Mets easily sweep Marlins: 5 Takeaways

The New York Mets (64-37) came to town to face the Miami Marlins (47-55) in what felt like a one-sided series. 

Not only did the Marlins get swept in the three-game weekend series, but to make things worse, LoanDepot Park was flooded with Mets fans. It felt like the Mets were the home team and with nothing much for Marlins fans to cheer about through each game, there was nothing they could do to drown out the “Let’s go Mets!” chants that echoed throughout the ballpark.

I don’t blame Marlins fans for not showing up to the stadium though. Why would they spend the extra money to watch a losing product on the field? Until some major changes start to happen and the Marlins win consistently, the fans won’t show up and support.

It was a disappointing weekend for the Miami Marlins. 

Here are five takeaways from the series. 

 

Trouble For Sandy

Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara pitched Game 1 of the series and he didn’t look like his usual self. 

The Marlins actually gave Alcantara run support, something that hardly occurs, and produced three runs in the bottom of the first inning. 

But that 3-0 lead didn’t hold for long, as the Mets answered right back in the second inning and scored three runs of their own. The Marlins did score another run of their own in the second inning to regain the lead, but a home run by former Marlin Starling Marte in the fourth inning tied the game at four. Alcantara would eventually pitch the fifth inning but shortly after, his night was done. 

Alcantara finished the game pitching five innings and allowed eight hits, four earned runs, and three walks. He also posted five strikeouts. 

The Marlins’ ace had his worst outing of the year and the only thing that I can think of that explains why is that he had faced the Mets four times already this year. Because New York’s offense had already seen him a number of times, his stuff isn’t as deceiving as it normally would be against any other club.

It seems as if when Alcantara is on his game, the Marlins fail to produce runs. But when Miami does score runs, Alcantara has an off night. 

 

Mets Offense Too Much To Handle

The Mets lineup is good. Like really, really good.

It felt like Miami had no idea how to get New York’s hitters out. And if they did get someone out, the next guy in the order did damage. 

Marte was a double shy of hitting for the cycle against Alcantara in Game 1. That’s when Miami could guess that they were in for a rude awakening. 

Over the three games, Mets hitters had an absurd average of .339 (39-for-115). They also averaged 6.3 runs per game and had 18 extra-base hits. If you’re the Marlins and you know that you’re on the brink of a possible wild-card spot, that cannot happen. 

“Every guy seems to fight you,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about the difficulties facing the Mets. “There’s no really easy outs up and down that lineup. It’s a battle to get through there.”

If the Mets can hit like this now, imagine how they will be after the trade deadline. There were some rumblings about a possibility of acquiring catcher Willson Contreras from the Chicago Cubs. Plus Jacob deGrom is making his 2022 debut this week, so there’s no doubt this team will be scary. 

 

Leblanc Excels In Debut Series

Marlins third baseman Charles Leblanc made his MLB debut on Saturday and he made his name known on both sides of the ball.

In the seventh inning of Game 2, Leblanc made a spectacular diving play on a ground ball hit in his direction and he threw to first base just in time to get the runner out. 

During the two games he played in, Leblanc went 3-for-7 (.428 BA) and hit a couple of doubles. He was the only player in Marlins history to record a double in each of his first two MLB games. 

On top of that, Leblanc hit his first career home run in the bottom of the sixth inning during Game 3. 

“It was a blacked out moment, I don’t remember much,” Leblanc said about what he felt during his first home run. “I saw something over the plate and that was it.”

In Triple-A Jacksonville, Leblanc had a .302 batting average and an OPS of .884. He also had 14 home runs and 45 RBIs. 

Marlins fans have been begging for the organization to call Leblanc up to the Majors and you can see why. 

 

Why Did Miami Start Pablo?

All week, right-hander Pablo Lopez’s name has been swirling around the league as the trade deadline draws closer. 

Many people assumed that because of Miami’s current situation, Lopez would be on the move as soon as the front office received a deal they liked. 

“A deal that really helps us has to present itself,” Marlins General Manager Kim Ng said about Lopez’s trade situation. “We’re not out there looking to move Pablo (Lopez)…but we’re listening on all fronts.”

Because Miami had yet to make a move with Lopez, he started Sunday’s game against the Mets and looking back on it now, I’m sure the front office surely regrets throwing him out there. 

Lopez had without a doubt his worst start of the season. By the top of the third inning, all nine Mets batters had a hit. Lopez finished his brief afternoon with 2.2 innings pitched, allowing six earned runs and a career-high 12 hits. 

Lopez’s trade value has in all likelihood plummeted and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Marlins just hold on to him and not trade him at all. If the front office didn’t like the returns they heard for Lopez earlier in the week, they for sure won’t like them after his performance on Sunday. 

 

What Exactly is the Front Office’s Approach?

What is Ng and the Marlins organization currently thinking? 

Surely they would be sellers, right? Apparently, that’s not so easy to tell because we haven’t gotten a clear-cut answer as of now. 

Starting Lopez just a couple days prior to the trade deadline looked suspicious. Why risk having a player like Lopez’s value go down when they can trade him while his value’s high after a spectacular outing against the Reds earlier in the week? Maybe Lopez has been a player that Miami has been planning to keep all along amidst the trade rumors. But why keep him when his contract is set to expire by the end of the season? 

“I think the objective is always to try and better yourself,” Ng told the media about the team’s objective heading into the trade deadline. “I think where we are in the standings…I’m not sure whether we’re going to be a clear buyer or a clear seller. I think it’s a little bit more complex than that.” 

It’s obvious that Ng doesn’t want to reveal the team’s exact plans to the public, but given that they are eight games under .500 and have around a 1.5% chance to make the playoffs, it would be surprising if they buy at the deadline. We’ll see what the Marlins do in the next couple of days. 

The Marlins will try and bounce back from this brutal series as they face the Cincinnati Reds (40-61) for a three-game series from Monday through Wednesday. 

 

******

Photo by Tony Capobianco

Marlins split series vs. Reds: 5 Takeaways

The Miami Marlins (47-52) split the four-game series against the last-place Cincinnati Reds (38-60). 

It was an up-and-down four-game stretch for the Fish, but they rallied in the end and found a way to win the last game to split the series. 

