Monday, April 28, 2008

Marlins Win, But Play Poorly

Wes Helms smacked the game-winning homer in the 10th inning, igniting the Marlins to a 3-2 win, a 15-10 record, and an impressive series victory in Milwaukee. That's the good.

Now let's focus on the bad. Marlins fans shouldn't be blinded by Helms' late heroics; the Fish were awful this afternoon. It just so happens that the Brewers were even worse (0 for 8 with runners in scoring position). More games like this and the Marlins will quickly plummet out of first place.

Let me highlight one situation in particular:

7th inning, bases loaded with nobody out. Hermida strikes out in humiliating fashion (a truly gruesome at-bat). Willingham follows with a strikeout of his own. Then Cantu comes up and gets the count to 3-0. WHY ON EARTH WOULD HE BE SWINGING AT 3-0???? I can only think of three reasons:

1. Cantu lost all semblance of common sense and defied the team's orders.

2. Fredi Gonzalez gave him the green light (a move so utterly idiotic, it's baffling).

3. Cantu lost track of what the count was.

It was a truly disgraceful situation, and Fredi Gonzalez ought to be held accountable. Don't be fooled by the victory today; the Marlins were lucky as four-leaf clovers.

Now that I've cleared the air, let me close with something more positive. The Marlins return home for a nine-game homestand against the Dodgers, Padres, and Brewers. We should welcome these victors home with open arms, to a city which - as Miami-Forum reminds us - can boast exceptional artistry.


Jay Warman said...

As a matter of fact: Cantu is an avid reader of The South Florida Fan and in swinging at that 3-0 pitch he was trying to hit a grand slam and win the affection of one skeptical ASponge.

As for Jerm-Herm and Hammer, I think their unfortunate whiffs were a trick of the light. Those glass panels at Miller Park wreak havoc in the late afternoons.

Glass half full: We played three close games in an evenly matched series on the road and won two of them.

And we played like crap on Sunday and still won.

You say a precursor to a precipitous fall in the standings? I say the mark of a good team.

Squathole said...

That's a correct analysis of Cantu's indiscretion. We saw a youthful error, over-exuberance, a kid who tries too hard, etc. Better that than a slacker, but still the sort of thing that needs attention from coaching staff. And the sort of thing that should be straightened out BEFORE promotion to the majors, but that's too expensive a program for this team.

JSponge said...

Even with an occasional "indiscretion," Cantu is performing and exceeding expectations. Wish he could explain what happened, all the same...

JSponge said...
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Paul said...

Greetings various Sponges:

I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and I've been reading it daily ever since. Just wanted to write and say how much I appreciate your Marlins breakdowns, as I usually find the Herald's coverage seriously lacking. I think one of the biggest questions I had after watching this weekend's series is this: will these young hitters ever learn how to hit the changeup? Your thoughts are appreciated.

Go Fish!

ASponge said...


Thank you for the great comment, and I agree with you completely about the changeups. The Brewers threw breaking ball after breaking ball, and it clearly rattled the Marlins at the plate.

I'll have a post out tonight addressing this fascinating concern. Thanks for commenting!