We enter the half-way point of the season today, and boy what a frustrating first half it has been. The last two losses have been a microcosm of what the Marlins have gone through this entire season. In the first game, the Marlins found themselves up by three runs before the bullpen blew a late-inning [...]
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An emotional rollercoaster. An in-your-face explosion of action all over the screen. No, it?s not a summer movie, it?s last night?s Marlins-Brewers slugfest. All in all, there were 31 base hits, 25 runs, 8 home runs, and four errors. It was like a really tense BP session. The Marlins lit the fuse in the [...]
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Monday, Jul 2, 2012, 6:05 PM CDT
Mostly clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.
Jan 01, 1988
Aug 24, 1980
Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012, 4:10 PM EDT
Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 95.
It does not get much more disappointing than the last two losses for the Miami Marlins. In the first game of this four-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Fish found themselves up by three runs before the bullpen blew a late-inning lead and the Brewers took the game 6-5. In the second installment, it was the Marlins that fought back furiously and even took the lead in the top of the tenth. They were down to a final out with a man on before Aramis Ramirez launched a walk-off, two-run shot to take another potential victory away.
Today, the Marlins are looking to begin the process of salvaging a split of this series, and they do have a favorable matchup on the mound again. Josh Johnson has looked better lately and he looks to continue his success versus Randy Wolf.Pitching Matchup
Josh Johnson has strung together two excellent starts in a row, striking out 13 and walking just three batters in the last 13 innings. These numbers are encouraging given the earlier struggles and the questions about velocity that plagued Johnson earlier in the season. Velocity is still a little bit of a concern; after two starts in early June in which he posted 94 mph averages with his fastball, Johnson has re-settled down to the 92 mph region. We mentioned that that loss in velocity may be a cause of Johnson's lack of whiffs and loss in strikeouts, but so far he has been recovering without that velocity.
Randy Wolf is having another struggle of a season, as evident by his numbers. His strikeouts and walks are at their normal levels, he just happens to be giving up more home runs. Given his career 39 percent ground ball rate, that can definitely happen, and this is a good chance for the Marlins to pounce on an ailing pitcher.
Kearns is making the start in right field in place of Giancarlo Stanton, who will miss his second game in a row with some knee soreness. After Donovan Solano made a spot start for Hanley Ramirez due to an undisclosed injury or soreness, Ramirez returns to the lineup and Solano moves to left field in place of the lefty Logan Morrison.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Brewers 5-3
Lee Smith ?Fab Five? ? Card #3 – 1986 Topps Cubs Team Leaders Now that my Lee Smith collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set. Card #3 – 1986 Topps Cubs … Continue reading →
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Brayan Pena arrived to the United States twelve years ago, defecting from Cuba. While most of us take principles like liberty, democracy, and freedom from granted, Brayan grew up in an enivronment where those ideas were stifled. Today, he enjoys a great life as a Major League ballplayer, and his infectious positive attitude and love for America is evident in his Twitter page. I have compiled this selection of verse from Brayan's Twitter page for you to enjoy and reflect upon today.
Thanks to all the Veterans
who helped This Country to be what it is today
THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD ,
Im Proud to be AN
This country gave me
My own Family,
this country is a Huge Factor in what a Real Democracy meansIt is Harder to leave in cuba
for 20 years
and not having all of those you mention
before and adding to your list
While most are Dreaming of Success ,
Winners wake up and Work Hard to Achieve ,
we will be awake for a long time ,
trust me on that one
How We think
that We will change the world
if we don't Change our Self first ...
believe it we are on the way to GREATNESS
Appear WEAK when you are STRONG,
and STRONG when you are WEAK ,
if you want the RAINBOW
sometime you have to put up with the RAIN
heart and soul
that is what life is all about ,
don't let nothing or nobody try to brake you!!
Is hard to hate , American Ice-cream before you go to bed .
Have a safe and happy Independence Day, from everyone at Royals Review.
Happy Independence Day to everyone!
1) Jason Castro is on fire - Our favorite punching bag of a catcher is actually hitting .300 since June 1. That includes an on-base percentage right around .365 and OPS numbers over .800. In short, Jason Castro has been on fire at the plate for about a month now.
He was so bad to start the season, it's hard to see how good he's been lately. Just as encouragingly, Castro has similar strikeout and walk rates to what we saw from him back in 2010 in his half season with the team. Add in an increase in his isolated power average and it looks like Castro's improvement may be more sustainable.
If he keeps hitting at this pace for the next couple of months, he could finish with an average around .278 with about 23 or 24 doubles and around 40 walks. Those are really good totals for a guy who will struggle to get to 400 plate appearances this season.