The Marlins have not been playing the way they wanted to and I’m positive that they are not happy with splitting a series against a poor Reds team. They should’ve won at least three out of the four games, but the offense hit a wall during the bulk of the series and their pitching couldn’t win them games on their own without having enough runs on the board. 

It was a tough Game 1 as the Marlins lost 11-2. Game 2 was better because they won 2-1 but then the next day, they fell 5-3. The offense finally woke up in Game 4 of the series as they won 7-6. But this theme of inconsistency keeps showing up throughout the season. At the end of the day, how can the Marlins be a consistent ball club?

Here are five takeaways from the series. 

 

Trevor Rogers Likely Getting Sent Down

It was a dreadful outing for starting pitcher Trevor Rogers. 

Rogers went just 3.2 innings, gave up eight hits, and allowed six earned runs that led to a Marlins loss in Game 1. To make things sound worse, he did this against a Cincinnati Reds offense that ranks in the bottom-third in baseball in batting average and runs per game. 

The struggles for last year’s All-Star have reached an all-time high and given how his outings have been all season long, it’s likely that the organization will send him down to work on his mechanics and get back to his form from last season. 

Rogers’ velocity is definitely there, but his slider and changeup don’t have the same amount of depth as it did a year ago. Plus, a couple of starters on the IL, Jesus Luzardo and Edward Cabrera, are nearing their returns to Major League action, so it gives the Marlins another reason to pull Rogers from the starting rotation.

 

Joey Wendle Hits Everything

Marlins utility player Joey Wendle had himself a series against the Reds. 

During the three games he played, Wendle went 5-for-14 (.357 BA) and had three RBIs. Wendle now has a batting average over .300 (.303) which is a great sight to see for an abysmal Marlins offense. 

Wendle ended his great play this week with a go-ahead RBI double in the ninth inning to seal the victory and give the Marlins a series split. 

“When Joey’s (Wendle) on the field, it’s been great”, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about how valuable Wendle has been for the team. “He plays hard everyday and he’s a great example for our guys with the way we want to play the game.”

Of course, like many of Miami’s best players, there’s the question of whether or not this was Wendle’s last week playing for the Marlins. We’ll find out soon enough.

 

Pablo Lopez Found A Groove

Starting pitcher Pablo Lopez has probably made his last start with the Miami Marlins. But, at least he went out with a bang. 

The right-hander pitched through seven innings of work and gave up just two hits and one earned run while striking out 11 batters. The 11 strikeouts by Lopez matched his career-high in a game. 

After his last outing against the Rangers where he gave up five earned runs in just five innings, Lopez found a way to bounce back and have his best showing of the season. 

“It had been a while,” Lopez said about the last time he’s felt this good on the mound. “It’s one of those starts that you really need because it reminds you that the work we put in between starts really pays off…it was a good start to build up from.”

It’s uncertain if this was Lopez’s last start with the Marlins with all of the trade rumors up in the air, but if it was, he definitely made it a good one. 

 

The Young Guys Show Out

Marlins outfielder J.J. Bleday made his debut last weekend against the Pirates and he’s been nothing short of what Miami’s been hoping for at the plate. 

His numbers on the stat sheet won’t jump out at you, but if you’re watching his at-bats, they’ll tell you that he’s “just” missing his pitches. It’s probably what explains his low batting average in Triple-A (.228). 

On the bright side, Bleday was able to hit his first career home run against Reds All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo in the fourth inning of Game 3. 

First baseman Lewin Diaz has been nothing short of impressive during the series. Diaz went 3-for-9 (.333 BA) and had three walks. He showed great patience at the plate for a young player and his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a great target to throw to at first base. 

Right-handed reliever Huascar Brazoban looked terrific in his outing in Game 3. In two innings, he gave up just one hit and racked up five strikeouts. Brazoban made his MLB debut on July 24th against the Pirates and he’s been a great asset for an injury-ridden bullpen. 

 

Marlins Are Probably Sellers 

Given that it’s impossible for Miami to reach the .500 mark before the trade deadline, it might be safe to say that they will look to be a selling club yet again. 

Even though the Marlins are just a few games out of the final wild card spot, it’s too tough of a task to clinch it at the end of the season with all of their injuries and inconsistencies with their play on the field. So, the front office might not want to take that risk and ship their most valuable players in exchange for young and talented prospects. 

As of now, the players with the most value that teams are keeping their eyes on are Lopez, first-baseman Garrett Cooper, and Wendle. 

Other names to keep in mind from the bullpen are right-handers Anthony Bass and Dylan Floro, as well as left-hander Steven Okert.

The Marlins are desperately in need of a center fielder and shortstop. They don’t have any of those positions in the minor leagues that will be ready by next year. Interestingly enough, a report by the Athletic came out and mentioned that the Marlins “have not stopped calling” about Pittsburgh’s All-Star center fielder Bryan Reynolds. 

At this point, we don’t exactly know what general manager Kim Ng and the front office have planned out. All we can do is let it play out and see what the organization really believes this team can achieve for the remainder of the season. 

The Marlins come back home to play the New York Mets (61-37) for a three-game weekend series from Friday through Sunday. 

 

Marlins take 2 of 3 vs. Pirates: 5 Takeaways

Struggling is an understatement when it comes to the Miami Marlins (45-50).

But after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates (40-56) in a three-game series, there still might be some hope. 

Before winning Game 1 on Friday, the Marlins were on a four-game losing streak where they were outscored 24-1. 

Yes, you read that correctly. It has been a brutal couple of weeks for the fans and organization, but the series win against the Pirates has to feel good for them. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. A win is a win and the Marlins will certainly take it. 

Here are five takeaways from the series. 

 

The Scoreless Streak is Over

The Marlins have finally scored a run! They snapped a 37 straight scoreless inning streak in the fourth inning of Game 1 thanks to a double by shortstop Miguel Rojas. 

“It felt great to break out offensively, for everybody to do their part and play the game that we played today,” Rojas said after the game. “It’s a little bit of a relief because we didn’t play good at home…we’re continuing to work hard, get better, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

What’s crazy is that they not only scored in that game, but they put up a total of eight runs. It came out of nowhere. Once they got a run through, it felt like the gates just opened up. Miami had 13 hits including five going for extra bases.

