SAN FRANCISCO -- He craves In-N-Out Burgers and wears Vans sneakers, so it's no surprise that Ricky Nolasco pitches as well as he does when he's in California. The super laid-back hurler for the Marlins put on another show in his home state last night, joining forces with relievers Edward Mujica and Heath Bell in the Marlins' 2-1 win over the Giants.
Nolasco gave up a run on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings at AT&T Park, where he remains unbeaten in four career starts. His 1.56 ERA in all games against the Giants ranks second-lowest all-time by any opposing pitcher (min. six starts) behind Clayton Kershaw (1.25) and ahead of Mike Cuellar (1.65). Nolasco improved to 3-0 on the season, which places him one pitching victory behind Dontrelle Willis on the franchise's all-time list.
Marlins Career Wins
1. Dontrelle Willis 68
2. Ricky Nolasco 67
3. A.J. Burnett 49
4. Josh Johnson 48
Brad Penny 48
Perhaps more significantly to the Marlins is the fact that Nolasco is finally giving indication why they rewarded him with a 3-year deal. Now in his second season of that contract, Nolasco's 2.76 ERA is second-lowest on the team behind Anibal Sanchez's 2.73.
Nolasco doesn't rack up the strikeouts the way he once did (only one K in last night's performance), but he has yielding far fewer hits than he did a season ago. He certainly kept Gaby Sanchez busy last night. The first baseman recorded seven unassisted putouts on ground balls hit his way by the Giants.
With a win in San Diego on Sunday, Nolasco will tie Willis on the Marlins' all-time leaderboard. And given that Nolasco has been almost as successful at Petco Park (3-1, 2.20) as he's been in San Francisco, the odds would appear to be in his favor.