Pretty much everyone was stunned when the Miami Marlins took it to the Braves in a recent series, sweeping the three-game set in thoroughly butt-kicking fashion. The Braves themselves were so shocked by the pantsing, they convinced themselves that something fishy was going on. Like, sign stealing.
An interesting story broke last night during the Marlins 5-4 come-from-behind defeat of the Atlanta Braves. During the second game of the series in which the Marlins were on their way to scoring 9 runs in consecutive home games against the Braves, the Sports South announcing crew raised the possibility of Miami stealing signs to aid them in the blowouts.
Will it ever end for Rafael Furcal? Will his 36-year-old legs ever allow him to wear a Marlins uniform? On Friday, in what was the start of his second round of rehab for Double A Jacksonville, Furcal left the game in the fourth inning when he aggravated his groin injury.
Hard to believe after watching them scuffle last season, but with 14 hits last night, the Marlins extended their streak of totaling 10 or more hits to five straight games -- one game short of the second-longest such streak in franchise history. They're still a long ways from reaching the team record for double-digit hits of 15 straight games, a feat that belongs to the 2009 club (Aug. 4-19). But they've managed to achieve a milestone accomplished just 13 other times in franchise history which, given their recent futility, is worthy of note.
One thing about Jose Fernandez that surprised me, although it probably shouldn’t have: he had no problem going to lunch with a reporter on the day he pitched. Superstitious? Hardly. A scheduling conflict pushed it back, so Fernandez met me last Wednesday at Versailles in Little Havana, his usual spot and the place known as "The Most Famous Cuban Restaurant in the World."
The Marlins got a scare at Double-A Jacksonville Saturday when starter Justin Nicolino took a batted ball of his left forearm just below the elbow. Nicolino exited after 2 1/3 innings to undergo X-rays, which were negative. "It got him in a good spot so to speak if you’re going to get hit in the arm," Suns’ manager Andy Barkett said, after the game. "It got him in the muscle. We didn’t want to take a chance. Probably late in the season if we’re fighting for a pennant he probably could have gotten through it, but in that situation it swelled up and we didn’t want it to get tight on him and risk any injury. We decided to take him out. He seemed OK after the game and should make his next start."
Miami Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal re-injured his groin in his first game of his second rehab assignment Friday with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns.
Another setback has taken place in Rafael Furcal's road to recovery. The 36-year-old exited his rehab assignment in the fourth inning on Friday after aggravating his groin injury following his second at-bat.
There was a time when Josh Beckett and the rest of the Marlins rotation used to dread making starts on Tuesday. Not that they were opposed to pitching early in the week, but it impacted what would happen five days later.
The roar of the crowd on Saturday night got louder with each radar reading posted on the scoreboard. In the seventh and eighth innings, Miami reliever Carter Capps was riling up the fans with fastballs that reached 99, 100 and as much as 101 mph.
No one will confuse Marlins Park with the "Homer Dome," the former home of the Minnesota Twins, the Metrodome. But Miami's retractable-roof stadium certainly has been friendly confines for the Marlins in the early part of the season. In the first inning on Sunday against the Dodgers, the Marlins boosted their total to 19 on Giancarlo Stanton's two-run jack in the first inning. The club now has 31 on the season.
Around The League
For five years, outfielder Jeremy Barfield had been rising methodically through the minors. But when he stalled at Triple-A last year, the Oakland A's approached him with an ultimatum: be demoted... or take up pitching.
Derek Jeter greeted Peyton Manning behind home plate Sunday with, "What's up, old man?" but it was the reigning NFL MVP who was in town to pay respects to his elder, along with brother Eli.
Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to Los Angeles on Sunday to have his left shoulder examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Ryu was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with left shoulder blade inflammation.
Reds manager Bryan Price said Sunday that, if all goes well in two Minor League rehabilitation appearances this week, Aroldis Chapman will be activated for Friday's game against Colorado at Great American Ball Park.
At Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins have started off the season much better than expected, and that start looks even better when you consider the team's offensive and pitching performances.
Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna is off to a quick offensive start despite a slow spring and spending a large fraction of last season on the disabled list. Ozuna has been versatile in that he is productive in various spots in the lineup.
The Miami Marlins have had a surprisingly nice start to the 2014 regular season. That has yielded good numbers for their television product, which is up a good amount thanks to the recent success.
The Miami Marlins placed four players in John Sickels's top 150 prospects list on Minor League Ball. Who are they and did they deserve their spots?