MIAMI, FL - JULY 1: Bud Black #20 of the San Diego Padres looks on from the dugout during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 1, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Steve Mitchell/Getty Images)
I cannot confirm this report is true, but immediately after the Marlins beat the Padres 4-0 on Monday night, Miami catcher Jeff Mathis called the MLB league office and requested the Marlins be formally transferred to the National League West.
He'd be crazy not to. Mathis wants to play the Padres as often as he possibly can.
The catcher hit a bases-clearing, 3-run double to highlight Miami's 3rd straight win over the Padres. On Sunday he hit the most improbable walk-off home run I've ever seen, a grand slam to give the Fish an 6-2 win.
In the last three games against San Diego, Mathis drove in nine runs. In the previous three months of the season, he'd driven in 5 runs. It would be convenient to say Mathis just got hot at the right time, but in his 9-years in the big leagues, he'd never really gotten hot at any time.
Mathis is a career .195 hitter who was down to .109 this season when the Padres arrived in South Florida (he's now up to .154). The real kicker is, Mathis probably shouldn't have even had a chance to hit with the bases loaded for the second straight game.
Padres shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, who had made a pair of stellar defensive plays earlier in the game, made a bad throw on a fairly routine play in the 6th inning.
It led to four unearned runs for tough-luck loser Jason Marquis, all of them coming in that inning, the last three on the liner by Mathis.
The Padres offense was also M.I.A. for the third straight game. After scoring nine runs in Friday's win over the Marlins, the Friars scored three in the last three games of the series.
Monday night, 20-year-old Jose Fernandez punched out 10 San Diego batters in 8.0 shutout innings. The three games the Marlins won were by Fernandez, 23-year-old Nathan Eovaldi, and 22-year-old Jacob Turner. Miami has an impressive stable of young starting pitchers that is already producing at the Major League level.
Miami won 14 games in April and May combined. For June, they called Turner up from the minors and took Eovaldi off the disabled list, and won 15 games. Now they're 1-0 in July.
Meanwhile, the Padres are going the opposite direction. After getting two games over .500 and back in to the playoff hunt, San Diego has dropped seven of nine games to fall three games under again, and the next week will be no picnic.
They have to play three in Boston against the Red Sox, owners of the best record in the American League. Then it's three in Washington against the Nationals, who just got Bryce Harper back from a knee injury and look like a playoff contender again.
Not a fun trip for the team that's 15-25 on the road this year.