Good times lay ahead. The Miami Marlins are winning games at such a rapid-fire pace that very soon they could be the second-worst team in baseball, and then the third-worst. Come Mid-July, they will have to trade back for Ricky Nolasco to compete in the inevitable playoff run.
The catalyst for this resurgence? Jeff Mathis, of course.
Jeff Mathis Hits a Walk-Off Grand Slam, Just As Expected
We are all taught at a young age that anything can happen in baseball. Most of the time it doesn't. We grow older, and the marathon of a losing baseball season chips away at our spirits. Cynicism takes the place of passion in our hearts. We become old curmudgeons - convinced that we've seen all that baseball has to offer.
Suddenly, chaos theory has its way with us. Life finds a way. The worst qualified batter in baseball for the last five years hits a walk off grand slam to crush the San Diego Padres. When I say the worst, I mean the worst. Jeff Mathis has hit .194/.250/.310 since 2008, yet he has collected over 1,000 plate appearances. Almost as remarkable as his feat yesterday.
You didn't see that coming. I didn't see that coming. Mathis certainly didn't see that coming. One man did see it coming, however. This individual is none other than Jeff Goldblum, star of such film classics as Independence Day and Cats & Dogs. Also there was that movie with the dinosaurs.
Heh-heh-heh, aaww, haugh, heh-haugh, haugh, haugh.
All My Predictions Come True, Except for the Ones That Didn't
I have written more Fish Caps this year than I can count. Twelve, to be exact. I've made some claims, and some predictions. Some of them look genius today:
I end this piece with a final bit of salient advice: throw them fastballs hard, Nathan.
Others, not so much:
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on a ten-game losing streak now.
Back to the bit about Eovaldi. As Michael pointed out, his fastball velocity was down yesterday. If you don't buy into all that nonsense about Batting Average on Ball In Play, then he looked great. Eovaldi lasted six innings, and allowed no runs. Quality start.
The truth is that he wasn't as dominant as prior two starts. He struck out zero batters and walked three. The fact that the mediocre Padres offense couldn't drive anyone in doesn't erase the fact that Eovaldi wasn't pitching very well.
Finally, there was this gem:
Right now, only Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino appear likely to develop into above-average starters. There are riskier projects like Matt Krook and Mason Hope, but they are years away.
About that Matt Krook. He's probably more than a few years away. At this points it's more likely that Krook pitches great at Oregon, reaches the majors, and then throws a no-hitter against the Marlins. How's that for a prediction?