The Monday Takeaway
When the Marlins embarked on their nine-game road trip to San Francisco, San Diego, and Houston, manager Ozzie Guillen’s team was a disappointing 7-15. Seven games in, Miami has improved to 14-15, going from an early afterthought to within 3 ½ games of the division-leading Nationals.
Here are the Marlins’ runs allowed totals during this road trip: 1, 2, 2, 8, 1, 3, 0. That’s 17 combined runs allowed over seven games (an average of 2.43 per game) and, if you toss out the outlier—Friday’s wild, 12-inning win over the Padres—nine combined runs allowed in the other six games.
Carlos Zambrano has been responsible for 16 scoreless innings since the team left Miami, and he tossed a three-hitter in Houston last night, his first complete-game shutout since September 25, 2009. A low-risk gamble by Larry Beinfest amid the Marlins’ big-ticket signings this winter, Zambrano has delivered five quality starts in six tries, and his 32-to-14 K/BB ratio suggests that the impr...