Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing Diet About These South Beach Bombers!

I forced myself to go back and read some of our Marlins pre-season posts. I had to put myself back in the March frame of mind, when the Marlins were considered a 65-win team with a blue moon's chance at .500. They traded away their two most recognizable stars. They had no starting pitching. They stacked their bench with long over-the-hillers like Luis Gonzalez and Jason Wood. They had nobody to play center field, third base, or catcher. With Mitre, Sanchez, and Josh Johnson injured, they'd be lucky to win 12 games in April.

How times have changed. Did we really just witness the Marlins expanding their division lead to 1.5 games, blistering their way to a stellar 12-7 record? My eyes don't deceive me, right? This is really happening? Somebody pinch me.

The best part about it? The biggest weakness, starting pitching, is beginning to come around. Scott Olsen has been magnificent at 3-0, and Mark Hendrickson claimed his fourth straight win tonight. Even bitter Miller time is starting to turn the corner, and when Nolasco and Badenhop take their lumps, the bullpen is so lights out, the management doesn't even have to come around for curfew.

Simply put, it's impossible not to become excited about this team. As I watched the Marlins jack three more HRs tonight (26 now, second in MLB), I was reminded of the October magic of 2003. There's something special in the air.

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