LOS ANGELES -- Giancarlo Stanton should be a happy man, what with a $325 million contract that sets him up for life.
But all that money -- guaranteed to the decimal -- isn’t putting a smile on his face. He is fed up with losing, and losing is all he’s ever known as a Marlin.
Before taking the field Thursday at Dodger Stadium, before the Marlins tossed another loss into the raging bonfire, Stanton said his frustration level is reaching new heights.
"It’s probably the highest ever," Stanton said. "It’s higher than me being the worst player on the field for a month, the worst player in the big leagues for a month, last year."
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Last season’s tape-measure slump remains painfully fresh in his mind. From May to June, he went 12-for-102 and struck out in nearly half of his at-bats. But, as Stanton pointed out, even as he was struggling, the Marlins still managed to win every now and then.
Now they’re hardly winning at all. Thursday’s loss was their 18th in their past 22 games, leaving them a hair ahead of the Padres for the dubious distinction of having the worst record in the majors. If they lose again Friday, the Marlins will match the mark for poorest 23-game stretch in franchise history -- 4-19.
"We’ve had some bad luck with injuries, and we haven’t been playing well," Stanton said. "Just a funk. But we’ve got to get out of it or the season is going to be twice as long as the last few years."
Brace yourself, Giancarlo. This could get even uglier for the Marlins.
The starting rotation is a train wreck and the bullpen hasn’t lived up to billing. In Thursday’s loss, Marlins pitchers issued nine walks. At the rate they’re going, they’ll end up walking more batters than any pitching staff this century. And there’s no help in sight. Their minor-league system has been stripped bare of talent.
The Marlins last experienced a winning season in 2009, the year before Stanton made his debut. Barring a miracle that few see happening, the Marlins will extend their record of futility by one more year.
"Surprised? Yes," Stanton said. "No one expected it to be like this.”