The season is now a little more than three weeks old. And the Marlins are in first place (albeit by the slimmest of margins) so things are pretty good. Some quick notes from around the division...
- The Braves and Mets meet up tonight at Shea. The pitching matchup is a rematch from the classic Sunday afternoon game from opening weekend - John Smoltz vs. Pedro Martinez.
- Despite all the pre-season talk about how hot Andruw Jones was in the spring, it hasn't carried over into the regular year. Jones has a line of .192/.256/.329. I'm no scout, but when I've seen him (in limited action) he's been chasing breaking balls off of the plate. He needed to clean that up as much as he needed to take Wille Mays' advice about spreading out his feet and getting better balance.
- 20 games in and the Nationals are still at .500
Washington is 3rd in the NL in slugging and 4th in OPS (1st in the East in both).
The Marlins have the lowest ERA in the NL by nearly one full run (they're at 2.27 and the Braves come in second at 3.02). The Marlins also have the lowest WHIP and batting average allowed in the NL.
The Mets are striking out the most batters in the NL (7.97 per 9 innings).
The Marlins are 22nd in attendance so far this year. Last year they finished 26th. It's not an apples to apples comparison (since it doesn't account for the mix of weeknight vs. weekend games), but the Marlins have drawn 24,595 per game this season compared to 22,091 last year. From a more subjective perspective, the crowds have sure felt a lot bigger out at Dolphins Stadium this year.
- The Nationals, obviously, have been the big winners in terms of attendance this year. Last year in Montreal they drew fewer than 10,000 fans per game (which was, of course, last in all of baseball). So far this year they are 13th - averaging over 31,000 folks per game.
While they've only played five road games this year, the Marlins are the top road draw in the league so far (with over 42,000 per game). That will probably come down quite a bit after this series with the Rockies, but it's fun while it lasts.
Marlins starters have achieved two of the top game scores so far this year in the NL (Beckett on 4/10 and Willis on 4/13). The best NL game so far this year was thrown against the Fish - by Aaron Heilman on 4/15 (so that really was quite a week for good pitching).
Beckett and Willis are tied for 6th in highest average game score of the year.
- Nick Johnson of the Nationals has the longest active hitting streak, at fifteen games. He'll need to nearly quadruple that to break Joe Dimaggio's record streak of 56 games. That's a truly amazing record.