As many of you know, the two teams that I follow the most closely are the White Sox and the Marlins.
If you'd told me that two weeks into the season one of those teams would have won all four of the series that they'd played and that they'd be 8 - 4 and that the other would have split their four series and would be 6 - 6, I would have guessed that the Marlins would be 8 - 4 and that the White Sox would be 6 - 6. And I'd be happy with both starts. Both would be in line with my expectations from the start of the year, and the White Sox - even at 6 - 6 might be doing a little better than I'd expected.
If you'd taken it a step further and told me that the Marlins would have 5 complete games in their first twelve and that Josh Beckett had an ERA of 0.45 and Dontrelle Willis had an ERA of 0.00, I'd be completely confident that the Marlins were 8 - 4 - at least.
But all of those things are true, and the Marlins aren't 8 - 4. They're only 6 - 6. And to continue the unusual nature of the start of this season, the Fish are now on their way to Washington, D.C. where the suddenly red-hot Nationals (with five wins in a row) have sole possession of first place.
I'm not sure what to think so far this year, other than that Jack McKeon either: a) thinks there's some kind of special bonus awarded to the team with the most complete games or b) has no faith in the Marlins bullpen. Through twelve games we've seen the starters - particularly Beckett, Burnett, and Willis work deep into games (Marlins starters lead all National League clubs in innings pitched). While that's nice and all, I think all Marlins fans would rather see that trio pitching into the fifth and sixth innings of meaningful games in late August and September than they would like to see glittery April statistics.
But, what do I know? I certainly haven't seen as much baseball as Jack has. Hopefully he knows something that the rest of us don't and the Marlins' starters are in for a long, healthy, and productive season.