Florida Marlins On Top of the List

Nick TassoContributor IApril 11, 2009

MIAMI - APRIL 06:  Jorge Cantu #3 of the Florida Marlins is congratulated by Hanley Ramirez #2 after his two-run home run in the thrid inning against the Washington Nationals on opening day at Dolphin Stadium on April 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

With a payroll that couldn’t even net a team two Alex Rodriguez’ (not that any team would even want one Alex Rodriguez), heading into Saturday April 11 games, the Florida Marlins lead the majors as the only undefeated team standing.

Coming off their sweep of the lowly Washington Nationals, the Marlins looked to overtake their division rivals, the New York Mets heading into the top of the ninth.  Closer Matt Lindstrom came in to preserve a 4-3 lead but he surrendered one run on four hits. 

Instead of looking at a long night of extra innings, the Marlins offense decided to end it in the bottom of the ninth with a couple of hits including a walk off single by first basemen Jorge Cantu.

However, in all honestly, the Marlins haven’t left the comfort of sunny Florida and will not have to travel until Tuesday when they start a nine game road trip in Atlanta.  And again, let it be noted that they swept the Washington Nationals. 

Their only “real” win was that against the Mets last night.  In that game, starter Anibal Sanchez went only five innings allowing zero runs but did compile a pretty high pitch count due to the three base on balls he allowed. 

Even with a semi-implosion of lefty Dan Meyer and righties Kiko Calero and Matt Lindstrom, the Marlins still came over their pitching diversity and won 5-4.

The Florida Marlins have a solid foundation in their offense with Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, and Jorge Cantu.  Through the first four games of the year, Ramirez has smacked out two home runs and eight RBI. 

Although he hasn’t collected any stolen bases this year, he is getting on base at a .588 clip.  Cantu and Uggla have both knocked two out of the park for the Marlins while hitting .429 and .214 respectively.

Their young but highly touted pitching have hit a little bit of a snag; either allowing multiple runs or only being able to go five innings.  Their ace, Ricky Nolasco, gave up five runs in his first start but due to their offense scoring 12 runs, the Marlins won 12-6.

Again, it is still early so it is tough to measure up Florida’s early success.  And if this was the BCS rankings, the Marlins would not be first because they played one of the worst teams in baseball in the Nats. 

But this isn’t a crap shoot guessing game that involves rankings that no one quite understands.  This is MLB and the standings are what matters.  And these standings show the Florida Marlins atop the list in the majors.