With only one win is seven games, there is no question the Miami Marlins are struggling in the early part of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. However, taking a series against an Atlanta Braves team that is currently 6-1 might just be the boost of confidence the ball club needs.
In order to do this, two Miami hitters who have had career success against the Braves must step up. Third baseman Placido Polanco and second baseman Donovan Solano both have outstanding offensive numbers when facing Atlanta.
Polanco is batting .309 in 314 at-bats against the Braves over a span of 15 years. The 37-year-old has continued that success in recent seasons as he is batting a clean .300 with one home run and eight RBI over the past three years.
Meanwhile, Solano dominated Atlanta in his first season in the big leagues last year. The 25-year-old posted a .333 batting average (13-for-39) with two home runs, three RBI, three walks, three stolen bases and four runs. The only team he had more success in 30 or more at-bats last season was the Washington Nationals.
The fact that Polanco and Solano hit a combined 1-for-7 in Monday night’s contest against the Braves is a big reason why the Marlins lost 2-0. Miami is relying on the known matchups to succeed against a top notch team, and those averages failed them in the first game of the series.
The good news is there are still two more games to be won. Even though Marlins starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc has never defeated the Braves in three starts, the fact that he pitched well in his first outing of the season bodes well for the team.