SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wait Before You Anoint the Florida Marlins

They've just lost 5 in a row, and they've blown two late leads against the (defending World Series champion) Phillies in the past two games. Here's a summary of last night's loss.

What makes the Phillies dangerous is that they come from behind and, when they have a lead, they usually hold it. Yes, they haven't gotten off to a great start, but it hasn't been an awful start either, and this is a team that has the best record in baseball in September and October over the past 5 seasons. Barring significant injuries (and a predicted dropoff, as I heard Buck Showalter say on ESPN Radio that he believes that Cole Hamels could have a dropoff this season because of the number of innings he pitched last season), the Phillies should be in the thick of the hunt for a playoff spot come Labor Day.

Wins in April count every much as wins in October, and the more you have earlier the less you need later in the season when you're in dire need of them to clinch a playoff berth. But remember this: the Marlins beat up on the Nats for much of their fast start, and part of their recent skein involved getting swept in Pittsburgh against a team that has had 16 straight losing seasons. What does it mean? Not a whole lot, as it's only April 26. All I'm point out is that we shouldn't anoint the Marlins the next coming of the 1984 Detroit Tigers.

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