But that wasn’t the only streak the Marlins ended that night. Miami had a nine-game streak without a home run that was put to an end when right fielder Avisail Garcia hit a solo shot into the seats in right field during the seventh inning. That had to feel good not only for the team but for Garcia as well because he hadn’t hit a home run since June 29th in St. Louis. 

“He’s (Garcia) been swinging the bat actually pretty good”, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about Garcia’s home run that ended the homerless streak. “It’s good to get that home run out of the way too because it’s another thing that gets written about and all that kind of just comes together.”

 

Braxton Garrett’s Stellar Start

Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (2-3) got the start in Game 1 and he pitched a fantastic game.

Garrett pitched through six innings of work and struck out seven Pittsburgh hitters and allowed just one earned run. He gave up two hits that included a solo home run by Pirates catcher Jason Delay that traveled a mere 354 feet into left field. Given the dimensions of PNC Park, that home run wouldn’t have counted in a lot of major league ballparks. Nonetheless, Garrett had a terrific outing. 

The former first-round pick has been playing great in his last couple of starts. In his last game against the Pirates, Garrett racked up 11 strikeouts and allowed only two hits and no earned runs. He has been a nice piece for this young and talented starting rotation.

“He (Garrett) was ahead in the count all night,” Mattingly said about Garrett’s performance. “He was ahead all night I felt like, changed speeds, mixed his locations, and was pretty sharp after that first inning.”

 

Sandy Alcantara Shouldn’t Worry

Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara (9-4) was given the start in the third game of the series and he pitched a great game. But for Sandy’s standards, it wasn’t the greatest of starts. 

The All-Star starting pitcher pitched through six innings and gave up two hits and two earned runs. He did however rack up 10 strikeouts but the three walks ended up hurting him. It was an unusual start by Alcantara because he pitched in just six innings. 

“It was a little bit of a battle for him”, Mattingly said after Alcantara’s outing. “He’s had a lot go on since his last start. He flew to L.A. and pitched out there, then came back. There’s a lot going on. But with all that, Sandy is just Sandy and he hangs in there and gives us a chance to win.”

We’re so accustomed to seeing him working through seven, eight, or nine. But, his pitch count just ballooned up 105 at the end of the sixth inning, so Mattingly had no choice but to take him out. 

He was visibly upset with his performance, but he shouldn’t be that hard on himself after a great outing. If it just adds fuel to the fire towards his next start, so be it.

 

Welcome to the Show J.J. Bleday

The day has finally come, Marlins fans. 

Outfielder J.J. Bleday made his Major League debut on Saturday after he was subbed into the late innings of Game 2. Bleday was called up from Triple-A Jacksonville due to a roster move that sent Soler to the IL. 

The former first-round pick and No.4 ranked prospect in the Marlins system showed flashes of what he can potentially become for this team. Someone who not only gets on base, but has some power to his bat.  

Bleday’s first plate appearance in the Major Leagues came in the ninth inning against the Pirate’s All-Star closer, David Bednar. And wouldn’t you know it? Bleday showed patience at the plate and drew a walk. 

In Sunday’s game, Bleday was batting in the fifth spot of the order and went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. In the two games he’s played in so far, he’s been one of the more productive hitters in the Marlins lineup. 

“I’m just blessed to be here,” Bleday said following the victory on Sunday. “Especially to be here in Pittsburgh. I grew up two and a half hours north of here so it’s a little surreal, but I really enjoyed this.”

 

Injuries Are Piling Up

The Marlins have been hit by the injury bug and it has really been hurting the team.

Second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been sitting on the IL since the end of June due to a back injury. On Friday, Chisholm was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back and will be transferred to the 60-day IL. It’s more than likely that the All-Star second baseman’s season has come to an end. 

On Saturday, the Marlins placed left fielder Jorge Soler on the 10-day IL due to back spasms. On that same day during Game 2, rookie right-hander Max Meyer had to exit the game after just 10 pitches due to right elbow discomfort. Also during Game 2, another Marlins All-Star, first baseman Garrett Cooper, was forced to leave the game after getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning. That pitch hit him in his right wrist and he’s now day-to-day in terms of game status. 

But wait, there’s more. 

Third baseman Brian Anderson was forced to leave the game after making a diving play on the ball in the sixth inning that caused pain in his left shoulder. Anderson was diagnosed with a shoulder sprain on Sunday and was placed on the 10-day IL.

Injuries have clearly hurt this team and it shows on the field. The offense just isn’t there when a lot of the better players on the squad are out. Miami will have to learn how to overcome this obstacle or else their season might be over. 

The Marlins travel to Cincinnati (36-58) for a four-game series from Monday through Thursday. 

 

Photo by Tony Capobianco.

Use the code “five” to double your deposit at PrizePicks.com

Max Meyer Marlins

Max Meyer Gets Marlins Promotion

The Miami Marlins made fans, and perhaps more importantly, one of their top prospects very happy on Thursday night. The team posted a video of Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp manager Daren Brown relaying the news to Max Meyer that he’d received the call to pitch at the MLB level with the Marlins.

 

Meyer recently worked his way back from a ulnar nerve irritation injury before getting this well-desvered call. He will reportedly make the start for the Marlins on Saturday at home versus the Philadelphia Phillies, a team Miami’s chasing the in the Wild Card race.

Marlins (Finally) Call Up Max Meyer

The Marlins find themselves three games back of the final NL Wild Card spot after splitting a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Miami (43-45) continues to deal with injuries and ineffectiveness among their pitchers outside of Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez, which only added to many Marlins fans clamoring for Meyer’s call. The timing here coincides with a pivotal three-game series with the Phillies before the All-Star break.

Max Meyer finally getting the call from the Marlins puts one of baseball’s top pitching prospects on display. MLB Pipeline lists Meyer as Miami’s No. 2 prospect, behind only 19-year-old phenom Eury Perez. He’s MLB Pipeline’s No. 21 prospect overall.

