The Marlins’ offensive problems hardly appear fixed, and they could again have trouble pushing runs across the plate Wednesday night against Barry Zito.
Prior to Tuesday’s opener, Guillen said he would make changes to the batting order if his offense didn’t get going. Miami (9-14) did little to show its coming around finishing with six hits against Matt Cain, but the Marlins still managed to beat the Giants 2-1. It was the second win in 10 games for Miami, which has scored two runs or fewer in seven of those contests.
“Hopefully we play better (Wednesday) than we did (Tuesday), because my wife has very bad insurance,” Guillen said. “I’ve got to make sure I put my money in my insurance because if we keep playing like that, I might not make it to July.”
The left side of the infield has easily been the biggest disappointment in Miami’s lineup, as Ramirez is batting .209 and leadoff hitter Jose Reyes is batting .224. Neither appears poised for a breakout performance Wednesday, with Ramirez hitting .063 in 16 at-bats against Zito and Reyes 1 for 11 (.091).
Making matters worse for the Marlins, Zito (1-0, 1.67 ERA) is pitching like he did in his prime, compiling a 0.93 WHIP and yielding two earned runs or fewer in each of his first four starts.
Against Cincinnati last Wednesday, the left-hander allowed four hits through six shutout innings before being removed after serving up a homer to Scott Rolen to lead off the seventh. The Giants (12-11) went on to lose 4-2.
Zito hasn’t faced the Marlins since permitting three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 loss on July 26, 2010. The 2002 AL Cy Young winner had posted a 0.80 ERA in winning his previous five starts in the series.
Miami’s probable starter Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 3.24) has also fared well against San Francisco in his career. He has a 0.86 ERA in four outings versus the Giants since 2009, and is 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 12 career starts against them.
Against Arizona on Friday, the right-hander yielded three runs, a season-high 10 hits and two walks in six innings of a 5-0 defeat. Prior to being knocked around by the Diamondbacks, Zambrano had limited opponents to a .156 batting average through his first three starts.
Zambrano might find success like that Wednesday considering the heart of San Francisco’s lineup hasn’t had much luck facing him. Pablo Sandoval is 2 for 10 lifetime against the former Chicago Cub, while Buster Posey is 1 for 9 with three strikeouts.
Sandoval homered in his second straight game Tuesday, and has hit safely in all but one contest this year, batting .323.
Posey is hitting .333 but was 0 for 4 Tuesday and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning.
Struggling Miami closer Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in six chances. He arrived in San Francisco with a 10.80 ERA and Guillen said before the game he would consider a change if the three-time All-Star doesn’t return to form.
“We’re going to be a better club with him being the closer,” Guillen said. “It’s nice to see him throw more strikes. And I think he’s more confident.”