Red Sox & Marlins Series Q&A
A crucial nine game home stand that will see interleague play finally come to an end for the Red Sox kicks off tonight when the Miami Marlins invade Fenway Park for a three game set. The fish, like the Red Sox are sitting at .500 but have recently lost 2 of their last 10 and find themselves four games out of the highly competitive NL East. Sound familiar? Much like the Sox, the Marlins have struggled offensively at times this year and none so more than recently. With the Red Sox avoiding Josh Johnson this series and a reeling Marlins offense, the Sox should be able to win their third straight series and look to further make up ground on their divisional opponents in an attempt to finally get out of the basement.
James from Marlin Maniac was gracious enough to answer a round of questions, including him trying to explain what that monument represents in the new Marlins ballpark. Enjoy.
1. The sometimes controversial Carlos Zambrano found a new home in Miami this year. How has he pitched so far for the Marlins?
Meh, I mean he’s pitched better this year for the fish at 4-5 with a 3.92 ERA than he did last year for the Cubs but his rage-induced water-cooler beat-down ratio is WAY down this year. We don’t pay him to pitch, we pay him to fight demons, demons who live in the water cooler.
2. Currently at .500 and 4 games out of the division lead, what do the Marlins need to do in order to potentially win the NL east?
Not suck. No seriously, my liver cannot handle the amount of alcohol I’ve had to consume in order to numb the excruciating pain I’ve had to endure since June 1st. June has never been a good month for the Marlins.
It would be nice if Giancarlo Stanton could get his groove back at the plate and Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes could get in sync and generate some damn offense. Gaby Sanchez has been somewhat less than stellar and has already spent time back down on the farm to work on his hitting. The loss of Emilio Bonifacio to the DL has hurt significantly as well. Up until the injury, Bonifacio was leading the majors in stolen bases with 20. Logan Morrison has been hampered by a nagging knee injury and has shown that in his lack of offensive support. As for John Buck, well, he’s our catcher, we need somebody back there keeping the ball from rolling to the backstop. Being able to score with runners in scoring position has been the most glaring of the Marlins weaknesses.
3. Who should be going to the all-star game from Miami?
Before June 1st I would have said Giancarlo Stanton, hands down; now, I’m thinking Steve Cishek will be our sole representative.
4. Who’s been the biggest disappointment do far this season for the fish? The biggest surprise?
Gaby Sanchez, he’s so much better than he has played so far this year. Makes me seriously re-think feeling sorry for him when all of that Albert Pujols talk was going on during the off-season.
The biggest surprise is that Marlins’ hitting coach Eduardo Perez still has a job.
5. Just how nice is the new ballpark? What’s your favorite feature and can you explain the huge monument in center for us?
The new ballpark is great, a true testament to the spirit of Miami. Colors and all, it represents South Florida in every way. My favorite feature is the retractable roof. Gone are the long rain delays that have been such a pain in the butt in years past.
I’m sorry but I cannot explain the huge monument in center field. It just showed up one day. I begged and pleaded with everyone who would listen to me that we needed to kill it with fire but my pleas just fell on deaf ears. Apparently, this eyesore is here to stay. The mechanical monstrosity comes to life whenever a Marlin player hits a home run. It makes me want to wash my eyes out with bleach, but again, it completely works in Miami, it’s gaudy.
6. Finally, breakdown the pitching matchups and give us your predictions on the series.
Disclaimer: The following contains absolutely no logic or reason and were pulled completely out of my ass.
Buehrle vs Buchholz: This should be good, if the fish can muster some offense this rematch should swing Buhrle’s way.
Nolasco vs. Doubront: Nolasco is hit or miss, so who knows which one we’ll see, I’m hopeful we’ll see the dominant pitcher that we’ve seen before. As for Doubront, I have no idea, he’s a lefty and we struggle sometimes with lefties so if I give the Red Sox one game this would be it.
Zambrano vs. Matsuzaka: That is a lot of syllables for two pitchers. They almost sound like they would make great names for automobile companies. I say Zambrano, he pitches well on Thursdays.