I'm not saying Castro is completely back to being a player who should be a mainstay in the lineup, but his improvement at the plate has been nice to see.
I say that because, in his last three starts, Harrell has struck out 25 batters in 21 innings. That's good for a strikeout rate of 10.7 K/9. Along with that, he's got a walk rate of 3.00 BB/9 in those starts. His ground ball rate also hasn't suffered much from the 55 percent it's hovered at this season. So, what's going on?
It's tough to parse out anything in particular. Harrell hasn't changed his pitch selection much, looking at his numbers on FanGraphs and his pitch values aren't quite out of whack.
That's really the reason why I think Houston is okay with those K rates skyrocketing. Harrell's getting most of them with his fastball, which is also the pitch he gets most of his ground balls on. So, the pitch-to-contact mentality the Astros want out of Harrell is indirectly leading to more strikeouts. It may not stick, as Harrell has only posted a strikeout rate over 6 once in his career.
3) Ken Rosenthal talks Astros - In our only non-stat related news for the day, Ken Rosenthal once again talks about the Astros in his column today. In it, he speculates that Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers are likely to be traded but not Jed Lowrie, who is "untouchable."
Gee, you think?
The problem with national sportswriters is they don't necessarily believe the actual GMs of teams and instead rely on what rivals tell them. So, if a guy from the Tigers thinks that Lowrie is available (even if he's only available for MIguel Cabrera), then Rosenthal says he is. It annoys the crap out of me.
The other piece of news that Rosenthal drops is that Carlos Lee's decision on the Dodgers also had to do with the California income tax situation. I've always thought that made a ton of sense for free agents, since they should want to play in states without income tax. It's never really helped the Texas NBA teams like it should, and certainly didn't figure into Cliff Lee's decision on where to sign a couple of years ago.
It may suck that Lee torpedoed Houston's trade and he certainly did this franchise no favors, but I'd rather him have reasons like this than no reasons at all.
First of all, let me wish you a very happy 4th of July! Or if you are one of our visitors from a foreign land, happy Wednesday! Seriously, Wednesday is the worst day to have a paid holiday. Not complaining about paid holidays, just saying that if we could have celebrated the 4th on Friday the 6th this year I would have been fine with it. But I digress. In any case, if there are fireworks in your municipality, enjoy them!
Secondly, the Rockies will play their 81st game tonight -- if they win, they'll be on pace to only lose 98 games instead of 100! Okay, so I'd like to avoid 100 losses. It's cool that Colorado has never had a 100 loss season, and this season's squad doesn't really seem like it's bad enough to do that. After all, the offense is scoring at a pretty prolific rate -- 5 runs per game -- whcih is pretty good even at Coors.
Just as interesting to me is the fact that the Rockies have crossed that magic 4 run threshold in 49 games already, going 28-21 in those contests. Of course, that means when Colorado scores 3 runs or less, they've only won thrice all year (3-28) -- yesterday's 3-2 win looks all the more strange when viewed through that prism.
The problem, as you are no doubt aware, has been the fact that Colorado's pitching has allowed 4 or fewer runs in only 31 games. Did you know that the most common number of runs allowed by the Rockies this year is 7? They've done that 16 times! That's 20% of the time -- egads! The next most common run results are 3 & 4, which have both happened 9 times. When you factor in all the times Colorado has allowed more than 7 runs, the other team's fans are getting tacos an astonishing 45% of the time they play the Rockies (36 so far this year).
Colorado has scored 7 or more in 21 games so far, which is actually a pretty good pace. After all, the Rockies scored 7 or more 40 times last year, so we're right on schedule. Of course, last year the pitchers only allowed 7 or more 44 times the entire season, so this year's staff is going to blow past that mark.
Troy Renck lays out some stats that demonstrate how success with the 4 man rotation is possible. Basically, the pitching needs to be merely bad, not terrible.
Speaking of the rotation, Jeremy Guthrie's return to the starting role could be showcasing him for trade suitors before the trade deadline. At this point, it's probably for the best that Guthrie get out of here, for all parties involved.
Finally, some good news on the pitch count front -- Jim Tracy is relaxing the 75 pitch limit somewhat due to the impressive performances of late from Jeff Francis, Christian Friedrich, and Drew Pomeranz.
Geez, can’t a fan’s gut instincts ever be right? Here are the thoughts of Marlins fans [OK me] after Heath Bell’s blown save on Tuesday: Good teams don’t lose games when they rally from 7 runs down. Good teams don’t … Continue reading →
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