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The Week Ahead: Keep an eye on those Marlins

Apr 19, 2010, 1:51 AM EDT

robertson_nate_marlins.jpgThe Florida Marlins are full of potential. The question has always been whether or not they can realize that potential before their young stars get too expensive and are sold off to their richer competitors.

But this weekend, the promising young Fish showed that they just might realize their potential this season after taking two of three from the two-time defending NL champion Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The Marlins have now won five straight series at Philadelphia, which is remarkable enough.

Perhaps even more remarkable is how they did it this weekend, losing the series opener on Friday to Roy Halladay before taking the next two with dominating pitching performances by Ricky Nolasco and Nate Robertson (pictured).

Nolasco pitched a five-hitter on Saturday, striking out four and allowing just one run. Then Robertson combined with two relievers for a shutout on Sunday. That’s one run in 18 innings from the Phillies, a team that entered Saturday’s action leading baseball in batting average, runs, RBIs and slugging percentage.

The Marlins certainly caught the attention of the Phillies:

“I think the team that you saw out here today is young, and the last two years they started to get a lot of confidence and experience,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “If they’re pitching holds up, they definitely can be a threat.”

The Marlins enter the week with an 8-5 record, 1/2-game behind the Phillies. They continue their nine-game road trip this week with three games at Houston and three more at Colorado. Are they for real? Can the young pitchers hold up? Will the defense carry it’s weight? Can they stay healthy? Should be fun to find out.

FIVE SERIES TO WATCH
Yankees at A’s, April 20-22:
For those of you waiting for the 9-5 A’s to go away and slip down into the standings where you think they belong, this could be your big chance.

Rangers at Red Sox, April 20-22: The Red Sox will be looking to end their skid against the Rangers, a team that has yet to live up to its preseason hype.

Phillies at Braves, April 20-22: Make sure you tune in on Wednesday to see what Jason Heyward can do – if anything – against Roy Halladay.

Cubs at Brewers, April 23-25: Brewers fans get annoyed when their ballpark is filled up with Cubs fans. They will be even more annoyed if Alfonso Soriano manages to hold onto any fly balls hit his direction.

Cardinals at Giants, April 23-25: Both teams are off to good starts at 8-4. Both feature a potent 1-2 punch atop their rotations. Only one of them has Albert Pujols, however.

ON THE TUBE
Monday, 7:10 p.m. ET: Cubs at Mets (ESPN)
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: Phillies at Braves (ESPN)
*Saturday, 4:10 p.m.: Yankees at Angels (FOX)
*Saturday, 4:10 p.m.: Mariners at White Sox (FOX)
Sunday, 2:10 p.m.: Cubs at Brewers (TBS)
Sunday, 8:05 p.m.: Braves at Mets (ESPN)
*Check local listings

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  1. jimmy marlins fan - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    im confident the fish will win the series in houston…colorado has always given us some wild and crazy games…which makes me nervous…anyways…im obviously a homer but i dont think there is a team in baseball that is as fun to watch as the fish
    GO MARLINS!

  2. Old Gator - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    If my memory serves me aright – and if it does, of course, it’s a minor miracle at my age – there was an article exactly like this one about the Feesh last year at about this time or perhaps a little bit later. Actually, most years about this time there’s an article about the Feesh like this. For all I know, Bob just copied out a few of the standard “Are the Feesh for Reel” modules and added one of his own “Caught the attention of_________” Mad Lib modules, then realized it was too late in the season already to be writing midwinter Delusional Baseball features and moved on.
    .
    Ordinarily I would agree with Jeemy that the Feesh ought to win the series in Houston. However, two realities intervene. Enron Field (or whatever they’re calling it now – I don’t track the nonsensical passage of names-for-sale out of town as I do at Joeprodolsharklife Stadium) – that place has always been a bit of an abattoir for the Teal Titans. And anyway, if I recall aright – uh – yeah, I’m definitely tempting fate here – this team has a really disconcerting habit of playing its gills out against high profile teams and then immediately thereafter getting shredded into faux crabmeat by bottom dwellers.
    .
    On the other hand, the Rocky Mountain Oysters are so much better a team that, unless they’ve started eating horsemeat and velveeta up there and the Feesh catch them just as the cholesterol is impacting their pulmonary arteries and biorhythms like it did in Feely, it’s going to be the ugliest scenario the Front Range has seen since the Donner Party. And the rescuers aren’t likely to find all those unopened cans of Beefaroni hidden in the middens like they did last time.

  3. sealguy - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Hey Bob, when you list the televised games for the week, you don’t include the MLB Network. Is there a reason?

  4. jimmy marlins fan - Apr 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    i see a few more nationally televised mets games ahead? more people to watch that shameful franchise i suppose…here’s to hoping they never recover

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