Heres a rare statement: Its a great time to be a baseball fan in South Florida. Why? The Marlins are hot, player. Since the season began last month, the Fish have been duking it out with Philadelphia for first place in the NL East. Leading the charge has been Josh Johnson, recently named the MLB Pitcher of the Month for April. Drafted by the Marlins in 2002, Johnson really is throwing wicked heat: The humble Minneapolis native currently leads the league in ERA (.88) and WHIP (.71) and has the fewest hits allowed in a 40-inning stretch since William McKinley was in office. (And everyone knows it was really McKinley who coined the phrase Speak softly, and carry a low WHIP.)
But Johnsons great play isnt the sole factor in the Marlins quick ascent. The team is also leading the league in RBIs, thanks in part to the crack-wack play of Gaby Sanchez. Both Sanchez and Johnson should have their hands full Wednesday night when the Marlins host home-run machine Alfanso Soriano and the rest of the Chicago Cubs. First pitch goes out at 7:10 p.m., which is coincidentally a great time to be saddling up to the bar with a tall glass of suds, preferably the one at Sportszone 84 (2440 W. State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-734-2424.
Wed., May 18, 7:10 p.m., 2011