The Florida Marlins favorite victims, the Washington Nationals, are in town this week. And you could not ask for a better matchup for a team that seems to have finally regained its mojo. The Marlins were stumbling around like a moose on tranquilizers the past few months, what with its struggling pitching, the NL strikeout lead, and the general desire to embrace mediocrity. But just a few weeks ago, the team was able to dispatch Albert Pujols and the mighty St. Louis Cardinals and then swept the Toronto Blue Jays in their own stadium. Josh Johnson seems to keep giving Florida solid outings, and right fielder Cody Ross has hit three grand slams so far, tying Bobby Bonilla and Jeff Conine for most salamis by a Marlin in a season.
Of course, theyre still not without problems. The bullpen is always an adventure, the bats can be maddeningly inconsistent, and theres always the ubiquitous Hows Fredi Gonzalez gonna screw this one up? factor. But all in all, the Marlins are showing life again. And a series against the hapless Nationals always helps.
Mon., June 29, 7:10 p.m.; Tue., June 30, 7:10 p.m.; Wed., July 1, 12:10 p.m., 2009