Tonight starts another three game series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins with this set taking place in Phoenix. When the two met in South Florida last month, the D’backs took two out of three with the Marlins picking up their victory on a gem spun by Ricky Nolasco. Arizona misses Nolasco this time around but that doesn’t mean that the Fish, who just won a series over the St. Louis Cardinals, will be easy pickings. Taking time out from his bouts of joy and agony covering the Miami Heat, Ehsan Kassim, Editor at marlinmaniac.com was kind enough to answer a few questions about his beloved Marlins.
Tom Lynch: Don’t you wish the Marlins could play the Mets 81 times?
Ehsan Kassim: An 162 game schedule would be ideal personally, but I guess the 81 games would suffice. Even in those 81 games, the Marlins would be on pace to win at least 60 games. Even with that said, I feel plenty confident that the Marlins are going to turn things around going forward
TL: Miami just took 2 out of 3 from St. Louis. Is it the biggest series win of the season?
EK: It’s only the Marlins fourth series win of the season and the first one against a team not named the Mets, so yes very much. The Marlins offense received a huge boost with Giancarlo Stanton returning to the lineup. It felt so good to see the Marlins winning ballgames for a change. The team has actually gone 7-6 in the month of June and is starting to get better as they return to health.
EK: Since every MLB team has to have one representative, Jose Fernandez is the logical choice. He is in the middle of a phenomenal rookie season but is being overshadowed by an even more impressive campaign by Cards lefty Shelby Miller. At the ripe age of 20, Fernandez owns a 3.11 ERA and a 3.21 FIP. He has struck out over a hitter an inning, with an impressive 9.58 K/9 IP. Fernandez recently became the first pitcher under the age of 21 to strikeout 10 hitters in a start since 2007 (Felix Hernandez)
EK: Mike Redmond is a solid manager, but like most other managers, he is not going to win you many games. All he can do is put the team in the best position to win. As a rookie manager, he does not seem to always do that, but you can understand that if he can continue to improve. One of Red’s early problems has been sticking with a clearly declining Juan Pierre over a player with more promise, Justin Ruggiano.