Miami Marlins: Winning Thanks to Fernandez In Spite of Stanton’s Slump
It’s awesome how much can change in baseball in just a matter of weeks.
Last week the Miami Marlins were well on their way to competing for a higher ranking spot in the NL East and were on a three-game winning streak. This week after losing two games to the Philadelphia Phillies, and another to the Washington Nationals, the Marlins had a three-game losing streak.
The good news is, that baseball is a marathon sport, not a sprint. Thankfully Miami has the talent that’s equipped to make a huge run. Thankfully because the Marlins got yet another wonderful performance from their starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, they once again missed out on having a major losing streak and turned their season around.
Fernandez this season against the Nationals has been completely dominating. During his last ten starts against the Nationals, Fernandez threw heat he finished with 15 strikeouts and the team only scored 6 runs total. With the 3-2 home win inside of Marlins Park against the Nationals on Saturday, Fernandez now has a 6-0 record while posting an ERA just under 1.1.
What’s been great to see is the way that Fernandez has been on top of his game. Fernandez has been so good so early in the season that earlier in the month he was named the NL Player of the Week. Just one year removed from having Tommy John surgery, the ace has had a decent year with a (6-2) record and a 3.21 ERA.
“My therapist, my doctor, I can’t thank them enough. Every time I see them, I tell them. I’ve made a couple of calls already today and said, ‘I’m here because of you guys. You guys got me back.’ There is no way I can ever thank them for that.”
Where Fernandez has been on his game, the Marlins are going to need help from their best offensive player, Giancarlo Stanton, if they want to have any chance of having a successful season.
Stanton has been in a bit of a slump recently. During his slump, Stanton has struck out 15 times in his 17 at-bats in his last fives games. Furthermore, Stanton’s slump is very tough because he’s been in a 4-of-48 slump. During the slump, it seems like everyone’s been offering Stanton advice on how to break out of it.
“That’s part of the problem when you get in one of these [slumps]. You’ve got the doorman telling you how to hit. You’ve got your mom, cousin, high school coach and sportswriters telling what you should be doing. We’re just working on him getting his feel back and getting his timing” manager Don Mattingly said.
Thankfully, the Marlins have had a lot of success recently with working their players out of slumps. Their newest hitting coach Barry Bonds is arguably the greatest hitter to ever play and he’s been working on helping Stanton get out of his slump.
“I’ve been there. I know the conversations I’ve had with my dad. I know the conversations I had with Willie. But as a hitter, you have to express yourself, too. I have to express myself as to what I see, and find out what Giancarlo likes to do, and see if we can marry the two together” said Bonds.
The good news is in spite of Stanton’s struggles, the Marlins still have an above .500 record. They’ve been competitive this year and when he turns his season around it’ll only get better.
The pitching is already there and with the arm of Fernandez and the added extra bat of Stanton in the lineup it’ll get the team back on the right track.
The opponent should be very cautious because when Stanton does break out of his slump it’ll only provide opposite field home runs.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey