Let’s start with the Good. Jose Fernandez’s All-Star appearance. The Marlins’ lone representative at the mid-season classic pitched a perfect sixth inning, and wowing a number of people in the process. Fernandez dispatched former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and MLB homerun leader Chris Davis in order, striking out Pedroia looking, getting Cabrera to pop-up, and sending down Davis with a nasty curveball in the dirt the big-bopper flailed at.
“He’s really impressive,” said San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, who caught the inning for Fernandez. “You figured there would be a lot of nerves and excitement. But he showed great poise and obviously the stuff speaks for itself.”
“He was dirty, man,” Chris Davis said. “He threw me that curveball to start off the at-bat. It looked like a heater coming in, and then it just disappeared. Then he finished me off with it.”
Now to the Bad. It’s been more than a full week since the Marlins, the worst offense in the league, have plated a run. The current 37-inning scoreless streak is the longest such streak since Houston Astros went 42 scoreless innings in 1985. 1985! Against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend, the team managed only 15 hits in the three-game series. Six of those hits came from rookie shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. On Sunday, pitcher Henderson Alvarez had one of the four hits for the team (Hechavarria had two).
“Right now, it’s a little tough to watch,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said after Sunday’s game. His words are an understatement.
The Ugly came on Saturday. The Fish sported throwback unis to honor the Negro Leagues. The threads came from the 1956 incarnation of the Miami Marlins, with a No. 29 patch on the sleeve to honor the great Satchel Paige, and had a distinctly Florida Gator/New York Met feel to them. The 1956 Miami Marlins were a Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Brewers wore the uniforms of the 1923 Milwaukee Bears, a team part of the Negro National League at the time.
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During this, the seventh week of the Season of Woe, the Marlins exercised their right to be the worst team in the Majors yet again. A recent seven-game losing streak, snapped last Sunday with a rare win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, earned the Fish a share of the league’s worst record with the Houston Astros. Yet, even in the win, a player may have lost. Reliever Steve Cishek, one of the few bright spots last season, may have lost his hold on the Closer role, as he was pulled during the final inning of Sunday’s win for lefty Mike Dunn. Dunn closed the game, but not before walking the bases-loaded and nearly blowing the game himself.
Cishek is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA so far this season. He’s allowed 11 runs to score during his 18.1 innings pitched, and has registered a Major-League low five saves as the “Closer”. Dunn has been one of the better arms out of the ‘pen for the Marlins this season, surrendering only four runs during his team-high 23 appearances. He’s 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA as the, inexplicably, only lefty in the bullpen. The Marlins have promoted lefty Duane Below from Triple-A New Orleans. Below takes Jeep Enthusiast Jon Rauch’s spot on the roster, as the team parted ways with the tall righty last Friday night.
But while the Season of Woe continues to claim new victims, one of the earlier victims might be returning soon, thanks to an increasingly popular medical procedure. Giancarlo Stanton reportedly received a platelet-rich plasma injection to help heal his right hamstring strain. The procedure has been used by former Marlin Cody Ross, as well as several other athletes across the spectrum of sports.
“It promotes recovery a little quicker, especially if there is a lot of inflammation in that area,” Stanton said of the procedure.
New Era, the cap company responsible for all the on-field headgear of the MLB and its minor league affiliates, revealed this year’s designs for its annual Memorial Day Stars & Stripes program. Teams around the league will be sporting camouflage caps this season, a departure from the traditional Red, White and Blue design. All designs are for sale right now at MLB.com or neweracap.com.
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