It’s no secret that the Miami Marlins have been struggling of late. Since opening the season 5-1, Miami has lost nine of 10 and most recently, dropped two of three to the Washington Nationals. The Marlins will conclude a six-game homestand with their first taste of interleague play in 2014.
Visiting Miami for three games over the weekend will be the Seattle Mariners. Seattle recently dropped three of four in Texas against the Rangers and heads to South Florida with a sub-.500 record.
Despite a losing record, ace Felix Hernandez has been stellar. Hernandez is tied for the Major League lead with three wins while posting an ERA under two and a league-high 39 strikeouts. Offensively, the Mariners have struggled. Seattle ranks just 26th in baseball in batting average and 28th in on-base percentage.
The host Marlins enter the series with a 6-10 record which has them in last place in the National League East. Miami currently sits 4.5 games back of the division-leading Atlanta Braves. In the American League West, the 7-8 Seattle Mariners sit in third place, three games back of the Oakland Athletics.
The meeting in Miami will be the first between the Marlins and Mariners since 2011. That year, the Fish actually played a home series in Seattle thanks to a scheduling conflict with a U2 concert. Seattle took two of three from the Marlins with the series concluding in bizarre fashion. In extra innings, Marlins’ pitcher Steve Cishek uncorked a wild pitch while trying to issue an intentional walk. The wild pitch allowed Seattle to grab a 2-1 lead and the eventual victory.
Miami and Seattle will play night games on Friday and Saturday before concluding the series with a day game on Sunday. The Marlins will then head to Atlanta.
Stanton Leading Baseball in RBIs
Despite Miami’s recent struggles, Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has continued to be a run producer. In Miami’s 11-2 victory of the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, Stanton took Nats’ starter Stephen Strasburg deep in his first at-bat for a three-run home run. Stanton would later add a two-run double, finishing with five runs driven in on the evening. Stanton now has 21 RBIs for the season which is tops in all of baseball. Stanton also is third in the National League with five home runs. Traditionally a slow starter, Stanton is in the midst of the best April of his career.
Koehler Plays Stopper
Prior to the start of the 2014 season, it was unknown whether or not Tom Koehler would be a part of the Miami rotation. Koehler progressed as the season went on in 2013, but to this point in 2014, he’s been Miami’s most consistent starter. In Tuesday’s win over Washington, Koehler played the role of stopper in an 11-2 Miami victory. In seven shutout innings, Koehler allowed just one hit and pitched around five walks as the Marlins ended an eight-game slide. Koehler has now given Miami a quality start each time he has taken the mound. A pleasant surprise, Koehler leads the Marlins with a 1.89 ERA.
Friday – Chris Young (SEA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 1-1, 4.19 ERA
Saturday – Roenis Elias (SEA) 1-1, 2.16 ERA vs. Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 0-2, 4.30 ERA
Sunday – TBA (SEA) vs. Kevin Slowey (MIA) 0-0, 4.38 ERA