The score board read 4-0. Arizona fans must be dumbfounded because they were swept by what seem to think is their mirror image. What is more amazing, however, is the total transformation that Andrew Miller has undergone.
Start calling it the Wiley-factor. Frankly, we have already propounded the Midas-like ability he has had in a Marlins uniform as a pitching coach, but this is just more evidence. Miller pitched 7 innings of shutout ball against the Diamondbacks and also struck out 9 snakes along the way. Practically St. Patrick-like.
The Marlins ran the DBacks out of town with their tails in knots. It wasn’t that they didn’t bring their big boys for the job, either. Owens was 5-1, Webb was 9-0 and now Haren took the mound tonight to try and salvage the series and prevent a sweep. But he was out-dueled by the baby-faced Miller who at times beginning the season looked like he was in over his head.
He has now settled in and dropped his once ridiculous ERA (as high as 12.91) to a somewhat reasonable 5.33. Over his last 4 starts he has given up just 4 ERs.
In the sweep, however, it wasn’t just about Miller. Ricky Nolasco went up against Brandon Webb, who was going for his 10th win in a row to start the season, and matched him and stole the game. His only mistake was a hanging curve to Stephen Drew which lead to a home run – the only ER he gave up last night. He also struck out 7 batters.
In the first game it was Mark Hendrickson. And Matt Lindstrom. And Kevin Gregg.
The point is, there was a different hero each night depending on where you looked. It was Luis Gonzalez, mashing a triple to the furthest spot in the park followed by Matt Treanor’s masterpiece of a squeeze. It was Cody Ross’ game silencing home run. Wes Helms base-clearing double. A defensive gem or two from Amezaga.
This team is playing excellent baseball right now and is doing so with some serious talent injured – Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Josh Willingham. Jacque Jones isn’t even in uniform yet and somehow this team is looking better than most any team in basball. After a sweep from the Reds and dropping two against the Royals, there were some serious question marks for this team.
They have answered them astoundingly. In fact, Nolesmarlin, this better get the Marlins some serious cred in your next Power Rankings! We can’t say the same for the national coverage, as they continue to berate the Marlins attendance figures instead of looking at their crazed-level TV ratings. This team always seems to find a way to defy the odds. Just ask the DBacks what they think of this Marlin team now.