Sweeping a series in Houston still eludes the Marlins, but this weekend’s series against the Astros wasn’t without its highlights. Ricky Nolasco gave the bullpen a much needed rest with his 8 inning performance on Friday night. Wandy Rodriguez had most of Florida’s lineup fooled all night but the duo of Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison combined for six hits to help the Marlins scratch out a 4 to 3 win. Logan Morrison is quickly becoming a fan favorite, not only with his brilliant tweets but with his incredible discipline at the plate. The 23 year old converted outfielder is becoming the rock of the lineup. He leads the team in on-base percentage (.476) and is second in RBI (6). The front office does have to ask itself how much longer will “LoMo” be the team’s regular 6-hitter. He gets on base more than anyone on the team but has only scored five times (two of those are on homeruns). While he has shown the ability to drive in runs like a middle of the order hitter, his OBP warrants him hitting higher in the order. It’s a decision that Edwin Rodriguez will finally have to make when the Fish roll into Atlanta on Tuesday because for the first time since Opening Day, all of his regular starters should be in the lineup. Hanley Ramirez has missed the last two games of the series after Bill Hall slid into his leg on a fielder’s choice. The injury could have been much more severe but it didn’t change the fact that even with Mike Stanton returning on Saturday, Florida has yet to play a full series with their everyday starters.
Javier Vazquez was the other big story line from the weekend. The veteran right hander was on the verge of another poor performance on Saturday, but was able to turn in six solid innings. Vazquez has a lot of reflecting to do with how he attacks hitters. Everyone can stop watching the radar gun, because 92-93mph is not coming back. This doesn’t mean that he can’t pitch against a big leagues anymore. He has to learn to utilize his other pitches and rely on his off-speed stuff to get hitters out. His next start against the Phillies will be a great test. Florida showed great resiliency in taking two of three from Houston with Friday and Saturday’s come from behind wins. But the Marlins need to jump on starting pitchers earlier in the game. They’ve shown an improved ability to adjust to the opponents starting pitchers late in games. The competition will get better this week and the Fish can’t hope that veterans like Hudson, Halladay or Lee are going to make the same mistakes late in games that Bud Norris does. It’s hard to get a read on just how good this Marlins team can be, because the have not been healthy. That’s going to change Tuesday when they start a three game set in Atlanta.
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.