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Willis and Olsen 1 & 2 Lefty punch


Eddie Altamonte
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Lefty 1-2 punch: Olsen will follow Willis in rotation

 

By Juan C. Rodriguez

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted March 20 2007

 

 

JUPITER ? Scott Olsen never thought anyone other than Dontrelle Willis would be the Marlins' Opening Day starter. He was right.

 

Olsen didn't think the Marlins would throw a second left-hander out there for game two. He was wrong.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed the obvious Monday, saying Willis would open against the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium on April 2. He also revealed a wrinkle in his rotation. Olsen and not right-hander Anibal Sanchez would pitch the next day.

 

"Those are the two guys we need to get us going," Gonzalez said, of his lefty starters. "There's no reason for me to split them up. Why? The way I looked at it, they get to pitch two games against the Mets, Phillies and Atlanta."

 

Gonzalez referred to his team's initial April series against those clubs. The whole plan is one rainout away from landing in the trash, but as it's currently drawn up neither Willis nor Olsen would face a team outside the National League East until the second week of May.

 

Neither pitcher was especially impressive against division opponents last season. Willis went 7-5 with a 4.40 ERA. Three of those wins came against the Mets, a team he held to 10 earned runs in 372/3 innings. Olsen lost six of nine decisions with a 4.74 ERA in NL East play.

 

Nonetheless, Gonzalez may have considered how poorly the division hit left-handers last season. Only the Cubs had a lower team batting average against them than the Mets (.254). The Braves (.259) and Phillies (.256) ranked 10th and tied for 12th, respectively. The National had the division's best showing at .276 (fourth).

 

"I kicked it around and really there's not a reason," Gonzalez said, of inserting a right-hander between Willis and Olsen. "Nobody cares when you put two righties together."

 

The other factor is Willis and Olsen give hitters different enough looks to where it shouldn't matter.

 

For Willis, the Opening Day assignment will be his second in as many years. Last season against the Astros in Houston, Willis got a no-decision despite allowing just one hit through five shutout innings.

 

The historical significance of taking part in the first Opening Day in the nation's capital since 1969 isn't lost on Willis.

 

"I'm pretty much in high gear every day," he said. "If anything, I'll have to downshift a little bit."

 

Mitre, Petit battle for No. 5 starter

 

Gonzalez wasn't prepared to name his starter for April 10. That's the first day the Marlins would need a fifth guy. He did say it was down to two pitchers.

 

"That's between [sergio] Mitre and [Yusmeiro] Petit, and right now it may go down to the wire," he said.

 

Mitre is coming off a 2006 season in which he missed all but 15 games (seven starts) because of a shoulder injury. Petit had a forgettable rookie year bouncing between the Marlins and Triple-A Albuquerque.

 

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/basebal...-sports-marlins

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that mean that willis will patch saturday april 7 game at home?

 

Yes. Home Opener on Friday, first "Super Saturday", and still cool enough to enjoy a Sunday game. Should be a great week end attendance-wise.

 

 

 

So we get the 5th starter for the home opener on Friday.

 

 

:|

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that mean that willis will patch saturday april 7 game at home?

 

Yes. Home Opener on Friday, first "Super Saturday", and still cool enough to enjoy a Sunday game. Should be a great week end attendance-wise.

 

 

 

So we get the 5th starter for the home opener on Friday.

 

 

:|

what? that would be game #4 :)

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that mean that willis will patch saturday april 7 game at home?

 

Yes. Home Opener on Friday, first "Super Saturday", and still cool enough to enjoy a Sunday game. Should be a great week end attendance-wise.

 

 

 

So we get the 5th starter for the home opener on Friday.

 

 

:|

what? that would be game #4 :)

 

And I read that we wouldnt need a 5th starter until April 10th

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