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.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Marlins Drop a Tough One in Extra Innings

Normally I don't like to do game recaps, so you won't see a lot of that here throughout the year. But last night's game was an interesting one.

The knee-jerk reaction after the opening day, blowout win was that McKeon and the players were right - that the lack of offense during the Spring wasn't really a concern. It's tough to make any real kind of an assessment after just one game though.

Not that you can make any better of an assessment after two games.

Juan Pierre's pop-up bunt was not something we're likely to see again for a long time. It came at a critical juncture in last night's game, so that's unfortunate, but in the long run, Juan's good bunts will far outweigh the bad. Some have said that the Marlins shouldn't have been looking to bunt there and others have said that Juan was trying to pull the ball down the first base line and just missed. I think he was trying to punch it between the pitcher and third baseman - going for more of an infield hit than anything else. Regardless, it didn't work, but it isn't the single event that cost the team the game either.

It was encouraging to see Leiter look good in his first start of the year. Like Trader Jack forewarned when setting the rotation during the spring, Leiter didn't make it deep into the game. That got the Fish into the bullpen early, and while they didn't cost the team the game last night (yes, Bump gave up the home run, but by that point they were on their 7th inning of relief work), the extended work from the staff could prove to be detrimental as there's still more than a week until the first off-day of the season.

Last night's attendance - announced at a little North of 20,000 - was also encouraging. Hopefully that will keep up. (I don't know why I hope that - other than to keep the out-of-towners who talk about how the Marlins aren't supported quiet)

So, we're two games in and the Fish are at .500. Two completely different ball games so far, and that's part of the beauty of the game. This is a sprint and not a marathon folks, so don't get too high over the opening day route or two low over last night's heartbreaker. There are 160 more games to go and so far things have been pretty encouraging.


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