Friday, July 18, 2008

Marlins 2nd Half Outlook

The Marlins begin post-All-Star game play tonight trailing the co-division leaders New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies by a game and a half. The Mets are riding a 10 game winning streak that has put them back in the playoff picture. The Phillies visit south Florida for a 3 game weekend series that could set the tone for the remainder of the season for both teams. TSFFB favorite Jamie Moyer goes against Marlins ace Ricky Nolasco in game 1 tonight.

A Quick glance at the schedule for the remainder of July shows that we should have a pretty good grip on this team's postseason chances by the end of the month's trade deadline. After the 3 game set against the Phils, the struggling but persistent Atlanta Braves come to town. Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad will get their all-important 2nd start of the season, 1st home start, and we should get a little clearer picture of the impact they will have. Then comes the test. A 4 game set at Wrigley Field against the NL's best, followed by a 3 game series back at home against the New York Metropolitans. The first week in August sees the Fish travel north for back-to-back 3-game sets against the Phils and Mets again. The Marlins don't have an off day for the final 13 days of the regular season, and the last 7 sees the Marlins on the road. A random, 1 game (series?) against the Reds, followed by 3 against the Nationals and then what potentially could be a huge finale against the Mets.

Should the Fish come home from New York August 11th no worse then 2 or 3 games back, then they'll have to be taken seriously. All the NL East talk on the "4 letter network" has been around the Phils and Mets. No mention of the Marlins. Of course, it's a distinct possibility that by then, they are 5 or 6 out and hoping for catastrophic collapses to befall Philly and\or New York, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's see how these first 2 weeks go to get us to the trade deadline. Adding a solid bullpen guy or a veteran catcher could go a long ways to getting us to October baseball. Oh yea, and just in case, the last 3 games of the year are in Shea Stadium.

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