The 1993 Marlins were shut out 14 times. So was the 2006 team.
But one was an expansion outfit while the other was stockpiled with fuzzy-cheeked rookies. Expectations were never high to begin with.
Not so the current Marlins, whose bust of a season sank to a new low Friday when they were blanked for the 15th time — tied with Oakland for most in the majors.
“It is hard to believe because the team we put out there was supposed to score runs every day,” Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes said. “Nobody’s perfect, but 15 times is a lot.”
Like Reyes, manager Ozzie Guillen said that he, too, is surprised, “especially with the ballclub we started the season with. Right now we’ve got a lot of kids in the lineup. But that’s the reason we’re in last place, the biggest reason we’re in last place. We haven’t hit with men on base.”
The Marlins have hit just .231 with runners in scoring position, which ranks 29th in the majors. But they haven’t done much better at the plate the rest of the time, either. One example: their .246 average with the bases empty is 10th out of the 16 National League teams.
Fixing the problem, at least in the short-term, could prove difficult.
“It’s not easy,” Guillen said of finding solutions. “Hopefully this year we learn and we work on it, how we’re going to hit with men on base, what is the best approach at the plate, what pitch we’re going to look for, don’t panic, don’t get anxious.”
Wade LeBlanc could end up spending the rest of the season in the bullpen as a long man. Or he might return to what would become a six-man starting rotation.
The Marlins’ rotation plans for the rest of the season remain up in the air. But Guillen said there should be some resolution in the next couple of days.
“We don’t know yet,” Guillen said. “I’m learning a lot. I thought I [knew] baseball, but I don’t think so. We tried to think about a six-man rotation for the good of a lot of people. Now we’re going to wait to see how it’s [all] going to work. I am not 100 percent sure what we’re going to do.”
August turned out to be quite a month for Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton finished with a franchise-record 10 home runs, which surpassed Gary Sheffield’s 1996 mark of nine. His 22 RBI marked the third-highest figure in franchise history for one month, bested only by Miguel Cabrera’s 32 in 2006 and Sheffield’s total of 30 in 1996.
Stanton led the majors with a .759 slugging percentage last month and tied the major-league mark in home runs with San Diego’s Chase Headley.
• Juan Carlos Oviedo is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews next week for an appointment that could result in Tommy John surgery.
• According to The New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Marlins extended their player-development agreement with their Triple A New Orleans affiliate through the 2014 season.
• Sunday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (12-11, 3.62 ERA) vs. New York Mets RHP Chris Young (3-7, 4.64), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Monday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.78) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (to be announced).
• Scouting report: Mark Buehrle Buehrle is one win shy of matching his final win total for each of the previous three seasons when he was with the Chicago White Sox. 1/3 innings from reaching the 200-inning plateau for the 12th consecutive season.