Does Javier Vazquez have anything left? Will the defense and bullpen improve?Can the offense survive the loss of Uggla? These were the biggest questions facing the Marlins coming into this season. After three games it’s hard to grasp whether any of them have the answer fans are looking for. The weekend got off to an incredible start with Josh Johnson’s 6 no-hit innings and John Buck starting his Marlins career with a grand slam, but the last two games of the series left many shaking their heads. Saturday the Marlins spotted themselves an early 2-0 lead, but were unable to add on more runs until the bottom of the 9th. Florida had plenty of opportunities to add to their lead but finished their night 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The revamped bullpen couldn’t keep New York off the scoreboard. Leo Nuñez, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn all allowed runs to New York in their appearances. It wasn’t exactly the change the front office was looking for. Defense also remained an issue. With runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out, Rookie outfielder Scott Cousins decided let a fly ball drop in foul territory giving the David Wright another swing. The next pitch Wright delivered an RBI single to give the Mets a 4-3. Marlins skipper Edwin Rodriguez disagreed with Cousin’s decision because you should never give a team’s best hitter another swing.
While Saturday had the feeling of frustration, Sunday had the feeling of hopelessness. Newly acquired Javier Vazquez finally had his chance to prove the critics wrong. The veteran right hander was hounded with questions all offseason about his velocity. But it was his location on Sunday that was his ultimate undoing. The veteran constantly fell behind in the count and served up long homeruns to Willie Harris and Ike Davis. His afternoon lasted just 2.1 innings, “Nothing was working” a frustrated Vazquez said after the game. The defense didn’t help his cause. Hanley Ramirez cost the team a run with his throwing error on a routine double play ball. Hanley’s gaff wasn’t the worst of the afternoon. Newly acquired Edward Mujica was brought in to escape a bases loaded situation with one out in the 3rd. Mujica got R.A. Dickey to hit a ground ball right to Emilio Bonifacio, who then proceeded to air mailed a throw to home plate. The error lead to 2 runs for New York and killed any hope of a Marlins’ comeback. Of the nine runs Florida gave up on Sunday Florida gave only four of them were earned. “This game is about pitching and defense and we failed in both departments” said Rodriguez after the weekend series. Fans are going to need a bigger sample size to get a better read on this team. There’s no panic from the locker room Hanley Ramirez “It’s only 3 games we got 159 to go” You can’t argue that it is early, but everyone is going to have to wait until Tuesday to see if any of the preseason doubts can be proven wrong.
Click on the Links below to hear locker room postgame from Sunday’s loss
About the Author
Written by Brendan Tobin
Life long Marlins fan who's had the privilege of covering the team the last 2 seasons for Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami, FL.