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Offense shows no sign of life against M's

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Friday, June 10, 2005

 

MIAMI GARDENS ? After the Marlins' first 27 losses this season, there always was optimism in the clubhouse about the team's ability to turn things around.

 

The mood after loss No. 28 was different. Even gloomy.

 

"There's a lot of negative energy around here. A lot," center fielder Juan Pierre said after Florida's lethargic offense failed to get a runner to second base Thursday night in an 8-0 loss to the Mariners.

 

"We're not having fun. That was our M.O. the last two years. We had fun, guys laughing, joking around, picking each other up. We're just not getting the vibe right now.''

 

The 2005 Marlins were built to win the National League East. A little more than one-third of the way into the season, they are in last place, just one game over.500, and sounding like a team on the verge of collapse.

 

"You have to wonder and say, 'Hey, is this one of those odd years?' " manager Jack McKeon said. "You hope it's not. You don't figure it is. I mean, the guys can't say they didn't get a chance.''

 

The Marlins at least had a lead in their previous 10 games. They never led Thursday while getting shut out for the third time this season.

 

Seattle right-hander Aaron Sele scattered five hits. But Pierre wanted to take the blame for Florida's 12th loss in its past 15 games.

 

He already had been dropped to seventh in the batting order because of his.252 average, nearly 50 points off his career average.

 

Then, with one on and one out in the fourth inning of a scoreless game, Richie Sexson singled to center field. The ball skipped past Pierre, scoring Adrian Beltre.

 

"That error set the tone for the night,'' Pierre said.

 

Up to that point, Josh Beckett had pitched well. He struck out the first four batters of the game and faced 11 batters before Beltre singled.

 

Florida couldn't get anything going, with the heart of its order popping out and bouncing into double plays, including one involving Pierre.

 

After reaching base in the fifth on a fielder's choice, Pierre took off for second on a hit-and-run play. But he didn't see Alex Gonzalez pop the ball to third baseman Beltre, who made a soft toss to first for the double play.

 

"Guys have got to look themselves in the mirror, mainly myself, and get it in gear,'' Pierre said. "You can't complain if you're not getting the job done, and this organization probably, if you don't get the job done, will get somebody in here to do the job."

 

Randy Winn hit a solo home run to put Seattle up 2-0 in the sixth, but the game was already lost. The six runs Beckett allowed in the seventh didn't seem to matter.

 

"I lost the game. You can't expect them to score eight runs every time out," said Beckett (7-4), who allowed 10 hits, eight runs and seven earned runs ? tying career highs in each of those categories ? while his ERA rose from 2.58 to 3.13.

 

In the past 15 games, the Marlins' offense has averaged 3.3 runs a game.

 

Although Beckett didn't agree, McKeon suggested the lack of scoring may be taking a toll on the starters.

 

"It leaves you very little margin for error, no question about that,'' McKeon said. "But how much pressure? Each guy puts pressure on himself. The hitters go up there, they can't hit because... the manager doesn't like him, the front office doesn't like him or you guys write bad things about him. We're all held responsible, and we're accountable for what we do. Let's face it, I can't sit back here and blame you guys or anybody else if we don't do the job.''

 

Noteworthy: The last time Florida failed to get a runner to second base was Sept. 19, 2003. ... Ichiro Suzuki struck out twice but was 1-for-5, drawing him to within three hits of 1,000 in his Mariners career.

I thought this line was important "The Marlins at least had a lead in their previous 10 games." So in the last 11 games we had the lead in 10 of those games. Its not like we are just dying from the get go.

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I have to agree that Pierre should shoulder a lot of the blame for last night's loss. Once again he struggled in all aspects of his game. Has he just worn himself out by over preparing? There has to be a limit to how much practice he can endure. Perhaps he needs to take a week off and do nothing.

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I have to agree that Pierre should shoulder a lot of the blame for last night's loss. Once again he struggled in all aspects of his game. Has he just worn himself out by over preparing? There has to be a limit to how much practice he can endure. Perhaps he needs to take a week off and do nothing.

803461[/snapback]

1 players error can not account for an 8-0 shutout.

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MARINERS 8, MARLINS 0

 

Morose Marlins deflated in defeat

 

BY CLARK SPENCER

 

[email protected]

 

A glaring sense of gloom has found its way inside the Marlins clubhouse, where the all-too-familiar silence that comes with defeat was never more pronounced than it was Thursday. It wasn't so much that the reeling Marlins lost for the 12th time in their past 15 games, sinking further into last, as much as it was the manner in which they flopped 8-0 to the Seattle Mariners at Dolphins Stadium.

 

Not one Marlins baserunner made it as far as second base, starting pitcher Josh Beckett gave up more runs -- six -- in Thursday's seventh inning than he had in any one inning of his major-league career, and four of the six Marlins who managed to get on base were erased on double plays.

 

''There's a lot of negative energy around here -- a lot,'' said slumping outfielder Juan Pierre, who was particularly critical of his self. ``It's just all around. We're not having fun. That was our M.O. the last two years. Even last year, when we hit a tailspin, we had fun -- guys laughing and joking around. We're just not getting that vibe now.''

 

Even manager Jack McKeon, usually fiery and upbeat, is becoming increasingly morose as the slide continues.

 

''I don't know what else to do,'' said McKeon, who has repeatedly changed the lineup hoping to discover one that clicks. ``We've tried about everything. I guess I'll have to take the blame. I'm accountable, too.''

