I remember going to a Marlins game last month and having the unfortunate luck of sitting next to some 70-year old “fan”. It was kind of sad because all he could do is talk about how great the inaugural squad was and how this team was so lousy. He kept bringing up how great Orestes Destrada and Jeff Conine were and with Ricky Nolasco on the mound that night, well, it would turn out to be a spark plug for this man’s anger.
He cursed Nolasco, cursed Andrew Miller and praised Mark Hendrickson and Scott Olsen. If you are a Marlins fan than you know that Mark was our #1 starter and Scott Olsen was/is considered our “Ace”. Andrew Miller and Nolasco at the time were having monumental struggles on the mound for the first few weeks of the season. Miller, was inconsistent and could not find the plate to save his life. Nolasco, was a workhorse but was giving up way too many runs each game.
Since then something quite shocking has occurred. Both Andrew Miller & Ricky Nolasco have proven to be our most reliable pitchers. These two guys, who were #3 and #4 on the rotation were actually separated a few weeks ago because as Freddy Gonzalez put it, “they both use way too much bullpen help”. He felt the best way to save our bullpen was to keep these two guys as far apart on pitching days as possible.
My, how the tables have turned.
Today, Nolasco is 7-4 with a 4.35 ERA while Miller is 4-5 with a 5.22 ERA but would have an extra two wins if that pesky bullpen didn’t blow it for him. Sure, it’s not quite Bob Gibson-like but the Marlins are all offense, no pitching so it’s great to have these two underdogs (for the time being) take the spotlight for a while, if not for the rest of the year.
It’s good to see the “good guys” come out on top every now and then.
Who would have guessed it? Me, that’s who!