Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/16/12
A .500 record used to be considered a success for the Florida Marlins. Now as the Miami Marlins, it's a disappointment. They may be hard-pressed to move back above the break-even mark against James Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays. With Hanley Ramirez possibly back in the lineup, the Marlins will try to overcome their struggles against Shields and end an eight-game skid versus the Rays on Saturday night. Though they do have two World Series titles to their credit, the Marlins (32-32) have spent much of their history as one of the thriftiest teams in baseball. That status changed dramatically in the offseason, when they mounted a free-agent spending spree coinciding with a new stadium in an effort to transform into an instant - and consistent - NL East contenders. They certainly haven't looked like contenders while losing nine of their last 10 games behind an anemic offense that's totaled 17 runs and compiled a .182 average during the slump. Marlins batters failed to do much of anything in the opener of this three-game Citrus Series on Friday, when a single by Donovan Solano was Miami's only hit in an 11-0 loss to the Rays (36-28). "Offense? We still have that?" manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't remember seeing a team struggle from the first to ninth hitter. We try. I don't know if we try too hard. "Last week we had the best ballclub in baseball. This week we've got the worst club in baseball." The Marlins have played like cellar dwellers for some time against Tampa Bay, batting .169 at the plate with two homers and 13 runs during their eight straight losses in this series. Showing improvement against Shields (7-4, 4.06 ERA) will be a tall order since the right-hander is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in his last four appearances - three starts - versus the Marlins. He yielded one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 victory at Miami on Sunday. Shields, though, is 0-2 with a 5.12 ERA in his last three starts at home. Miami may get a lift if Hanley Ramirez is back after he was scratched from the lineup for the series opener after a ball hit him in the nose during batting practice. Solano took his place at third base. "He's fine," Guillen said of Ramirez. "He's got something slight, a little bit broke. The doctor says he can play." Ramirez has three hits in his last two games shaking out of a 1-for-22 slump over the previous seven. However, he is 2 for 22 with seven strikeouts in his last seven games against the Rays. Giving the ball to Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 3.40) may not inspire much confidence in the Marlins, either. He's lost five of his last six starts with a 4.85 ERA in that span. The right-hander took the loss opposite Shields on Sunday, allowing four runs in six innings.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Denis Istomin upsets Novak Djokovic at Australian Open

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Brad Marchand believes NHL players would accept gay teammate

Report: Falcons coaches told Shanahan is 49ers' new coach

Report: Members of Knicks want to part ways with Anthony

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bryce Harper prods Nationals over offseason activity

Blake Griffin to produce ‘White Man Can’t Jump’ remake

Report: Hawks and Pelicans talked Dwight Howard trade

Joel Embiid’s minute limit will be enforced for rest of season

Man U to bring on full-time counter-terrorism officer

Durant: Harden could have thrived as Thunder's sixth man

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Box Score 1/18: Trying to stay Melo in New York

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Was Jack Capuano the right person to blame for Isles' woes?

Box Score 1/17: LeBron goes boom

Ten NBA players who need a change of scenery

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name the quarterbacks drafted in the 2003 NFL draft ahead of Tony Romo

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker