1997, 2003, 2009—that's every six years! It made sense that 2009 would be the Marlins' year.
Even if you did not want to believe the Marlins were World Series contenders, they sure looked like a playoff team. They were five games ahead of everybody in the NL East, they had a pitching staff that looked incredible, and they had a productive lineup.
However, after getting off to an 11-1 start, the Marlins have gone 12-27. Yikes. That means they are not even winning one game every series.
So what happened to my beloved Fish?
Well, it turns out that Emilio Bonifacio is not the league's best hitter—who would have guessed? Whereas in the first two weeks of the season the guy had a batting average over .400, he now has an on base percentage below .300.
It also turns out that Ricky Nolasco is not the ace everyone thought he was. I am no expert, but I did not think ace pitchers should have had to be sent down to the minors for midseason tune-ups.
Cameron Maybin, the Marlins' star prospect, has also been sent to the minors.
Did I mention the injuries yet? Oh, there have been plenty. Anibal Sanchez—hurt. Hanley Ramirez—hurt. Jorge Cantu—a nagging hand injury.
And the prospects the Marlins could call up to replace their injured players? Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison—both hurt. Rick VandenHurk and Ryan Tucker—also hurt.
So the Marlins basically have problems everywhere. Is that not the only way a team can go from league best to fourth in their own division?
The Marlins were that good. The Marlins could play at that level.
But the Marlins team lacked the depth to survive a 162-game season. Apparently, they also lacked the depth to last more than two weeks at the top.
Only one player on the entire team is hitting above .300, and that's franchise player Hanley Ramirez.
Only two pitchers are winning more than half their games, and they are Josh Johnson and Burke Badenhop. Yes, Burke Badenhop. If you are not a Marlins fan, then the only thing you are wondering right now is: Who the heck is Burke Badenhop?
With a healthy pitching staff, the Marlins would be a .500 team at best, considering how poor their hitting has been. Even Jorge Cantu has fallen off greatly.
It's kind of sad when you think all the Marlins had to do was play .500 ball after their 11-1 start to be 10 games over at the All-Star break.
From five games ahead to six-and-a-half back, it would seem the Marlins could throw the towel in on their 2009 season. And trust me, it pains me to say that.