The National League East-leading Miami Marlins will be hosting the San Diego Padres today at 4:10 PM PT. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has built himself a juggernaut of a team filled with - oh, wait. The Marlins are a disaster. The only true thing I said in those first two sentences is that the Padres will be traveling to Miami to take on the Marlins at 4:10 PM PT. Beyond that, the rest is what most people would have said if this article was written in advance on Opening Day.
Instead, the Marlins are in the midst of a fire sale. They say it's not a fire sale, but come on. They've already traded away Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Randy Choate, and Hanley Ramirez. Josh Johnson looks to be the next to go. So the Padres march into South Beach looking like the team of stability, the picture-perfect example of proper planning and discipline.
Kip Wells vs. Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano will try to contain his anger long enough to avoid hitting more than one Padres player. It's going to happen. He's going to hit someone. Maybe not on purpose, but he's leading the league in HBP.
Kip Wells, on the other hand, will try to earn his second win of the season - or at very least lower his ERA to below 4.00. He has a decent shot of doing so based on his home/away splits this season. He has a 6.00 ERA in 15 innings at home, but just a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings on the road.
Ross Ohlendorf vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to pitch which means all writers need to add his last name to their spell-checker's dictionary. It's just easier that way guys, I promise. Ohlendorf, like Wells, is another fill-in. He's only made four starts this season after starting the year in the bullpen.
Although Eovaldi was a member of the Dodgers for most of this year and some of last year, he will be making his first start against the Padres now that he has been traded away from the National League West. Eovaldi will have the weight of Hanley Ramirez on his shoulders as he pitches for the Marlins for the first time since the trade that signaled "fire sale."
Clayton Richard vs. Josh Johnson
Clayton Richard has the dubious distinction of leading the league in losses. He's actually tied with fellow N.L. West brethren Tim Lincecum among others, but for the sake of argument, let's just say he leads the league in losses. While wins and losses for a pitcher don't mean much, it's still embarrassing. On the flip side, he leads the Padres in wins with seven.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this game is whether or not Josh Johnson will actually be pitching. As I mentioned before, he is dangling out there ever so delicately in the trade market breezes. Any
big mediocre offer could sweep him away. Johnson has been having a very un-Johnson-like year with a 4.14 ERA. However, he's posted a decidedly lower 3.35 ERA at home this season.
The Marlins are in shambles. With the pitching match-ups, the line-ups, and the sheer determination I'll show with my optimism, the Padres will take two of three from Miami. So it shall be written.