Every team goes into a three game set looking to win the series. But when the Marlins see the Nationals on the calendar they’re thinking sweep. That’s not just by reputation. The Fish have dominated NL East’s cellar dwellers since the end of 2007. Florida is 42-15 in that span. The first two games of the series reflected the record. The Marlins picked up a walk off win Tuesday on Donnie Murphy’s game winning RBI single in the 10th. Wednesday showed the team’s improved ability to work the count. The team was able to wear down an ancient Livan Hernandez into a 7 to 4 win. The series finale was another story. Josh Johnson was cruising along into the 5th inning when Hanley Ramirez made a poor throw in the dirt after ranging to his left. Hanley’s third error of the season would eventually come around to score, aided by a booted double play ball by Ramirez that was awarded as an infield hit. In the 6th Johnson was snake bit by his defense again. John Buck over threw second base, allowing Ian Desmond to go to third with one out. Ryan Zimmerman would drive him in two batters later. The Marlins were able to tie things up to make it an extra innings affair, but they should’ve never been in that position.
Johnson is trying to give his team more innings this season, but it’s hard to get deep into games when his defense is kicking it all over the field this season. New infield coach Perry Hill has his work cut out for him, because of the 28 runs the Marlins have given up this season 8 of them are unearned. That’s an ugly ratio for so early in the season. Most of the blame lies with the shortstop. Hanley Ramirez took it upon himself to say that he was going to take a bigger leadership role on this club. By his own admission he is going to be leader by example, and thus far the example hasn’t been great. If Hanley wants to show that he’s grown as a player he has to cut down on the defensive mistakes. Perry Hill’s message in the spring was “27 outs…No More”. Six games in the Fish aren’t abiding by their coach’s credo. It’s on the road for 10 days now with three against Houston, three in Atlanta and three more against Philly. By the time the Marlins return home they hope the defensive woes cease to cost their starters innings and wins.
Click below to hear manager Edwin Rodriguez after last night’s game
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.