At the beginning of the year, all the sports writers were talking about "protecting" Stanton by having a good hitter behind him.
Well, guess what. The main problem concerns the batters in front of Stanton. They're not getting on base, and so there's no reason to give him a good pitch.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Marlins' lead off spot is batting .176, with an on-base percentage of .213 -- worst in the majors. No. 2 spot has an OB of .264, 27th in majors. Third spot (Stanton, mostly) is 29th, with an OB of .344. The cleanup hitter has an OB of .341, not great, but his OPS (on-base plus slugging, the main measure for a No. 4 batter) is a respectable .746, 14th -- in the top half of the 30 teams.
JP, is your career over?
NOTE: I have been comparing Marlins' pathetic run production -- which has now climbed to 2.57 runs per game -- with the worst-ever 1908 Cards, which averaged 2.42 for the season. But that was during the "dead ball" era and I knew that the pathetic 2013 Fish couldn't do worse than that.
Clark Spencer in today's Herald points to a better comparison, the 1968 White Sox, which set the record for fewest runs in a 162-game season, with 463, or 2.85 a game.