With Triple-A Jacksonville, Meyer dominated competition for stretches of the season. His first six starts the season, prior to the issues surrounding his injury, saw Meyer post a 1.72 ERA over 31.1 innings pitched. He allowed just six earned runs over those six starts, registering 39 strikeouts along the way. Meyer handled Atlanta Braves slugger Ronald Acuña Jr. during that stretch.

It’s clear that the ulnar nerve irritation, which eventually landed him on the IL, affected his next two starts. Meyer adjusted his approach and mechanics to deal with the discomfort, ultimately to disappointing results. But after a month to heal and recuperate, Meyer found his form once again with Jacksonville.

During his rehab stint in Jupiter, Meyer told MLB.com: “I’ll get my shot, and I’ll be up there for a long time.”

In the four starts before this Marlins promotion, Max Meyer looked ready. He went 18.1 innings with 21 strikeouts and just four earned runs (1.96 ERA). Opponents managed a meager .119 batting average against in those starts.

Meyer’s Path to the Majors

The Marlins selected Max Meyer with the third overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft out of the University of Minnesota. He was the first pitcher off the draft board and started his time in Miami’s system with Double-A Pensacola in 2021. (There was no minor league season in 2020.)

With the Blue Wahoos, Meyer earned the Double-A South Most Outstanding Pitcher award. He did so following a season where he registered a 2.41 ERA and 113 strikeouts over 101 innings.

In 2022, Meyer made 12 starts for Triple-A Jacksonville, posting a 3.72 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 65 strikeouts over 58 innings. He averaged 10.1 strikeouts-per-nine-innings, registering a 28.4 percent strikeout rate along the way. He induced ground balls at a 50 percent rate this season, and kept his walk rate to just 8.3 percent.

In his 35 minor league starts, Meyer pitched to a 2.77 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, recording 199 strikeouts in those games.

Meyer sports a repertoire of three pitches, including a dominant, wipe-out slider many scouts called the single best pitch in the 2020 draft. His fastball velocity sits in the mid-to-upper-90s and has touched triple digits. This third pitch is a changeup, which the organization wanted to see him develop ahead of his promotion.

There’s been some talk of Meyer ultimately being a bullpen arm, but the Marlins maintain they view him as a rotation piece.

“I see Max as a starting pitcher,” Marlins amateur scouting director DJ Svihlik said on Wednesday. “We knew when we selected Max, there was that reliever-starter conversation. Any starter of that caliber with that kind of two-pitch combination can go into the back of a bullpen.”

Svihlik did note: “I see Max as a playoff starter.”

A spot on Miami’s 40-man roster opened recently when the Baltimore Orioles claimed reliever Louis Head off waivers. The Marlins need to add Meyer to the 40-man prior to his scheduled start on Saturday.

More on Marlins Prospects

5 Takeaways from the Marlins Series Split vs. Angels

The Miami Marlins (39-41) had their six-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Angels (38-45) came to play for a cross-league series.

Miami split the two game series, winning Game 1 by a score of 2-1 and losing Game 2 by a score of 5-2. 

The stars were showcased during those two games as a couple of perennial all-stars, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, came to town to play against the fish. 

The seats at LoanDepot Park were filled up which was a surprise for a midweek series. But also, how could you not watch these once in a lifetime players in person? There were many Japanese fans that showed out to the park to not only watch Ohtani, but also because the Marlins were celebrating Japanese Heritage Night during Tuesday’s game. 

Although the Marlins didn’t get the series sweep, it was still a very entertaining couple of games to watch from both sides.

Here are five takeaways from the series.

 

Sandy paints another masterpiece

Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara had another one of his lights out performances.

Alcantara took the mound in the first game of the two-game series and he knew that this wasn’t going to be particularly easy. 

Although Alcantara was facing an Angels offense that suffered the most strikeouts per game in the MLB at 9.66, he still had to get through Trout and Ohtani. 

Of course for Alcantara, that was not a problem. 

Alcantara ended up having arguably his best outing of his career where he pitched through eight innings, gave up just two hits, and struck out 10. Out of those 10 strikeouts, two were to Trout. Ohtani didn’t have a hit as well against Alcantara. 

If you’re fooling those two talents even during the third time through the order, then that’s when you know there’s something special. 

Alcanatra continues to make his case for the National League Cy Young Award and he is pretty much the favorite at this point in time if he keeps putting up these incredible numbers. 

 

Garrett Cooper is slowly becoming one of baseball’s best hitters

Marlins first baseman Garrett Cooper is the definition of consistent. 

Game after game, Cooper has been big for Miami when they needed that big hit or a ball in play.

And the numbers show that he’s been getting better and better as the season progresses. Cooper’s batting average has increased to an incredible .311 which ranks as the 12th-highest in baseball. His on-base percentage of .377 puts him ninth in the National League. 

Although Cooper didn’t have a great two games, only producing one hit, he did come up clutch when the Marlins needed him. 

In the bottom of the third inning during Game 1, Cooper hit a 3-2 pitch just over the left field wall for a home run that gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead. 

During the first inning of Game 2, Cooper hit a sacrifice fly that also gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead. 

It just goes to show that when the Marlins need him, Cooper produces the big hit. 

 

Marlins shutdown Trout

Miami didn’t let Trout get hot during his short stay in Miami. 

The three-time MVP was just 1-for-7 and struck out four times during the two-game series. 

It’s definitely odd to see a player of that caliber struggle that much over those couple of games. It’s like he couldn’t see the ball well at LoanDepot Park, but he did say the same exact thing in Houston during their last series where he struggled to hit the ball as well. 

Maybe it has nothing to do with Miami’s pitchers and has more to do with himself. Miami’s lucky that they got scheduled to play the Angels during a time where Trout is cold because if he was playing like his usual self, I don’t see how the Marlins split the series. 

I’m not discrediting the Marlins pitching staff by any means, but seeing a player like Trout have those struggles at the plate makes you wonder how much of a factor is his mental approach as opposed to the pitcher he’s going up against. 

 

There’s no answers when facing Ohtani

The Marlins offense looked clueless against Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani. I mean CLUELESS.

The only time the batters really got to Ohtani was in the first inning where they racked up a couple of hits and ended the inning with a 1-0 lead.

At that point, many were probably thinking that the offense had a plan against Ohtani and maybe they could get him out of the game before six innings.

