04/26/12 12:31 PM ET
Offensive woes won't affect hurlers' plan
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
"I try to go out there and shut the team down every start, no matter if I know we're going to score 10 runs that game or if we're going to score one," left-hander Mark Buehrle said.
At a time when the Marlins are scuffling to score, the most encouraging part of the young season is the starting pitching has been strong.
In the first four games of the road trip, Miami's starters have allowed six runs in 27 2/3 innings (1.95 ERA).
Buehrle turned in a strong seven innings on Wednesday night, allowing two runs. But the veteran came out on the losing end of a 5-1 decision to the Mets at Citi Field.
Manager Ozzie Guillen is confident the offense will turn around. He noted that he would be more concerned if the starting pitching was an issue.
"If it was the pitching staff, then you could be like, 'Wow, that's something to worry about,'" Guillen said. "I think the talent we have in the lineup is good enough to score some runs."
For the most part, the starters have done their job all season.
Miami's rotation has a 3.75 ERA on the season, which is sixth best in the National League.
With little run support, it reduces the margin of error for a pitcher.
Buehrle found that out on Wednesday night, when he elevated a changeup on an 0-2 pitch to David Wright, who belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
"Obviously, when you get more runs, you realize you can make a mistake," Buehrle said. "If a guy hits a home run off you, it's not a killer. But at the same time, I go out there trying to make my pitches, no matter if we're up, 1-0, or, 10-0. I try to make my pitches and get guys out."
Buehrle was signed as a free agent to provide experience and log his share of innings. He says the Marlins need to keep pushing through, and notes that the club is in a stretch where they're facing quality pitching as well.
"We're facing good pitching, so you can't sit there and say that we're not hitting and we're not hitting off pitchers we should be crushing," Buehrle said. "We're facing some good pitching, and that's what those guys are supposed to do off our hitters, keep them off balance."
Ozzie sees hitters pressing, but unconcerned
NEW YORK -- Stay upbeat and stick with a plan that has worked in the past.
Those are a couple of messages Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is giving to his struggling club.
In the first four games of the road trip, which wraps up on Thursday in New York, the Marlins have scored four runs. They've batted .148 on the trip with a .221 on-base percentage.
"People can't put their heads down, and feel sorry for themselves," Guillen said. "It's a long season. They don't know. They have to learn how tough this game is. This game is not easy.
"Obviously, we're not swinging the bats well. You can make any excuse, chasing bad pitches, anxious at the plate, trying to get three hits in one at-bat. You can put it all together."
Relax and not try to do too much.
"Right now, it seems like that's not happening," the manager said. "Just erase everything and let your abilities take over and don't try to do too much. That's the way to approach this game. Good players approach this game very nice. Bad hitters, they're anxious. They panic. They don't know how to come out [of it]. I think we have good hitters. We should know how to come out.
"You have a plan, stick with the plan, and make it work. I've been in this game a little while. I'm pretty confident that we're way better than the way we've swung the bats. That's why I'm not worried."
Giancarlo Stanton, who has yet to hit a home run this year, says the team needs to learn and move forward.
"But it's definitely not acceptable," Stanton said.
With the Mets going with left-hander Jonathan Niese on Thursday, the Marlins opted to start Austin Kearns in left field. The right-handed hitting Kearns has eight career home runs against the Mets. Kearns was able to give Logan Morrison a breather. Morrison started the first four games in the road trip. The Marlins continue to monitor Morrison, who is getting periodical days off to take the stress off his right knee.
Omar Infante, who hit his fifth homer of the season on Wednesday night, is tied with Texas' Ian Kinsler for the most homers among second basemen in the Majors. Infante is a .341 career hitter when facing the Mets.
Catcher Brett Hayes started the day game after a night game on Thursday in place of John Buck.
Hanley Ramirez entered Thursday hitless in 14 at-bats on the road trip. His average dipped from .283 to .234 on the trip. Still, Ramirez is tied for the most home runs by a third baseman.