The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Marlins Return with Impressive Win

Well, I don’t have a lot to say today. I haven’t been very inspired since Frances first rolled into town. The Marlins got off to a good start after their layoff last night though. A win against the Mets was definitely a good way to get things off on the right foot.

I’m not sure how much of this y’all are hearing, but there seem to be two main takes from the team about how the layoff will affect things: one is that it will be tough, because a lot of games will have to be played in a short period of time (and hopefully there will be no more rainouts or hurricane delays); two is that the layoff over the past weekend is kind of like another All-Star game break and hopefully the team will come back refreshed.

Only time will tell. It’s interesting though how the Marlins set their rotation coming back from this break. Burnett started last night, which made since. Although his win – loss record doesn’t reflect it, he’s been pitching well. And given that he’s still coming back from arm surgery, he should probably be kept on a regular schedule as much as possible.

What surprised me though is how Carl Pavano was slotted. Pavano won’t pitch until Friday, against the Cubs. I suppose the logic here is to save your best starter for a tougher game (against the team you’re chasing in the Wild Card hunt, and who will likely be starting Mark Prior). Still though, this seems like it gives Pavano a long lay-off between starts. His last outing was way back on August 28th against the Rockies. Granted, I’m sure he’s throwing on the side, but this delay – including starting Ismael Valdez before him – will likely cost Pavano a start over the course of the rest of the season. So the question really is, would you rather juggle your lineup to maximize Pavano’s appearances against the Cubs or get as many innings as possible out of your most reliable starter (Pavano)? It seems the Marlins have decided to make sure he gets his work in against the Cubs.

Other random thoughts:
  • How old do you think references to the Curse of the Bambino are? Try 1986. That’s right – no one wrote about it before then. You could look it up.
  • Apparently there’s a superstition that the winner of the World Series determines who wins the presidential election. If you’re hoping for four more years of George W, cheer for the Republicans. If you’re a Kerry-person, you should be rooting for the National League.
  • STATS Inc did a study in the mid-90s that found that the team with the higher in-game OPS won more than 85% of the games.
  • Julio Franco now has 1,100 career RBI. He is only the fifth player in major league history to amass that high of a total without ever totaling 100 RBI in a single season.
  • With a triple last week, Franco became the oldest National Leaguer ever to hit a three-bagger.


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