Given the way the NL East gets reported in the news--it's the Mets, the Braves, and the scrubs--I thought the Marlins were playing worse baseball than they actually are. They probably aren't contenders this year, but they are close to .500, and their run differential supports that. They haven't gotten the miraculous young pitching surprises that they did last year, but they are a decent team.
Your matchups for the series are:
- Thursday, 7:05 CT: Wes Obermueller (!!!) vs. Claudio Vargas
- Friday, 7:05 CT: Scott Olsen vs. Jeff Suppan
- Saturday, 6:05 CT: Byung-Hyun Kim vs. Chris Capuano
- Sunday, 1:05 CT: Dontrelle Willis vs. Ben Sheets
One way in which the Marlins are not halfway decent is their defense: they're on a record-setting pace. It's no secret that Miguel Cabrera is not a good third baseman. That's one reason I was a bit bearish on his Hall of Fame chances a while back: he'll end up at a less demanding position very soon. But that isn't to take away a thing from his (or Hanley Ramirez's) offensive capabilities. Balancing out those defensive limitations are four starters with OBPs at .385 or higher.
As Grinder points out, it gets easier from here. The Marlins are actually better than most of the teams in the NL Central, but that doesn't mean we can't kick off June with a reminder to the rest of baseball that the Brewers are headed to the postseason.