When the season started, most prognosticators saw the Brewers as a dark horse contender and the Marlins as very young & very bad, perhaps historically so. Well, it's almost September, and 60-66 looks awfully similar to 62-65. Of course, the Marlins have exceeded expectations far more than the Brewers have fallen short of them, but regardless, both teams now find themselves on the very fringes of the playoff picture, beginning what could prove to be a rather important four-game series.
Florida's surprising success is due in no small part to their rotation, which features guys like Josh Johnson and tonight's starter, Ricky Nolasco, who have come out of relative obscurity to have oddly excellent campaigns.
Opposing Nolasco is Dave Bush, whose ERA appears to have stabilized around the slightly disappointing figure of 4.70. To compensate, he's going to hit two doubles tonight. I'm calling it.
Laynce Nix sure is getting a lot of playing time. I think some of us assumed he was a bit of a throw-in in the Lee trade, but I don't think they'd have promoted him this fast or started him this much if Melvin didn't think highly of him. My only real comment about Nix so far is that his defense doesn't seem to be as awesome as advertized (but then again, Gwynn's didn't either). Also, where have you gone Kevin Mench? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you!