08/03/2010 1:15 PM ET
Tankersley: Fish just a hot streak away
Reliever says team must put together good stretch
With the season rolling into August, we're in position to make a playoff run. We believe in ourselves we've been playing good baseball since the All-Star break. We're just one hot streak away from really getting into the thick of things.
All it takes for a team is to have a good stretch over, say, a 10-game period. The goal is to string together a number of victories and to put together a stretch where we win something like nine out of 10 games. If we do that, and we keep playing like we are playing, people are going to be talking about the Fish come October.
Recently, our starting pitching has been good, and our hitting has been timely. We've backed that up with some good defense, and our bullpen has done its job. Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling.
I can't say enough good things about Josh Johnson. Baseball fans get to see J.J. take the ball every fifth day, but what they don't get to see is his work ethic and his commitment to this team on an everyday basis. He's a great worker who pays attention to the details. He's also a good teammate, a good man and a good father -- the real deal.
Offensively, Hanley Ramirez sets the tone for us. When he's going well, things really have a tendency to trickle down to our other hitters. His numbers right now -- he's hitting .282 with 21 steals -- would be a great year for most guys, but it's not his best year. If we can get him really going, it will help the entire lineup. He is such a great threat -- a threat to get on base, a threat to steal a base, a threat to hit a home run -- that he can change games with his presence.
As a team, we have played more than 100 games now, and I don't think we've overachieved or underachieved. Our play has been on par. When you come out of Spring Training, every team has aspirations of dominating the league, but that's rarely realistic. This is a tough league featuring the best players in the world.
So, it is about doing the little things over the course of the season to help put you into a position to win more often than not. I think we've done that pretty well.
I've been part of this team going back to 2006, and this season, and our position in the standings right now seems to mirror past seasons. We're hanging in the race with an opportunity to reach the playoffs, if we have that hot streak.
Taylor Tankersley, a left-handed reliever, has pitched in 163 games with the Marlins over four seasons. His best seasons came in 2007 when he went 6-1 with a 3.99 ERA and in his rookie season in '06 when he posted a 2.85 ERA in his first 49 big league contests.