Monday, May 19, 2008

Jacques Jones

I doubt if Jones is costing the Fish much money. But would they have bothered if they didn't think this team has a future?  Loria spent money during the season in '03 when he knew he had a potential contender. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Good Are They?

They are 8 games over .500 after last night's tough loss. If the NL east turns into a 4 team race, the winning team will probably finish about 10-12 games above .500. . .At what point do we start to think of this team as being potentially in the race all summer? 
I'm going to suggest a date: June 12th. They still haven't faced the Phillies, or the Mets at Shea. (They are 4-4 vs. the Mets and Braves, while beating up on the hapless Nats--which is exactly what you expect a good team to do.) After the series in Cincy, they come home to face the Royals, DBacks and Giants, followed by a 9 game roadtrip against the Phillies, Mets and Braves, starting May 26.  Then they return home to face the Reds and the Phillies. The last Phillies game is on June 12. 

Right now, the stats imply that their record is a temporary illusion--their defense in particular is suspect. They give up far fewer unearned runs than expected, based on the number of errors they've committed. And its hard to put much faith in the starting pitching--they've been good for the last couple of weeks, but can they sustain it? 

This has been an unexpectedly hopeful season for the Fish. Even if they fade, as most people expect, there has been a lot of positive stuff: the Hanley contract; Olsen's turnaround; Beinfest's ability to grab marginal players like Cantu and Hendrickson and get production out of them; Miller's improvement; the bullpen, especially Pinto; the improved (to almost league average in terms of unearned runs), and perhaps still improving defense (even after Cantu's error last nite).  

At least for now, the Cabrera/Willis trade looks pretty good.  

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two bits of trivia

1 -- on question from post below about what ML teams have never lost a series in post-season. Well, there's the, ahem, Marlins, and the team that was formerly known as the Devil Rays. But what about the Washington Nationals. Certainly, never in post-season. Their predecessor, the Expos. were leading in 1994 when the season was wiped out. But a web search showed that in the 1981 split season they were in the playoffs. They defeated the Phillies, 3-2, then lost to the Dodgers.
2 -- When I went to a ball game with Tom, he asked -- which pitcher won the most games for the Marlins in the inaugural season fo 1993. The answer is Chris Hammond. Remember him?
-- This is written from the Marlins foreign outpost of Barcelona ....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday's Game

From my perch in Section 110. Miller didn't look bad, Pinto looked good, and the Marlins ended up with an easy victory. Its easy to imagine Miller improving a bunch before the season is over. Of course, the Padres do have an anemic batting order . . .

The Marlins have given up 14 more runs than they have scored, which means that their record continues to be better than you'd expect. Unfortunately, it appears that their defense seems to be getting worse--they've given up 15 unearned runs, while the league average is 13. They've committed 33 errors, which is the most in the NL, so I guess one reason their record is better than you'd expect is that they haven't given up as many unearned runs as they could have, given the number of errors they've committed. Perhaps the strong bullpen has something to do with that. . .

Its a fun team to watch, one that you can imagine improving this season and possibly for the next year or two--if Loria will spring for the bucks to keep Hanley. If Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez come back strong by next season, the Marlins will be looking to trade some pitching for everyday players. 

A word about Maddux: Treanor's hard hit grounder to third that was scored as a hit could have been an inning ending DP, just like Cantu's a couple of innings later.