Opening Day History of the Marlins


April 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; A jumbotron displays an opening day game logo prior to the game with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Can you feel it Opening Day is just a few hours away? The excitement is in the air, baseball is back, warmer weather is coming, and the Marlins start another season! How have the Marlins faired on past Opening Days? Today we are taking a look at Opening Days for the Marlins and see if we can come up with a prediction based on the history.

The Marlins record for Opening Day is 10-11, just under .500. A win today could even up the series. Even though the Marlins are currently on a 2 game Opening Day losing streak, it’s not the record. From 1994-1996 and 2001-2003 the Marlins lost 3 Opening Days in a row. Here is hoping that we don’t tie that streak. With that said, the Marlins have a 4 game winning streak from 1997-2000. It is also interesting that the Marlins are 1-1 in years they have won the World Series.

There are a lot of players playing their first Opening Day with the Marlins today. Let’s take a look at some of the best past Opening Day players. We start with Mr. Marlins himself, Jeff Conine, who went 4-4 in 1993 during the first Marlins game ever; starting the legend of Mr. Marlin. Terry Pendleton in his first game as a Marlin on 1995’s Opening Day went 2-5 with 3 RBI’s and home run in his first at bat, pretty impressive. Even Moises Alou in his only Marlins Opening Day cracked a home run over the fence in 1997. In 1998, in his first Opening Day, Craig Counsell had a nice day with a 3-5 at the plate, 1 R, and 1 RBI. Carlos Delgado owned 2005’s Opening Day with a 4-5 performance and 3 RBI’s. Who can forget how Emilio Bonifacio went 4-5 and had an inside the park home run in 2009? Finally, in 2011 John Buck’s grand slam and Logan Morrison’s home run helped cap a 6-2 win over the Mets. Let’s see how this year’s newbie Marlins fare.

How about pitchers? This year Jose Fernandez will be the youngest Opening Day pitcher the Marlins have ever had. Is this the start of a trend so he can beat Josh Beckett who is tied for most Opening Day starts with Josh Johnson at 3? If he wins this game he is 1 win away from tying Alex Fernandez’s and Beckett’s Opening Day wins at 2. Staying with Beckett, in 2005 he had quite possibly the best pitching start in Marlins Opening history. He went 6 innings, gave up 2 hits, no runs, and struck out 6 batters. Let’s see if Jose can beat that today.

How about the games themselves? The Marlins are 9-6 at home. The highest scoring game the Marlins had ever had was in the 2009 opener when they put up 12 runs against NL East rivals, the Nationals. The worst Opening Day would follow the next year when they lost to another NL East rival, the Mets, 7-1. The Marlins have been shut out twice on Opening Day, back in 1996 and 2013. The Marlins would like to stay away from the Phillies on Opening Day, never beating them in 2 games they’ve played; and their record against the Dodgers is not much better, 1-2. The most wins against a team is a tie with the Cubs and Mets at 2 games.

So can I come up with a prediction with all these numbers? Not really. There is no pattern to the Marlins Opening Day. We know that Giancarlo Stanton is the only player returning from last year’s opener, along with maybe Donovan Solano. If Jose pitches like he did last year and the Marlins’ bats can come alive with the new players we acquired, then the Rockies don’t stand a chance. There is only one way to find out, tune in at 7:05 and welcome back our Miami Marlins!