Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With Tuesday night’s loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins hit the 90 loss mark for the third consecutive season under the watchful eye of owner Jeffrey Loria.
The Marlins enter Wednesday with a record of 53-90 and must play better than .500 over the final 19 games to finish the season with less than 100 losses for only the second time in team history. The other time the Fish finished with 100 losses or more was in 1998 during the first roster purge of the franchise.
Going back further, the Marlins have only finished with a winning record twice since 2006. During that time period (including the current season record), the Fish have compiled a 594-682 record, or a winning percentage of 46.5 percent.
The Marlins still have two more games with the Braves plus a pair of series’ with the Philadelphia Phillies, a series with the Mets, Nationals, and end the season with a home series against the Detroit Tigers.
The Fish will also be sitting down ace pitcher Jose Fernandez after his Wednesday start. So, the team’s best pitcher will be out for the final 18 games of the season after Wednesday. The Marlins are sitting Fernandez to protect his arm since he’s so young.
It’s easy to see why the Marlins have struggled so much in 2013. Aside from having one of the lowest payrolls in the Major Leagues; the Fish have stunk it up on the offensive front.
The Marlins average a National League worst 3.26 runs per game, a half-run worse than the next to last team. The Marlins have scored the fewest runs (466), have the fewest hits (1113), fewest doubles (188), fewest home runs (84), fewest RBI’s (439), lowest batting average (.231), lowest on-base percentage (.292), lowest slugging percentage (.335), and lowest OPS (.626).
Outside of Fernandez, the Fish’s pitchers have struggled. The team has the lowest winning percentage of any National League team and has only one starter to pitch a complete game this year. The Marlins are also third worst in the National League in walks, and are below the league average in strikeouts.
Still, the Marlins did strike gold with Fernandez. He has the fifth highest WAR, wins above replacement, of any position in the National League. He also has the third highest WAR among National League pitchers and is second in the National League in ERA.
Fernandez is third in the National League in walks and hits per inning pitched and first in the league in hits per nine innings pitched. Fernandez also leads the National League in strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
In other words, outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who will win the Cy Young Award, Fernandez has been the best pitcher in the National League.
But past Fernandez’s domination, 2013 has been another season that Marlins fans would like to forget and another season in which Loria has put a losing team on the field.