Even a bit off, Nolasco wins
Call it a sign of maturity, or perhaps Ricky Nolasco is just that good.
Maybe it’s a bit of both.
Encouraging for Nolasco and the Marlins on Sunday was the right-hander was able to piece together a quality start when he didn’t have his quality stuff.
The box score from the Marlins’ 10-8 victory over the Mets will read that Nolasco gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings. He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two.
Overall, not bad numbers. They were good enough for Nolasco to improve to 4-2 while lowering his ERA to 3.59.
What the linescore didn’t reveal was his fastball velocity was down a little bit. He was at 88-89 mph for most of the game, occasionally reaching 91. Once he topped at 92 mph.
“I felt terrible,” Nolasco said.
Over the course of 30-plus starts in a season, pitchers will have good and bad days. Nolasco’s velocity, on a good day, is between 92-94 mph. There is nothing physically wrong with Nolasco. It was his eighth start, in a day game, and he wasn’t at his sharpest. That was clear by the fact he threw 95 pitches with 54 for strikes.
In his previous start — at Chicago on May 11 — he threw 95 pitches with 69 strikes in seven innings.
“This is one of those games where I pretty much had to go out there and battle,” Nolasco said. “What I’m proud of myself is I battled. The offense did a great job.
“I’m not very happy with how I threw the ball. That’s going to happen. I move on to my next start.”
Another positive from Sunday’s win is it was another outing where the Marlins starting pitcher worked deep into the game. In the month of May, only once has a Florida starter given up more than four runs in an outing.
The rotation’s record in May is 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA.
MARLINS ALL-TIME WINS LEADERS:
Dontrelle Willis 68
A.J. Burnett, 49
Brad Penny 48
Ricky Nolasco 44
Ryan Dempster 42
Josh Beckett 41
Josh Johnson 37
Pat Rapp 37
— Joe Frisaro