 

AN AVERAGE TEAM?

 

With more than a third of the season complete, McKeon is beginning to wonder if the Marlins, hyped as a playoff contender before the season, are an average team.

 

'You have to wonder and say, `You know, is this one of those odd years?' '' McKeon said. ``I hope it's not. You don't figure it is. I mean, guys can't say they didn't get a chance. Patience has been exercised with all of them.''

 

Said Pierre, who is hitting just .252 and committed a fielding error in center that led directly to Seattle's first run Thursday: ``It better stop soon. We haven't been playing up to our capabilities. Guys have got to look themselves in the mirror, mainly myself. This organization, probably if you don't get the job done, they'll get somebody in here to do the job.''

 

Beckett took full blame for the loss, but it didn't matter whether he gave up eight runs or only one. The Marlins continued to flail at the plate. They have scored all of 28 runs in their 12 losses during the dry spell. They didn't come close to scoring Thursday off Seattle starter Aaron Sele and two Mariner relievers.

 

Mike Lowell had two of the Marlins' five hits, all of them singles and none of which led to a scoring threat. It was the first time since September of the 2003 season that the Marlins failed to get a baserunner to second.

 

OFFENSIVE WOES

 

Of the eight runs the Marlins scored in the three-game series with Seattle, two were driven in by pitcher Brian Moehler, Carlos Delgado had all five RBI on Wednesday, and the other run scored courtesy of a balk.

:thumbdown

Beckett started strong, striking out the first four batters he faced. And the Mariners' fourth-inning run wasn't his fault. Richie Sexson's single up the middle got past Pierre and allowed Adrian Beltre to score from first.

 

''That error, getting down 1-0, set the tone for the whole night,'' Pierre said. ``I'm not going to make any excuses. I know that play set the tone, basically, for the whole night.''

 

Randy Winn led off the sixth against Beckett with a solo home run.

 

But in the seventh, Beckett crumbled. He gave up six Seattle runs, all of them scoring with two outs.

 

''When you lose 8-0, it's the pitcher's fault,'' said Beckett, who vented his frustration by angrily rearranging objects inside the clubhouse after being removed from the game. ``The bottom line is I didn't pitch worth a [darn] today. I lost tonight, nobody else.''

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The Torberg firing may have been appropriate. Maybe not. But, it was done brutally. Letting Ozzie go was insane. He should have gotten a raise with a promise that Jack was in a final year and Ozzie was a leading contender.

And Mordy should have been given a more important minors managerial position.

Blunderful.

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The Torberg firing may have been appropriate. Maybe not. But, it was done brutally. Letting Ozzie go was insane. He should have gotten a raise with a promise that Jack was in a final year and Ozzie was a leading contender.

And Mordy should have been given a more important minors managerial position.

Blunderful.

803472[/snapback]

No money would keep Ozzie when he had a managerial role available with his name on it.

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Well i've just started reading the sun-sentinal articles on the marlins and i just can't believe how much negativity is going around this club. Everything from the hitting coach's job security, Mota getting chewed out and AJ being mad he was pulled against the Nats in the 7th inning. It seems like everyone rather be negative and pissed. Granted no pitcher is going to be happy at the last 2.

 

McKeon needs to appologize to Mota and reinstill faith in him. Mota's confidence and psyche is all f-d up and if McKeon is as good of a manager as everyone thinks he is then he will take it upon himself to put Mota back into form. Mota is a good pitcher and just needs faith behind him. I think McKeon has given up to early on Mota. Maybe the players are right and McKeon IS being to negative even if the team is losing so much.

 

(yeah, i know this contradicts my earlier posts but i've had a little change in heart with this whole mota situation. a scene like that can turn the whole ball club's momentum upsidedown.)

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Trade Mota.

 

He's been alittle bitch through this whole situation. He needs to be a team player. He needs to grow up.

803526[/snapback]

 

Thank you...if he's not going to accept his role and brings down the energy in the clubhouse you gotta get rid of him. Look at how well Jones has been closing out games, why would we not continue to use him there?

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The marlins need a new manager, he's got his ring now, its over, they need to send him back home where he can sit down with a cigar in his mouth, a glass of coke in one hand and few egg rolls on a plate. We need a younger manager that has not won a world series, thats the key. Also the stadium deal is getting to there mind. Do you think these guys wanna move out to the desert! I think if the marlins had a new stadium, and a new manager, we would be in first place, and 10 games over .500

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Mota is going to be alright. He had a very good outing on Wednesday night.

 

As far has clubhouse emotions go, everyone is frustrated they are losing so much. A nice win streak will solve all of this.

 

The only change I see that could help is a new hitting coach.

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I believe the "Negative Energy" is coming from Samson and upper management!

 

I really believe that human beings are human beings...and if the vibes from the marlins are negative from not getting being approved to construct a crappy little stadium in the Armpit of South Florida, it's still going to filter into the clubhouse!

 

They are going to think that they don't care about how we're playing? Just the stadium deal...Players aren't oblivious to the stadium talk! They're not stupid! And consciencely or unconsciencely it's going to be in the back of their minds!

 

Samson put it aside the stadium talk in 2002, 2003 ... and it was great! I was tired of hearing about it! I just wanted to root for my team! But when they won in '03, they decided to try to capitalize on the marlins new popularity, and push the new stadium stuff again...

 

LET IT GO! Get positive! And it MIGHT filter down to the team.

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