If you take a look over at the upper left-hand side of your screen, you'll notice that the Marlins Fan Confidence poll has seen a steady increase over the last week. Not that you need a poll to tell you that fans are feeling pretty good about the team right now, with our collective faith in the Fish sitting at 88%, a 10% increase over last week's tally.
So what's with the sudden upswing? Obviously, the Marlins' best start in franchise history has done more than a little to give our confidence a boost. Not only have the Marlins gone 15-8 so far this month--an April record for the team--they have also sported the a top performing bullpen, whose 1.93 leads the Majors. Add to that a solid starting rotation led by Josh "the Beast" Johnson, a constant flirtation with no-hitters and a lineup that is the poster child for come-from-behind wins, and pretty much everybody has been feeling good about the 2011 Marlins (except maybe the Phillies and Braves).
The question is, with a few new developments this week, and specifically over the last few games, do Fish fans have new cause for concern?
Logan Morrison's arch strain has landed him on the DL, and Chris Coghlan took himself out of Wednesday's game with soreness in his shoulder. If his injury lingers, the Marlins will be stuck piecing together the outfield, and without their most productive bats so far this season.
And then, of course, there is Hanley Ramirez and his struggle at the plate. Hanley is batting .197 to start the season, and while his new "Mr. Supportive Teammate" attitude is refreshing, I'd almost take the T-Shirts scribbled with nasty messages and the pouting and the throwing his team under the bus to the media if those were also accompanied by a .300+ BA. and some RBI.
Are these inevitable bumps in the road of the season enough to have you doubting the Fish can keep up with their current winning pace? We'll see when next week's fan confidence poll results are published.
For now, I'm choosing optimism.