Can it get any worse for the Marlins than last night's 15-2 fish fry? Of course it can. Ricky Nolasco is on his way down to New Orleans to become a Zephyr. Have been unable to confirm reports that David Davidson, who was also shown the door, forgot his left arm when he packed up and left last night. A 52-pitch inning will do that sort of thing.
-- From the How Bad Is It Dept.: The Marlins are 8-23 over their last 31 games, which isn't the worst 31-game stretch in club history. But it's darn close. Those huggable '98 Marlins went 5-26 during one bleak stretch. But 8-23 matches the second-worst 31-game slide by any Marlins club. The record for smelliest 32-game period (for those holding a candlelight vigil tonight): the '98 club again, which went 6-26 during one awful run.
-- Two more minor-league pitchers join the club today: Sean West and Chris Leroux. West is starting tonight against the Rays. It hasn't been a pretty sight so far for the pitching call-ups. Other than Brian Sanches, and with the occasional exception of Burke Badenhop, the reinforcements haven't plugged very many leaks. The call-up conglomerate of Sanches, Badenhop, Davidson, Graham Taylor, Carlos Martinez and Cristhian Martinez is a collective 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA. Next.
-- Think the Marlins qualify for federal emergency disaster relief funds or any of that bailout money?
- - Mark your Marlins calendars for June 8. That's when Randy Johnson could be bidding for career win No. 300. The Big Unit and the Giants will be in South Florida for a 4-game series, and June 8 is the day Johnson would be in line to pitch. Johnson, who is sitting on 298 'W's,' failed in his bid for 299 when he took on the Mariners last night. He should have two more starts between now and June 8 -- one against the Braves and the other in D.C. Johnson's all-time record against the Marlins: 8-1.
-- Rick VandenHurk is making a rehab start Sunday at Single A Jupiter while Anibal Sanchez will be there to pitch a sim game. Their returns are about two weeks away.
-- Talk about your heated rivalries. Move over Yankees-Red Sox. Step aside Cubs-Cardinals. When it comes to pure blood-boiling hatred (or more likely it's just bad pitching), nothing tops the Citrus Series showdown of Marlins-Rays, at least in interleague play. Thanks to the folks at www.plunkeveryone.com for coming up with the fact that no interleague series has had more plunkings than the 74 produced over the years between the Marlins and Rays. That's 23 more plunkings than the next closest interleague rivalry.And the Rays pitchers, those meanies, are responsible for 52 of those 74 hit batsmen. Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena was plunked last night by Brian Sanches as the Marlins pitchers try to close the gap.