To preview the Giants/Marlins series, I exchanged questions with Dave Gershman of Marlins Daily (ESPN SweetSpot). You can check out my responses to his questions here.
Since sweeping the Giants at AT&T Park, the Marlins have gone 26-42. What’s been the root of these struggles?
Lots of injuries and inconsistency. The starting pitching has been solid, but the bats haven’t come alive and the bullpen has been pretty bad too. The Marlins are out of it and probably should have sold, but that ship had sailed.
Anibal Sanchez has the sixth-best SIERA in baseball right now. Would you say he’s developed into an ace?
I’d say so. His peripherals have been very consistent for the year’s entirety and he’s managed to get even better, it seems. The season isn’t over yet, but Sanchez has definitely made strides to be one of the more effective pitchers in the NL
What are your thoughts on Hanley Ramirez‘s disappointing season?
I think it’s an aberration, to be completely honest. Sure, he’s looked dreadful at the plate this season but nobody’s perfect and sans this season he’s one of the best players in baseball. He’s been better the second half but staying on the field has been the biggest issue.
What should be expected from Javier Vazquez on Saturday? Overall, he seems to be having a pretty mediocre season — though it looks like he’s been a lot better in his last ten or so starts.
Yeah, he’s been much better than his overall stats would suggest. In fact, he’s even gained some velocity as the year has progressed. The strikeouts haven’t been completely in his favor but he’s definitely managed to improve from where he was just a few months ago.
Any specific player to watch for in this series?
Keep an eye on Mike Stanton, who will have a tough assignment against the Giants tough pitching. With Hanley out, he’s clearly their best player on the field so we’ll have to see how the Giants test him.
Since you asked me, I’ll ask the same — who do you think takes the series, Giants or Marlins?
I’ll say Giants win two of three. The Marlins aren’t that good of a team and the Giants are. Also, I expect a sense if urgency, now that the DBacks are out in front.