I got a chance to talk with Marlins blogger Michael Jong of FishStripes.com to get a sense of how Miami fans feel about their team heading into this series.
Vinny Cartiglia: The Marlins are on a great run, winning eight of their last nine, including seven straight. Miami fans must be estatic over the clubs recent success?
Michael Jong: This win streak could not have come at a better time, with the Marlins coming home for an extended home stand after being out on the road for the majority of April. When we left home, the Fish were struggling to score runs and had been losing a lot of games. A successful road trip seemed critical to keep the Marlins afloat and the team’s attendance on the home stand high as the team comes home. With the club winning eight of nine games on the road trip, fans should be extremely excited and willing to show up to the team’s games.
Vinny Cartiglia: It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t ask at least one question about Jose Reyes. It seems as if he is starting to pick it up and show Marlins fans his worth to the club. Have you noticed if fans have been patient with his struggles? Or, even though its a small sample size, were fans starting to question the offseason acquisition?
Michael Jong: Surprisingly, no one is really questioning the signing of Jose Reyes yet. I think, in contrast to Bell’s reaction, Marlins fans are being more patient with Reyes. It could be that they still see him doing things on a day-to-day basis and that his actions are not as acutely tied to losses as Bell’s are. Nevertheless, fans are taking it slow with Reyes with the idea that he should be on the way back to being the catalyst and speedy contributor at the top of the lineup that the Marlins had initially envisioned. As he regresses back to his usual norms, fans will be more appreciative.
To get an on-field take of the Marlins, check out this Q&A between Ted Berg and Jong.