Well, the opposite of that ended up happening. 

Ohtani pitched seven innings and struck out 10 batters while allowing just two hits and no earned runs. During that span, Ohtani managed to retire 15 straight Marlins hitters. 

I mean, Ohtani’s tough for a hitter to figure out. He’s got five pitches: fastball, curveball, slider, cutter, and splitter. 

The splitter is his strikeout pitch and is arguably one of the best in baseball. Hitters are batting just .115 against that pitch and it doesn’t help that Ohtani also throws a 100 mph fastball. Having those two combined, along with the curveball and slider, makes it tough for any hitter to have success against this generational talent. 

“He never seems to get rattled”, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about Ohtani. “Pretty impressive tonight seeing him for the first time.”

 

The winning streak comes to an end 

Miami’s winning streak has sadly come to a close. 

Their six-game winning streak started back when they won against St. Louis, the Washington Nationals for four games, and the Angels during the first game of this series. 

Although their winning streak came to an end, there’s still a ton of positive things that came out of it. 

First, Miami has gained some serious ground in the race for that final Wild Card spot. The Marlins are now just three games back of that spot which is crazy because last week, all people were thinking was to trade our players and start fresh for the next season. 

Will the Marlins actually become buyers at the trade deadline? It’s something that Marlins fans aren’t very used to seeing. 

After the winning streak came to an end, Miami is just two games back of .500. A record they haven’t seen since April. 

But, if the Marlins want to make it to the postseason, they’ll have to start beating teams that are above .500. Because that’s where the real test is at. And they definitely can’t afford losing a series against a poor team. 

Miami’s up for a big test as they head to New York against the Mets (51-31) for a four-game series from Thursday through Sunday. 

 

******

Sign up for PrizePicks using the code “five” and get your initial deposit matched up to $1000.

 

5 takeaways from the Marlins’ series loss vs. Mets

The Miami Marlins have really struggled against the New York Mets this season.

Miami is 2-5 so far against the Mets this season and they are still trying to figure out how to beat them. 

With the sweep against the Colorado Rockies earlier in the week, the Marlins thought that they would have enough momentum to beat the first place Mets on their home turf. But, the Mets are in first place for a reason. Their lineup from top to bottom is as good as anyone in baseball and their pitching staff has really proved that they don’t need Jacob deGrom or Max Scherzer to win games. 

Don’t get me wrong, the Mets are a really good team. But, the Marlins had many opportunities to give themselves wins in Games 1 and 2. Missed spots from pitchers and too many strikeouts from the offense combined with a little bit of bad luck gave the Mets the series victory.

Here are the takeaways from the series.

 

Sandy Alcantara’s rare tough outing

Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara got the start in Game 1 of the series and immediately from the jump, found himself in some trouble. 

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Alcantara gave up a solo home run to Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. It’s not too often that you see Alcantara give up a run so early in the game, but it goes to show that no one’s perfect in professional baseball.

Alcantara would start to settle for the next few innings until Mets left fielder Mark Canha hit a home run to left field that gave New York a 2-1 lead. 

In the sixth inning, with runners on first and second and nobody out, Mets right fielder Starling Marte hit a ground ball towards second baseman Willians Astudillo that should’ve been a routine double play. Instead, because Astudillo picked the ball up with his bare hand, when he tagged the runner, the umpire ruled him safe because Astudillo tagged him with his empty glove. Not only that, Astudillo’s throw to the first baseman was late. So at the end of it all, the Marlins found themselves with the bases loaded and nobody out. And to make matters worse, Lindor was up at the plate. 

Alcantara found himself in a 3-1 count against Lindor and threw a fastball right down the middle. As a result, Lindor hit a double that cleared the bases and gave the Mets a 5-2 lead.

“I think he’s (Lindor) hot right now”, Alcantara said about his struggles against Lindor. “I lost my fight tonight and I’ve gotta get better for myself in the next one.”

Alcantara would end the day with seven innings pitched, four strikeouts, six hits, and four earned runs. 

Don’t worry Marlins fans. Alcantara is still an excellent pitcher. This outing was just a case of some bad luck. What’s even more wild is that after this start, Alcantara’s ERA is at 1.95 which is first in the National League and second in all of baseball.

 

Hitters have figured out Trevor Rogers

I’m afraid that we may never see the Trevor Rogers of last year. I know it sounds like I’m overreacting, but given the numbers from his starts this year, it seems like the opposing teams have figured out how to beat him.

Rogers got the start for Game 2, and after he struck out three consecutive hitters in the first inning, there was a glimmer of hope that this would be a great outing for him. 

I was wrong.

In the second inning, Rogers missed his spot and threw a fastball down the heart of the plate to first baseman Pete Alonso that Alonso hit over the right field wall. 

In the fourth inning, with runners on first and second, Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI-single to give them a 3-0 lead. 

That would end the day for Rogers who had 4.1 innings pitched and gave up seven hits and three earned runs while getting five strikeouts. 

“I made a bad pitch to Alonso so you just tip your cap”, Rogers said after the game. “I made a couple mistakes to Marte and tip your cap there as well, he’s a good hitter. Just little things not going my way.”

So what’s the problem with Rogers? I think that he’s having trouble with his command which is leading to pitches that the hitters can easily hit and has decreased his strikeout percentage. His pitch count is also hurting him and isn’t allowing him to work deep into games.

Rogers’ strikeouts per nine innings this year is 8.29, almost two and a half less than what he had last year which was 10.62. His walks are also up from last year which is also another factor to look at when you’re trying to figure out the struggles that Rogers has dealt with.

 

Anthony Bass continues to be stellar out of the bullpen

Right-handed reliever Anthony Bass has been the best pitcher coming out of the Marlins bullpen this year. After an up-and-down season in 2021 where he logged a 3.82 ERA with zero saves in four opportunities, Bass has really shown another side to him this year. 

Bass’s ERA has gone down to 1.80 and the opponents are batting just .214 against him compared to .241 last year.

Bass was utilized more as a closer last season, especially during the start of that year. It looked like he wasn’t very comfortable in that role and this season, Mattingly noticed that putting Bass in the seventh or eighth inning makes him more effective. A lot of the reason why Bass is having a much better year is because he doesn’t have to deal with the same amount of pressure a closer would have.

