The Miami Marlins have began their nine game road trip on the right foot with a sweep of the San Francisco Giants. Anibal Sanchez concluded the sweep with another solid performance. Sanchez went seven innings giving up one run on seven hits and striking out five in the 3-2 win over the lowly Giants. The performance of Sanchez and the majority of the pitching staff has been lost among all of the offensive struggles the Marlins have been facing all year.
As a whole the Marlins pitching staff ranks seventh in the national league with a 3.39 ERA. Probably the most surprising aspect of the Marlins pitching success so far this year is that the staff's best performers are not named Johnson, or Buehrle. The best pitchers thus far for the Marlins have been Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez, the forth and fifth starters respectively.
Sanchez has led the way for the majority of the year with a spotless 2.43 ERA and a 2-0 record. Sanchez who has always been nagged by injuries and inconsistent performance seems to have found his groove in this 2012 season, and is striking out batters better than any other National League pitcher. The hard throwing right hander has 38 strike outs, which is more than Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, while averaging 10.26 strike outs per nine innings. If he continues this trend he could easily find himself making an All-Star game appearance.
Likewise, Zambrano has began this season like a man on a mission. In his last appearance Big Z pitched a clean seven innings, by notching a two hit one run in seven inning gem versus the Giants on Wednesday. However, yet again, he found himself earning a no decision for his work. Zambrano has gone at least 6 innings in every one of his starts and has a 2.53 ERA, but has received the forth worst run support in the entire National League, receiving only 3.38 runs per game to back him up. If you look at the bright side of things at least he is not Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster who only receives .98 runs a game.
All in all the Marlins starters have held up their end of the bargain. Now it's time for the offense and bullpen to pull their weight and not waste these great performances.
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