Friday, April 10, 2009
This will be a series throughout the season profiling the identity of last year's team and determining whether the offseason changes in roster and philosophy result in actual differences in these areas. We expect to update after every couple of series, about once a week on average.
*I did not include Emilio Bonifacio's inside the park home run and the runs resulting from it because, despite its awesomeness quotient, it was about speed and not power, which is what we are trying to convey here.
The starting pitching has done it's job, which has been made easier by being supplied early big leads in the first two games. It's also a little strange that a 3-0 record and 3.06 ERA by the starters has actually come without the benefit of a single quality start. Both JJ and Volstad were on their way but exited before completing the 6th inning (I'm still perplexed why Volstad came out so early). Nolasco also had a chance in his six innings before allowing the three-run bomb to Adam Dunn.
The Marlins were remarkably error-free through two games thanks to a late scoring change, but they certaintly did their part in the third game. Cody Ross' mental blunder cost the team one unearned run and two total runs in the 1st. And Dan Uggla's mistake in the 9th set the stage for a blown lead before being bailed out by late inning defensive replacement Brett Carroll (I bet managers love when those guys come through).
While the offense did look a lot more small-ball oriented, it was still helped much by the big ball. Early homers gave the club leads in two games and Hanley's big grand slam in the opener put that game beyond reach.
QS: Quality start, a pitcher who goes 6+ innings and allows 3 or fewer runs
URA: Unearned runs allowed
TR: Total runs resulting from home runs
R%: Percentage of the team's runs that came via a home run