Diamond Digits: Heaping praise on the never-say-die Marlins and more
In a week that saw New York officially open two new stadiums with a bang, Diamond Digits looks at some flying Florida Fish, April's best hurlers and a pair of White Sox who, mere moments apart, accomplished something no teammates had ever done before.
The Marlins trailed in the ninth inning of each of the three games against the Nationals, yet won all three. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that sweep was a first of its kind in baseball history. And even more amazingly, just 11 games into the season the Marlins lead over the Nats was 10 games.
The Fish were expected to be competitive in the NL East, but nobody expected this. Florida flew out of the gate with wins in 10 of the first 11 games, opening up a five-game cushion over the Braves and Mets, 5 1/2 over the defending champion Phillies and 10 games over Washington. Winners of two World Series, the Marlins didn't lead the NL East past April 13 during the 1997 title run and never spent a single day in first in the 2003 quest. In fact, that five-game lead they enjoyed before getting blown out by the Pirates on Monday night was the largest in team history, the previous high being 3 1/2 games on April 29, 2004.
The lone bright spot in what has been a tragic first two weeks of the season for Angels pitching -- with the death of
Here are the pitchers who traditionally get off the line quickly:
White Sox sluggers
Kinsler had a good month last week, racking up a major league-leading 15 hits, nine runs scored and six stolen bases, all while slugging 1.000 with a .556 batting average and .600 on-base percentage. The highlight of his week came on Wednesday when he was 6-for-6, hit for the cycle, had 13 total bases, drove in four runs and stole a base in a 19-6 drubbing of the Orioles.
In his two starts against the Rays and Indians, the two-time 19-game winner allowed 16 runs (all earned), 14 hits and three walks in just 2 1/3 total innings for an astronomical 61.71 ERA. Wang was the first pitcher to throw 1 1/3 innings or less while allowing eight runs or more twice during the same season since Cleveland's
Dishonorable mentions: Nationals closer