Series 44: vs Marlins, on road
Vargas: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 ER
Edgar Gonzalez: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 ER
Enrique Gonzalez: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 6 ER
Well, at least we got a win, so I guess that's a bit of an improvement. However, batting .161 (15-for-93) for the series? With 9 runs scored over the three games? And five extra-base hits? Not good. Our rookie position players will want to forget this series, as they went a combined 3-for-33, with only Jackson getting more than a single hit. Mind you, Hudson was the only player, of any age, to get more than two hits for the team. All credit to the Marlins for their performance: with very, very limited resources, they've put together a team that is quite capable of winning now. Heaven knows what they'll be like in a couple of years, when their rotation has matured.
Nice to see the backend of our rotation pitching deep into games, Vargas and both EGon boys all going at least six innings. Enrique was well on his way to hero status until...well, the favoured term would be "the wheels fell off", but that doesn't do justice to the sixth inning. I think the chassis came loose, the transmission seized, and the big-end flew through the hood and implanted itself in a billboard. That is what the sixth inning on Monday was like. Edgar escaped a similar fate, perhaps in part thanks to Melvin pulling him at the appropriate moment, before too much damage was done. He still got the loss, but it was a quality loss.
Vargas gave us our only win, and thoroughly deserved it with seven shutout innings - he now has more victories than anyone else on the roster bar Webb. Does that make him our #2? Don't be silly. But if he can produce anything like that level of performance on a regular basis, he could certainly be a decent back-end guy. The keyword in that previous sentence was, of course, "if"... Credit to our bullpen for generally decent work. They pitched six innings, and the only damage was a two-run homer off Medders. Three walks and nine K's for them.
With the expanded roster meaning space is available, Edgar Gonzalez stays with the big-league club, as a long reliever in the bullpen. That seems a bit of an odd decision: I think the last start merits him remaining in the rotation. It may be the case that it's just while Enrique gets one more start; he is then replaced by Edgar, to avoid anyone having to pitch on short rest. We need to see what Edgar is capable of, and whether he is a potential starter for next year, when he will be out of options, I believe. He hasn't really been given a proper, extended shot this season or last, and the Florida outing was encouraging enough to merit further scrutiny.