For the past four years, Eloise Card and her daughter Donna Glendenning have watched every Miami Marlins game together, from first pitch to last out — more than 600 and counting. From 34 miles apart. Card, 91, isn’t as mobile as she used to be, and Glendenning, 66, is tethered to an oxygen tank by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So they tune into the television broadcasts from the comfort of their own homes and connect by telephone in a ritual they say has brought them closer together.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was charged with two errors Tuesday, bringing his season total to 13. But his defense of late has been especially poor, a sharp departure from earlier in the season when it seemed like he was making every play that came to him. Hechavarria was charged with seven errors over his first 112 games. Over the past 12: a whopping six. So who is the real Hechavarria defensively? "The guy we saw earlier," said Hechavarria's staunchest supporter, Marlins infield coach Perry Hill. "He's trying to make plays to get us out of jams. I mean, you don't want him to become passive and take away his aggressiveness. That's what makes him so good."
Arquimedes Euclides Caminero, the Marlins' 26-year-old rookie reliever, is named for a couple of ancient Greek mathematicians: Archimedes and Euclid. Why? "My father saw the names in an algebra book and liked them," said Caminero, who has put up some good numbers so far with the Marlins after getting called up last week. Caminero, a native of the Dominican Republic, has made three relief appearances, allowing only two hits while striking out three.
What has been a mostly brutal stretch against top shelf teams has illustrated just how far away the Marlins are from affixing another flag to an outfield column. Since Aug. 2, the Marlins went 6-13 against the Indians, Pirates, Braves, Royals, Giants and Dodgers, teams that opened play Thursday with a combined .548 winning percentage. "We played with them this series," left fielder Christian Yelich said. "Today was the only game I thought we didn't really put up a fight. The first three games we were in it until the end…I don't think we got blown out of the water this series. We didn't win it or split it, but I don't think anybody in this locker room thinks we couldn't play with those guys."
Perhaps the lone drawback of Jose Fernandez being this good this early is that he's burning through his innings allotment. After going six in Monday's win over the Dodgers, Fernandez's season total is a team-leading 145 2/3, about 25 shy of the 170 the Marlins earmarked for him before the start of the season. Assuming he has four outings remaining, Fernandez's season could end as soon as Sept. 10. That would give him two more home starts (Saturday against the Rockies and Sept. 10 against the Braves) and two on the road (Aug. 30 in Atlanta and Sept. 4 at Wrigley Field). Manager Mike Redmond said the club is exploring ways to keep him active deeper into September.
Nolasco has excelled since the trade that sent him to the Dodgers for three minor league pitchers. A Southern California native, Nolasco in eight starts for his hometown team is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA. In 18 starts with the Marlins he lost eight of 13 decisions and logged a 3.85 ERA. Playing at home can be a double-edged sword, but Nolasco has sidestepped all the potential pitfalls.
The answer will never be known, but Juan Pierre certainly has a strong opinion. Pierre firmly believes if Ichiro Suzuki's career path was different he could have flirted with reaching 4,000 MLB hits.
Don't let the numbers fool you when assessing the progress being made by Nathan Eovaldi. Despite a 2-4 record and 3.82 ERA, the Marlins feel the 23-year-old has the makings of a future star. Eovaldi has gone seven starts without a win since he beat the Nationals on July 12. And on Wednesday night, he was on the wrong end of a 4-1 loss to the Dodgers.
Giancarlo Stanton has sent a reminder this week not to forget about him. The 23-year-old slugger is riding an eight-game hitting streak, and he's hit a home run in three of his last five games, including two in the series with Los Angeles. Like Puig, Stanton can create awe with one swing. "Stanton has that game-changing ability with his power," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He's so young. He still has room to grow, when you're projecting the guy out. That's what makes you smile. How good is this guy really going to be down the road, when he puts it together?"
Around The League
Cincinnati RHP Jonathan Broxton is expected to have surgery after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm.
The Tampa Bay Rays are one game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and leading the AL wild-card race. But clearly, they are not content with their standing. The Rays signed outfielder Delmon Young to a minor-league deal Thursday and are working toward a resolution on their waiver claim of outfielder David DeJesus, according to major-league sources. The additions of Young, a right-handed hitter, and DeJesus, a left-handed hitter, would be intended to boost an offense that is 13th out of 15 in the AL since the All-Star break in runs per game.
While in San Francisco for Boston's series against the Giants, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz voiced his opinion to USA Today Sports on his teammate hitting friend and New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez in Sunday's game.
Braves right fielder Jason Heyward returned to Atlanta on Thursday to have his fractured jaw surgically repaired less than 24 hours after being hit by a pitch in the face during Wednesday's game against the New York Mets. The surgery required two plates to be placed in Heyward's jaw -- one plate per fracture site -- and was performed by Dr. Glenn Maron, the team's oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Heyward's expected recovery time is 4-6 weeks, which would set his return near or after the start of the 2012 MLB postseason.
At Fish Stripes
With the continued success of Jose Fernandez taking the headlines in Miami, Henderson Alvarez's productive 2013 campaign has been pushed to the side. While Henderson's numbers are notelectrifying, his efficiency has helped the Marlins.
The Miami Marlins are interested in having Jose Fernandez pitch deeper into the year. But why is the team trying to jump through hurdles to get Fernandez starts in mid-September?
The Miami Marlins have to be impressed with the brand new, very real velocity on Nathan Eovaldi's 2013 fastball. But how does it compare to his fastball of last year?
Colin Moran hit a walk-off homer in Greensboro, Batavia shutout Auburn, Justin Nicolino pitched seven scoreless innings for Jacksonville, and Nick Green hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning of New Orleans' game in Omaha.
A quick glance at the roller coaster rise to the Majors of Miami's newest bullpen arm, Arquimedes Euclides Caminero.