In his outing in Game 2, Bass allowed just one hit and got a strikeout in a crucial situation to keep the game tied at three a piece in the seventh inning.

 

Pete Alonso’s two-homer day

Alonso was very effective for the Mets offense, but in Game 2 was when he really propelled them to a win.

The University of Florida alum went 2-for-4 with both of those hits being home runs. Luckily for the Marlins, they were both solo shots. But it still wasn’t enough to contain the scorching Mets lineup.

His first homerun was against Rogers in the second inning and his other was against right-handed reliever Jimmy Yacabonis in the eighth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.

“Thankfully I kind of took a lesson from last night’s at bat (against Yacabonis) and I applied it today”, Alonso said about how he hit his second home run. “I saw the ball a little bit better and I saw the window of where the ball’s coming out of.”

The Marlins did a pretty good job of shutting down Alonso over the series, but his two homeruns in Game 2 was too much for Miami to overcome and win the series. 

Nick Fortes walks it off

After starts in both Games 1 and 2, catcher Jacob Stallings was given a rest day in the series finale which gave way for backup catcher Nick Fortes to get a spot in the lineup.

Fortes has been solid at both catching behind the plate and hitting. 

Over 13 games this season, Fortes has batted .289 with three home runs and seven RBIs. He’s actually been one of the more productive Marlins hitters this season and it showed in Game 3 of this series. 

It’s the bottom of the ninth inning. The score is tied 2-2 with two outs and Fortes is up to bat. The Mets have their right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino on the mound to try and push the game towards extra innings. 

Ottavino throws Fortes a slider that Fortes swings at and misses badly. The next pitch, Ottavino throws another slider and Fortes jumps all over it, sending the ball towards the seats in left field to give the Marlins the win and avoid the sweep.  

Of course, Fortes hits a walk-off home run on the day that his alma mater, Ole Miss, is a win away from winning the College World Series. 

The Marlins head into St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals from Monday to Wednesday.

Marlins sweep the Rockies in three-game series: 5 takeaways

The Miami Marlins have finally obtained a series sweep against a team not named the Washington Nationals. 

After losing three out of four games against the New York Mets in their previous series, Miami needed to win the series against the Colorado Rockies to regain traction in the standings.

The Marlins would have been happy with a series win against Colorado, but a sweep was the cherry on top. Although Miami managed to win all three games, the series was full of back-and-forth action and wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for the Marlins. 

Here are five takeaways from the series.

 

Pablo Lopez bounces back

It’s been a rocky couple of weeks for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez. 

After a tough outing against the New York Mets last Friday where Lopez allowed eight hits and six earned runs in 5.1 innings of work, he knew that he had to be much better in his next start. 

Lopez started Game 2 of the series and pitched lights out. In seven innings, Lopez struckout six batters and had no earned. He also gave up just four hits to the Colorado hitters. 

It’s no surprise that Lopez played much better than his last start. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball and given the fact that the Marlins were playing a struggling Rockies team at LoanDepot Park, it was almost a given that Lopez would be locked in. 

His numbers at home are great so far this year. Lopez is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA at home compared to a 2-2 record with a 2.81 ERA away. His numbers when he pitches away are still phenomenal, but it’s interesting to see how well he pitches in Miami. 

 

The bats erupt

Was this series in Coors Field or Miami? Because it sure felt like they were playing in Denver with all of the home runs and extra-base hits the Marlins were producing. 

Over the three-game series, the Marlins hit five home runs and 12 extra-base hits.

Miami exploded right out of the gates with nine runs in Game 1 and seven in Game 2. In Game 3, the Marlins had just three runs but they did get the win, which is all that matters. 

In Game 1, the Marlins tallied 13 hits with big performances from right fielder Avisail Garcia and center fielder Jesus Sanchez. Both Garcia and Sanchez managed to hit a home run over the center field wall. Garcia went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Sanchez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. 

In Game 2, Miami got 13 hits and put together back-to-back home runs from second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and left fielder Jorge Soler in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

“He (Soler) can hit a ball way further than I can,” Chisholm said about the back-to-back home runs. “It’s just fun playing with these guys and I’m just enjoying it.

Although the Marlins had just three runs in Game 3, they did have nine hits. What does that tell you? They’re still struggling to score with runners in scoring position. They did well in the first two games, but it would be nice to see them have success in that category on a daily basis. 

 

Brendan Rodgers loves to play against Miami

Colorado second baseman Brendan Rodgers has been giving the Marlins fits all season. 

Going back to the last series in Denver where he hit three home runs in a game that included a walk-off to left field, Rodgers was right back to crushing the ball against Miami pitchers.

In the three-game series, Rodgers batted .461 (6-for-13) and had three RBIs. Rodgers also produced three doubles and two triples. 

It felt like Rodgers was the life of Colorado’s offense during the series and he made it difficult for the Marlins pitchers to throw to him. Luckily, guys like first baseman C.J. Cron and right fielder Charlie Blackmon didn’t get going or else Miami would’ve had some problems shutting down the Rockies hitters.

 

Garrett Cooper continues to hit the baseball

First baseman Garrett Cooper has been hot in the month of June. This month, Cooper is batting .386 (27-for-70) with 13 RBIs and an OPS of .962. 

It’s refreshing to see Cooper giving the Marlins much-needed consistency at the plate. It feels like he’s always locked in and rarely swinSet News Imagegs at pitches outside of the zone. As soon as he finds the pitch he likes, he unloads on it and produces hits. 

Over the three-game series, Cooper was 4-for-13 with three RBIs and a home run. Cooper had a hit in each game, extending his hitting streak to eight games and his on-base streak to 15. 

In Game 1, Cooper came up clutch with a tie breaking double in the bottom of the eighth inning that led to a 9-8 Marlins victory. In Game 2, Cooper found his home run swing, as he sent a ball 413 feet over the center field wall in the bottom of the third inning. Game 3 was a bit quieter for the Marlins’ first baseman, but he did get a hit to extend his hitting streak.

 

Jon Berti makes history

Third Baseman Jon Berti has been a base-stealing machine. 

