After a long off-season and more than six weeks of spring training, the official start of the season is here. After an 84-win season in 2008 and a collection of talented young starters, there's hope for optimism with the Marlins this season. Here's a look at the season-opening series against division rival Washington.
Pitching Matchups (2008 stats in parenthesis)
Mon. 4/6, 4:10 p.m.: Ricky Nolasco (15-8, 3.52) vs . John Lannan (9-15, 3.91)
Tue. 4/7, 7:10 p.m.: John Johnson (7-1, 3.67) vs. Scott Olsen (8-11, 4.20)
Wed. 4/8 12:10 p.m.: Chris Volstad (6-4, 2.88) vs. Daniel Cabrera (8-10, 5.25)
Notable Batter/Pitcher Numbers
vs Marlin Pitching
Adam Dunn 0-for-8 with 3 strikeouts vs. Ricky Nolasco; 2-for-3 with 1 double vs. Chris Volstad
Nick Johnson 3-for-12 with 1 homer and 1 double vs. Nolasco
Austin Kearns 1-for-7 with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts vs. Nolasco
Ryan Zimmerman 2-for-14 with 5 strikeouts vs. Nolasco; 2-for-6 with 3 walks vs. Josh Johnson
vs. National Pitching
Alfredo Amezega 3-for-5 with a walk vs. Joel Hanrahan
Jorge Cantu 1-for-10 vs. Daniel Cabrera; 4-for-6 with 3 doubles vs. Saul Rivera
Ross Gload 5-for-15 vs. Cabrera
Wes Helms 0-for-7 with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks vs. Scott Olsen
Jeremy Hermida 0-for-7 vs. Rivera; 0-for-6 with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks vs. Hanrahan
Hanley Ramirez 5-for-9 with a homer vs. Rivera
Dan Uggla 4-for-8 with 2 doubles, 4 strikeouts and 2 walks vs. Rivera
Storyline to Watch:
The returns of Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham:
The two were dealt to Washington this winter for Emilio Bonifacio in what was largely a financially motivated deal. Olsen's Marlin career was filled with flashes of stardom, but far too often plagued with inconsistency and controversy. Olsen gets to face his former mates on Tuesday in the second game of the season. Olsen had a 4.07 ERA in 56 career appearances at Dolphins Stadium, compared to an ERA over 5 on the road. Considering Florida's struggles against lefties (.233/.314/.385 in 2008), it could be a happy reunion for the former-Marlin.
Willingham was a very solid hitter during his time in teal as a starting LF. He opens this season as a reserve thanks to a strong spring from Austin Kearns and a surprisingly healthy Nick Johnson.
Bonfiacio opens the season as Florida's starting 3B and leadoff hitter.
About the Author
Written by Jason Bernstein