Thursday, June 5, 2008

Most Dependable Starter? Ricky Nolasco

Tonight, Ricky Nolasco will battle Braves somewhat-sensation Jair Jurrjens for Game 4 of the series. As I'm sure you all know, the Braves lead the series 2-1, despite each team blowing a late lead in all three games.

The first three games may have been screwy, coming down to fluky bullpen mishaps, but I expect tonight's game to play out more traditionally. Ricky Nolasco has been very solid lately, regaining his pre-injury 2006 form (remember, he beat Brandon Webb). It's a rotating circus, but he leads my current list of most dependable Marlins starters. Here it is:

1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Scott Olsen
3. Andrew Miller
4. Mark Hendrickson
5. Burke Badenhop

Scott Olsen is barely hanging on to the second spot, but a solid performance Monday gave him some breathing room. Andrew Miller seems fine when he can get past the first couple innings, but that's a big if. Hendrickson was mediocre yesterday, but that was after three bad starts in a row. And Badenhop? He was never good enough to earn confidence, though he could very well ascend after a couple more starts.

Putting it bluntly, the Marlins rotation is consistently inconsistent, excellently mediocre, and erratic as a sugar-high toddler. And maybe that's beautiful; on any given night, they can be Sandy Koufax...or Anthony Young.

Either way, I like the ball in the hands of Nolasco tonight.

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