The Marlins had their franchise-record-tying win streak stopped at seven games Tuesday, but Miami catcher John Buck said he feels the team is beginning to gain some steam as they set to return home following Wednesday's series finale in Houston.
"We had a lot of hoopla in the beginning," Buck said. "We've been pitching well throughout the whole thing. Obviously we haven't been swinging the bats like we know we're capable, and it's just now that we're starting to get that steam going. Hopefully we'll catch that contagious bug from everybody and keep swinging the bats."
Does he think the Marlins are playing good baseball?
"I think we're playing baseball to get it done, and because we're such a good team, we're able to kind of squeak by at having a decent record and being in a decent spot in our division, which is tough," Buck said. "I think as soon as we start playing good baseball -- which I feel like we're heading in the right direction -- I think we'll be in a good spot."
Miami starters have failed to go at least six innings just six times in 30 starts this season, which is tied for the third fewest in the Majors (third in the NL) with the Los Angeles Angels.
Greensboro Grasshoppers outfielder Brent Keys and right-hander Jose Fernandez were named Miami Marlins Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April 2012. Keys batted .329 in 21 games, with five doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs. Fernandez, a first-round pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft, went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in five starts, holding opponents to a .163 batting average.
Miami is off to its best May start in franchise history, going 7-1 to start the month. The previous best start was 6-2, done twice; the last time was in 2008.