Marlins break old habits with strong June
MIAMI -- Finally, the Marlins have been able to put their "June Swoon" behind them.
Miami may have the worst overall record in the Majors, but in June, it's been a different story.
Entering Wednesday, the Marlins are 12-9 in June, which gives them the sixth-best winning percentage (.571) of any team in the Majors for the month.
In June, the Marlins also have the top winning percentage in the National League East. Atlanta is next at 13-11 (.542).
The rise is a complete reversal from the past two seasons. In 2012, the Marlins were 8-18 in June, tumbling them out of contention to the point management traded away core players last July.
And in 2011, the Marlins were 5-23 in June. The downward spiral prompted Edwin Rodriguez to step down as manager.
Giancarlo Stanton has experienced plenty of negative in June. The 23-year-old slugger is enjoying the turnaround.
"It's 10 times better being able to put some wins together, and actually have a feeling that you have a chance," Stanton said.
Having Stanton and Logan Morrison back in the lineup, and the return of Nathan Eovaldi to the pitching staff, upgrades the roster.
Stanton missed all of May with a strained right hamstring. He noticed that when the team got down early there was a feeling it wouldn't come back.
"It is good to be in every game, and to come out of top," Stanton said.
Unlike earlier in the season, the Marlins are capitalizing on critical chances.
"We're stepping up in clutch situations," Stanton said. "Sometimes you get five to 10 huge situations, and sometimes you get one or two. It was that one mental mistake that was costing us the game."
The middle of Miami's offense now is more formidable with Stanton, Morrison and Marcell Ozuna.
"I think I'm relatively pitched the same, no matter what," said Stanton, who bats third. "I haven't been completely thrown around yet. Before it was kind of four pitches not in the zone. It's a little bit different knowing you've got a lefty and a righty behind you who are hitting. It's good."