Series Preview: Florida Marlins II


Much like several Mets over the past couple weeks, Michael Conforto is mired in a slump.


Oh no, Captain, my Captain: Well we all kind of knew this was coming, but it hurts just the same. David Wright is going to be out for an extended period of time due to a neck injury. They are trying to avoid surgery “in the short term.” Oh, great.

The Boys are Back in Town?: Jacob deGrom’s velocity has been steadily been returning to form in his last couple of starts. With a sparkling seven shutout innings of his own, Matt Harvey finally had a start to build on. It’s early, but residents of Panic City may be moving from the Harveytown neighborhood to Wrightdudasville.

Just like October: Following his (sham of an) ejection on Sunday, Noah Syndergaard got an inning of work in on Thursday, pitching a scoreless seventh. Consistently hitting 101 mph on the gun, it certainly made me wish we could clone the guy.

Know Your Foe

babThis time around, we are joined by Johnny from a podcast with a similar set of priorities – Balls and Brew. Although their ball of choice (football) differs, our shared common interests easily transcend that. The Tampa-based gang was kind enough to let us borrow Johnny for a few questions.

What do you think it is that makes sports and beer such a good pairing?

It’s all about recreational enjoyment. There’s nothing like sitting at a ball game, your local pub or a comfy couch on a Saturday in October (or June) and watching two teams battle it out. That time is enhanced by enjoying your favorite porter or IPA. And while, you don’t need an excuse to have a great beer, sports provides an easy one.

Too true. You’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of Florida brewers on your podcast. Have any of your chats stood out as especially enlightening or entertaining?

I particularly enjoyed our interview with Chris Johnson of SixTen Brewing. He’s been a part of the Tampa Bay craft beer and homebrewing scenes since the beginning and is super knowledgeable about it’s evolution. He’s also a super funny guy and talks about beer (his own and others) and the community around his brewery with such passion. I also enjoyed learning about the origins of his horchata stout.

Aside from the famously frequent thunderstorms, there’s plenty of sunshine in your neck of the woods to enjoy a brew and a game. What’s your Summer beer of choice in the Florida sun?

Right now, I’m loving the hell out of JDubs Passion Wheat. The tartness of passion fruit hits your tongue immediately and while it has quite a bit of carbonation, it’s light enough to be refreshing to the point of being thirst quenching.  I also like their Poolside Kolsch. It has a subtle sweetness and is tremendous for sitting around the pool, drinking at the beach or mowing the lawn.

Now that’s multitasking. Would you say that the Marlins get as ignored in Florida as they seem to be nation-wide? Any chance they surprise some folks and make a charge towards the playoffs?

Oooh, two-part question. It’s hard for Miami teams to get any true traction in other parts of the state because from a cultural standpoint; Miami is so different from even a place like Tampa. It’s a much bigger city than the other cities so people in other places don’t tend to have a connection to Miami sports teams. Aside from the Florida Panthers, the biggest victim of this is the Marlins. This is ironic because they’ve won two World Series in the last 25 years vs. zero Super Bowl appearances for the beloved Dolphins.

While it is still massively early in the season, this is a big series coming up between the Marlins and the Mets. The winner of this series can take a big step towards the Nationals and take the lead in the Wildcard race. While they are getting a big lift from Marcell Ozuna, they will go as far as Giancarlo Stanton takes them. Batting .213 is not going to get it done. Their pitching has done fairly well this season with a healthy Jose Fernandez leading the way with an 8-2 record and an ERA of 2.53. They have a team ERA of just under four runs, which is solid.

For anyone making a side trip up from Miami, where’s the first place in Tampa you tell a thirsty beer drinker to go?

Damn, that’s a tough question! There are a ton of great places up here. I guess I would have to say New World Brewing in the Ybor City Historic District. They have around 30 beers on tap with a focus on local crafts and hard to find stuff from other parts of the country. They have 100’s more in bottles. They also have live music on the weekends in their courtyard and a great food menu. Many an Ybor pub crawl has started here.

Thanks again to Johnny the down low on Florida balls and brew!

Standings & Probables

Nationals 33-21 .611
Mets 29-23 .558
Marlins 29-25 .537
Phillies 26-28 .481
Braves 16-37 .302

Monday, May 30 Noah Syndergaard (5-2 1.84 ERA) vs. Tom Koehler (3-5 4.50 ERA)

Tuesday, May 31 Bartolo Colon (4-3 3.39 ERA) vs. Justin Nicolino (2-3 4.50 ERA)

Wednesday, June 1 Matt Harvey (4-7 5.37 ERA) vs. Jose Fernandez (8-2 2.53 ERA)

Beer From the Bad Guys

Shipyard Brewing Co. – Blood Orange Belgian Style

“Wait just a minute,” you might say, “Shipyard is in Maine!” Well, it is. But Blood Orange Belgian Style was brewed and bottled in their parent company’s (Sea Dog Brewing) Clearwater, Florida location. As the label mentions, this one is “Florida brewed.”

Pouring a nice clear golden hue, orange peel and Belgian yeast combine for a funky, not entirely enjoyable nose.

My first immediate thought that comes to mind is “Sweet Tarts.”It’s almost as if they intensely candied the blood orange peel before they put it in the boil. The very sweet taste is unusual, but not particularly distasteful. The taste would go well in more substantial beer – perhaps a black IPA or a stout. As it is with this beer, the Belgian yeast and any other spicing (coriander mentioned on the label) is buried by the sweetness, with a bit of a cloying finish.

fbboScouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 65

Smell: 45

Taste: 50

Feel: 50

Overall: 50

I’ve been particularly optimistic in my last couple beer reviews, and think I can muster the same again. On its own, Blood Orange probably won’t do you many favors. That being said, it would almost definitely pair well with dark chocolate, or a fruit tart or apple crisp. So give it a shot with some dessert. LGM!


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