There is a warmth in the air, a spring in people’s step and that could only mean one thing, baseball season has finally arrived in the United States. Wednesday evening, the Miami Marlins will open the season in their brand new, state of the art ballpark to face the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
The Marlins will send right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson to the mound to face off against Kyle Lohse. Johnson has not seen action in a major league game since he was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 21 with shoulder inflammation last year. Luckily, Johnson did not need any type of surgery, although he missed the rest of the season.
The Fish finally get to showcase the stars the acquired in this year’s offseason. In the bottom of the first inning, you will get to possibly see Jose Reyes lead off, barring any type of extraneous event in the top of the first inning. Reyes agreed to a six-year deal this offseason moving Hanley Ramirez to third base.
If Miami is winning by the ninth inning, you will get to see Heath Bell close out the game and record his first save as a Miami Marlin. Bell signed a three-year deal with the Marlins this offseason, revamping their bullpen. Bell takes over the closer duties that was left when Juan Carlos Oviedo was placed on the restricted list.
There is something standing in the way of the Marlins’ first win of the season and their first win in their new stadium and that is the defending champions.
The Cardinals lost a lot when Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. However, the Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran to help them in the outfield and moved Lance Berkman to first base. It is going to be an interesting season for them as well.
With Lohse starting for St. Louis instead of Chris Carpenter, it gives Miami an easier chance to win. Lohse is 2-2 with 5.85 ERA in the last 10 years against the Marlins. Ramirez is also has four hits against Lohse in 10 at-bats, one of those hits is a home run.