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, April 06, 2005

Opening Day Success

Well... that was a pretty good start for opening day now, wasn't it?

Here I was worried for the past week or so about facing the mighty Braves on opening day, particularly with all-world John Smoltz taking the hill for the perennial division champs.

But then Smoltz gave us all another reason to discredit spring stats. Despite a scintillating spring, Smotlz was rocked by the Marlins, lasting less than two innings and giving up seven runs (six earned).

A 9 – 0 win like the Marlins had yesterday is always a great thing, but it's particularly sweet on opening day. As they take the field tonight for game 2, the Marlins will bring in a .350 team batting average.

Most impressive of all was Juan Encarnacion's grand slam in the first inning. Sure, he didn't do anything else offensively for the rest of the game, but his homer not only set the tone for the day, it also gave hope that his bat might be a little livelier than it was in 2004.

But most importantly, like I hinted at before the game yesterday, opening day is just one game. For the fans – and the players – it's special because of what it signifies, but in the standings it counts exactly the same as any other game.


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