Berti currently leads the MLB in stolen bases with 21 and he is yet to be caught. In the fifth inning of Game 3, Berti stole his 21st base without being caught which broke Emilio Bonifacio’s Marlins record back in 2012.

“He plays with a toughness and an understanding of the game and when to run and when not to run,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about the benefit of having a player like Berti on the team. “The more guys you have like that, the better off you are.”

And it’s not like the opposing pitchers or catchers aren’t prepared for Berti’s speed. They’re well aware that Berti is an excellent base runner because every time he’s on first base, the pitcher would throw at least three times to the first baseman to keep Berti close and prevent him from getting a big lead and ultimately stealing a base. But of course, Berti still manages to do it successfully.

“We kind of won in different ways every single game,” Berti said following the win. “We came ready to go this series and we’re onto the next one.”

The Marlins look to extend their home winning streak as the New York Mets come to town for a three-game series this weekend. Those games will be played from Friday to Monday.

Marlins lose a tough series vs. Phillies: 5 Takeaways

After winning their previous two series, the Miami Marlins hoped to go into Philadelphia and take care of business. 

The Marlins have had success with the Phillies earlier this season, taking three out of four in their series back in April. So there was optimism that Miami would be able to beat them this go around. That was not the case.

Miami ended up losing two of three against Philadelphia and the talk of the series was the bullpen. Of course, it comes as no surprise because that’s been the Marlins’ biggest problem of the season. The starters are doing their jobs, but it seems like every time Miami turns to their bullpen, the game gets away from them. 

A couple of bright spots to take away from the series is that designated hitter Jesus Aguilar has played a great last couple of games. Aguilar went 3-for-9 with a home run and four RBIs. And how about right fielder Avisail Garcia? The Marlins have been hoping that their big free agent signing was going to have the same amount of production as he did in Milwaukee last season when he batted .262 and had 29 home runs. After a slow start this season, it looks like the former all star is starting to get back to that form from last year. In Game 2, Garcia went 2-for-5 with a home run and a couple of RBIs.

At the end of the day, the Marlins weren’t able to get it done and they have a tough road ahead of them as they head to New York to take on the first place Mets.

Here are five takeaways from the series.

 

Why take out Sandy?

Marlins’ starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara had another stellar performance. Alcanatara pitched in the first game of the series and he was lights out, per usual. 

Alcantara gave up an RBI single to designated hitter Bryce Harper in the bottom of the third inning, but after that, Alcantara settled back in and didn’t give up a run in the next few innings. 

Now, we’ve reached the bottom of the eighth inning. Alcantara had given up two leadoff walks to put runners on first and second base with nobody out. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto was up to bat and got jammed on an inside sinker by Alcantara that caused him to ground into a double play.

Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius was up to bat and all game long, Gregorius had struggled against Alcantara. Gregorius was 0-for-3 with a strikeout leading up to his at-bat in the eighth inning. Alcantara was ready to throw the pitch and then Marlins manager Don Mattingly came out of the dugout and told Alcantara that his night was done. Left-handed pitcher Steven Okert came out to face Gregorius and on Okert’s first pitch, Gregorius hit the ball down the right field line to tie the game 2-2. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

Why did Mattingly take Alcantara out of the game? Maybe it was the pitch count because Alcantara was at 112 pitches. But even then, Alcantara didn’t show signs of slowing down. It was Alcantara’s game to finish and he didn’t get the opportunity to and he showed his frustration when he sat in the dugout after being pulled. 

 

Trevor Rogers continues to struggle

Starting pitcher Trevor Rogers was set to take the mound for Game 2 of the series and from the get go, he wasn’t able to get comfortable.

Rogers logged just 3.2 innings pitched and gave up four earned runs, five hits, and a career-high six walks. What is really mind-boggling is that five of his six walks were to left-handed hitters. Three to left fielder Kyle Schwarber and the other two were to Harper. The walks to Harper were understandable because he has been on a tear as of late and it seemed like the Marlins’ game plan  was to stay away from him as much as possible. But, to let Schwarber walk three times is truly puzzling. Schwarber has been batting just .202 against lefties this season and for Rogers to not get aggressive and throw pitches in the strike zone against him doesn’t make much sense. 

After this start, Rogers’ ERA has shot up to 5.87 and he has given up a total of 28 walks so far this season, the tenth most in the MLB. Marlins fans have been hoping that Rogers would get back to his phenomenal play from last season where he was named an all star with a 2.64 ERA. But, how high is his confidence after this outing?

 

Miami didn’t have an answer for Rhys Hoskins

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins went absolutely crazy in the three games against Miami. Over the series, Hoskins went 8-for-13 with seven RBIs and a pair of home runs in Game 2.

In Game 1, Hoskins hit a walk-off single to give the Phillies a 3-2 win after a changeup by right-hander Anthony Bass was hit off the end of Hoskins’ bat that fell into no man’s land and gave the runner at second enough time to score. 

It felt like everything the Marlins’ pitchers were throwing weren’t fooling Hoskins at the plate. Hoskins was the life of the Phillies’ offense and Miami couldn’t find a way to get their hottest hitter out. 

 

Daniel Castano shines in his first start 

With the injury to starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, Mattingly and the Marlins had to turn to someone else to make the start in Game 3 as a precautionary move. They didn’t want Lopez to risk hurting his hand even more and decided to give him a couple more days to rest.

So, the Marlins turned to left-hander Daniel Castano. Castano made a few appearances for Miami earlier this season, but as a relief-pitcher. Last season, Castano started games for Miami and had some success. 

In Game 3 of the series, Castano pitched an incredible game. He pitched 6.2 innings and didn’t give up a run to the Phillies. His pitch count of 105 was the most he’s had in his three-year career. It seemed as if every inning, the Phillies would have runners in scoring position and he would find a way to get out of the jams whether it started with two, one, or zero outs in the inning. Castano found ways to stay composed on the mound and take care of business.

 

The bullpen is back to being subpar 

After a great series against the Houston Astros, I thought that the bullpen finally got it together. But sadly, I was wrong. 

Time and time again when it looks like the Marlins are in the driver’s seat for the length of the game, they lose control once the bullpen is called. This series was a prime example of that. 

