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2004 Season: some perspective


jonnylons
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OK, look. Last season, about this time, I started a Marlins march to the playoff thread. We went on to the World Series and won it all. And some of you thought I was crazy then.

 

I am not going to do the same thing this year, but instead I will try and get people to understand that a baseball season is not a sprint, but a marathon. And we are making good time right now.

 

For all of our struggles, we are 26-20. Tied for first and six games over .500. We have several hitters that have been very inconsistent, even downright unreliable: AGon, Castro, Castillo, to name a few.

 

Since May 19th, Castillo has raised his average from .239 to .257. He is 10-28 during that span (3 multi-hit games). He is 1-1 in SBs. He has 5 runs and 7 RBI. He is coming around.

 

Castro may also be turning it around. Over his last 3 games, he is 2-7, 3RBI 3R, 4BB, 2K.

 

AGon...well, somewhat productive. Over his last week, .250 with 3RBI and 4R. But you cant rely heavily on him anyway, just ask for him NOT to be a hole in our lineup. (I think AGon is a better hitter than he has shown...)

 

Pierre, Cabs, Lowell all continue to hit very well. Choi has shown excellent power to this point and an ability to hit when it matters. Conine is an old vet that will only get better when it matters. He hit .309 in Apr., .217 in May. He will be fine.

 

Now I am not saying the offense is going to be fantastic, but we will get enough runs to win ballgames. More than we will lose. Why? Because of our pitching.

 

We have a staff ERA of 3.93. Benitez has been lights out. Our starters have been very good, even though Willis and Becket have struggled of late. But both pitchers are too good to continue to struggle and they will get it together. Also, Phelps filled in nicely yesterday and got us a quality start that, unfortunately, we were lacking from Oliver pretty much every fifth day. That will help our cause if Phelps can continue to pitch well. Oliver, of course, needs to be strong coming out of the pen. Wayne, Perisho and Borland all look like solid arms to keep the game in control for Benitez.

 

Sure, it would be nice to get another quality arm in there to secure the bullpen. Fox is injured, but will return it seems. Spooneybarger would be nice to get back, but it is unlikely. However, we are going to add AJ Burnett. NO TEAM in baseball will be making an acquisition of that magnitude this season. No one.

 

When AJ does come back, we should still be over .500. Just think back to last year when the Marlins went on their tear in late May. They were well under .500 and way out of contention. Right now, they are in the picture and treading water despite having some hitters really struggle.

 

I like our chances. I really do. We may not blow teams out, but we will keep it close and get our chance to win. And no team in baseball plays better in the clutch that we do. You can certainly make an argument for that. Just ask the Phillies, Giants, Cubs and Yankees.

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I am pretty satisfied so far on our performance. I know that we can do better, but I am positive we will. No need to get negative. We just need to keep our heads up and stand proud and support our team. We'll be okay.

 

I think that as long as we make it to the playoffs, I'll call it a successful season. :)

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I agree. We are scoring 4.5 Runs per game. We are not the greatest offense in the world, but we do enough to win games. If we can continue winning like we are, we will be right where we want to be at the end of the season. At this rate, we will have 92 wins - enough to contend for the Wild Card or even win our own division.

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