Imagine, hypothetically, that you hate Tommy Hanson. Now imagine that Tommy Hanson knocked up your daughter, ran over your dog, and designed Whatizit, the mascot for the 1996 Olympics. That is how much you would hate Ricky Nolasco if Frank Wren were to acquire him and put him in the rotation.
The thing about Nolasco is that he does not suck because he has crappy peripherals. Rather, he miraculously sucks despite great peripherals. He literally has the worst ERA in baseball history of any pitcher with a K/BB above 3.5; in second place is Jon Lieber, but it frankly isn’t close. Lieber has an ERA+ of 103. Nolasco’s is 93.
Scientists remain mystified by how Nolasco contrives to suck despite an above-average strikeout rate and below-average walk rate. Sidelined by the irrelevant discovery of the Higgs boson, they still have no answer.
Don’t get me wrong: I understand why you hate Tommy Hanson. In his last three starts, he has gone 14 1/3 innings and given up 20 hits, 13 walks, and 15 earned runs. Today he got bailed out by Kris Medlen, who came in and pitched three hitless innings getting five strikeouts and should be in the rotation already for heaven’s sake. Tommy walked 7 men in 5 innings, and at that point it just isn’t worth even using the phrase “effectively wild.”
On the other hand, the reason the Braves won is simple: longballs. The Braves historically have built offenses that relied on home runs, and today they got three: one from Bourn, who I’m beginning to think we should maybe think just a little bit about extending; one from Heyward, who I think Wren should EXTEND RIGHT NOW AS FAST AS IF HIS HAIR WAS ON FIRE; and one from Juan Francisco, who has reached the point where literally any time he gets on base feels like a pleasant surprise.
Today, the Marlins just got rid of their most iconic and highest-paid player, essentially acknowledged that their season is over, and dropped a series to the Braves. And things could continue to be fun in South Florida. After a year’s worth of losing, people in Miami may even start to remember that Ozzie Guillen admires Fidel Castro.