The Marlins. The Florida Marlins, right? Ah yes, the Marlins. That quixotic franchise. They'll make you feel good about your attendance figures. Then bad again about the fact that they've won 2 World Series in their 18 year history and it's been 20+ years since your franchise made it past the NLCS. The Fish are spawning lately, having won 10 of their last 13, swimming to within a half game of the Phillies in the NL East. The inevitable question - asked of any streaking franchise other than the Yankees: "Are they for real?" I hope they don't ask me, 'cuz I don't really know. I do know that any club would be happy to have Stanton and Morrison manning their outfield corners and Josh Johnson as staff ace.
This early season success has been in spite of the play of Javier Vasquez, tonight's pitching rival to Travis Wood. Much like his 2010, Vasquez has been pitching as though his '09 season in Atlanta was a wacky anomaly. Though when you post a sub-3.00 ERA for the first time in your career at Age 33, I guess that's no big revelation.
Maybe Travis Wood is entering his first major patch of trouble in his major league career as the league finally has the book on him. Or maybe it's still too early to tell. I'm encouraged to know that Wood's FIP is quite low (3.01), which suggests his ERA may be inflated by a higher than average BABIP (.345) and abnormally low strand rate (60.8% LOB). And he doesn't appear to be getting hit a whole lot harder than last season. Wood should be OK, though I'm sure the numbers are cold comfort.
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