Nolasco racing his way up Marlins’ win ladder

SAN FRANCISCO — Returning to California this week prompted Ricky Nolasco to bring back a familiar look.

The Marlins right-hander again is sporting a haircut that features three small racing stripes behind his right ear.

Why not? New month. Go with a fresh look.

For Nolasco, it’s a familiar hairstyle feature that he’s shown in the past.

Nolasco stepped up big on Tuesday night, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings in Miami’s 2-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.

A California native, Nolasco is certainly leaving his mark, not only on his hair, but also in Miami.

Nolasco’s career record is now 67-51. The 29-year-old now is a victory shy of tying a Marlins’ record.

Dontrelle Willis holds the franchise record with 68. Nolasco will get a shot at reaching the milestone on Sunday at San Diego.

The way Nolasco quietly goes about his business probably startles many fans that he is on the brink of setting a team record.

But Nolasco has had a knack for winning games. Many try to discount the importance of wins for a pitcher. Obviously many factors go into a pitcher being credited with a win, yet, it says something when a pitcher actually does run up an impressive victory total.

Since Nolasco broke in as a rookie in 2006, he is tied for 11th in the National League in total wins. Adam Wainwright is 67-38.

Derek Lowe, now in the American League, has the most wins in the NL since 2006 — 82. In the seven-year span, Nolasco’s teammate, Carlos Zambrano, is tied with Cole Hamels for the third highest total with 77.

Zambrano’s overall record is 77-48, compared to Hamels’ 77-55.

What may surprise many is, Matt Cain, the hard-luck loser on Tuesday night, sports a 68-74 record since 2006. So Cain, who is 10th in most wins in the NL since 2006, is one victory ahead of Nolasco.

Cain is clearly one of the best right-handers in the game. Nolasco is one of the more unheralded ones.

Joe Frisaro

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