Solano, 2B

8) Brantly, C

9) Johnson, P

Joe Frisaro

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