In Game 1, Alcantara had given up just one run through seven innings and when the bullpen entered the game, Miami lost the lead. They did eventually tie it back up but Hoskins hit the walk-off to give the Phillies the win. 

In Game 2, the bullpen was in early because of Rogers’ rough outing. The score was tied at four by the time Rogers was pulled from the game. Right-handed relief pitcher Dylan Floro entered the game and the Phillies were all over him. Floro gave up four earned runs in just 0.2 innings of work. Fortunately, the Marlins were able to create enough offense to come back from a four-run deficit and win 11-9 in a roller coaster of a game.

And now the worst of all: Game 3. The Marlins had just one run all game that came off of a home run in the top of the fifth inning by shortstop Miguel Rojas. So, there wasn’t much room for error after Castano’s six shutout innings. Right-handers Tommy Nance and Anthony Bass did a good job in keeping the Phillies’ offense shutout. But in the bottom of the ninth inning, Miami turned to left-hander Tanner Scott to close out the game and leave Philadelphia with a series win. 

Scott struck out Gregorius, gave up a single to third baseman Alec Bohm, walked Realmuto, and struck out infielder Yairo Munoz. Catcher Garrett Stubbs was the last hope for the Phillies and with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth, Scott threw a slider right over the heart of the plate that Stubbs crushed into the seats in right field to give the Phillies the win and the series. That’s now two walk off hits that Miami’s relievers have given up in the past three games. You really can’t make this stuff up.

“I thought he got away from his fastball a little bit,” Mattingly said about Scott’s last outing. “He kind of got predictable.”

Mattingly went on to say, “The guy (Stubbs) had a pretty good swing at his slider and took a couple of sliders. He left that one up.”

It feels as if every time Miami takes one step forward, they then take two steps back. That’s been the theme of the season so far. 

It’ll be interesting to see how the Marlins can regain their confidence as they head into New York for their next series. They need to find a way to move on from these last tough couple of games and get focused for a great baseball team. 

The Marlins play the Mets this weekend for a four-game series from Friday to Monday at Citi Field in New York.

5 Takeaways from Marlins’ Series Win vs. Astros

It looks like the Miami Marlins have finally found their groove in the midst of the season. The Marlins have just won their second straight series as they won two out of three games against the Houston Astros.

In Game 1, the Marlins beat the Astros 7-4 with huge performances from second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and first baseman Jesus Aguilar. In Game 2, Miami shutdown Houston’s offense with their 5-1 victory. Unfortunately, Miami couldn’t get the series sweep and lost Game 3 by a score of 9-4. 

It’s hard for any team to hold an offense like the Astros to so many runs in a series. The fact that the Marlins were able to capture a couple of wins against the second-best team in the American League says a lot about how much Miami has grown in the past couple of weeks. 

Before Sunday’s loss against Houston, the Marlins had won five games in a row. That was their longest winning streak since their seven game streak back in April.

The Fish are hot and it’s going to be fun to see where they go from here.

Here are five takeaways from the series. 

 

DON’T TRADE JAZZ

Last Tuesday, Marlins manager Don Mattingly held a team meeting to address some issues that players had in the locker room.

Apparently, the meeting was centered around Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the players were criticizing his work ethic and the way he dresses to the ballpark. Some might even think that the players were jealous of Chisholm and Mattingly knew he had to call a meeting before things spiraled out of control and the team chemistry would fly out the window.  

Man, was that meeting one of the best decisions Mattingly has made this season. 

Since Tuesday, Chisholm has hit four home runs and tallied nine RBIs. He had also stolen a base during that span which allowed him to join Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker as the only two MLB players to hit at least 10 home runs and have at least 10 stolen bases so far this season. 

Another thing to take note of is that ever since the team meeting, Miami’s record has been 5-1.

 

Miami’s bats have come alive

The Marlins’ offense has finally woken up. In the month of June, Miami has averaged 6.5 runs per game. Those 6.5 runs per game are the second highest among any team in the MLB during that span. Miami has also managed to bring their team batting average up to .246, seventh-best in the National League. 

During the series against the Astros, the Marlins’ bats came alive as they scored seven, five, and four runs in each game against an elite Houston pitching staff. 

In Game 1, Chisholm and Aguilar each hit two home runs that helped give the Marlins a series-opening victory. 

In Game 2, Miami had big performances from multiple players including third baseman Jon Berti, left fielder Luke Williams, and Aguilar. Berti was able to produce two RBIs and Williams had an RBI and a couple of base hits. Aguilar had two hits including a double. 

In Game 3, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander had pitched six shutout innings and struck out five Marlins batters. Verlander has been incredible this season with a 1.94 ERA and a league-leading eight wins. 

But just when you think that this was going to be another one of Verlander’s dominant outings, in the seventh inning, Miami was able to produce four runs that included a big three-run home run from right fielder Bryan De La Cruz that sent the ball soaring into the Crawford Boxes. 

It’s great to see the bats come alive and hopefully, the Marlins can sustain the production on offense in the games to come. 

 

The bullpen has been surprisingly solid

The main area of concern all season has been the quality and consistency of the bullpen. Miami has lost countless one-run games because of blown saves or missed opportunities to get out of situations by the Marlins’ relief pitchers. 

The starting pitching has been lights out all season and to have their games ruined by the bullpen has been frustrating. But, there’s a glimpse of hope. 

During the series against the Astros, Miami’s starting pitchers often found themselves out of the game early due to the rise in pitch counts. No Marlins starting pitcher ever made it to the sixth inning during the three-game set because of how hard it was to get Houston’s hitters out. From top to bottom, the Astros are loaded with talent, so it’s understandable that Miami’s starting pitchers couldn’t go deep into games. 

The bullpen did a fantastic job in suppressing Houston’s batters as much as possible. Aside from Game 3’s outing from right-handed reliever Louis Head who gave up four runs, Miami’s bullpen had given up just two runs in the series. 

Impressive outings from right-hander Anthony Bass, right-hander Cole Sulser, and left-hander Tanner Scott have played a huge part in Miami’s ability to come out with a series win.

 

Should we be concerned about the injuries?

Miami has been dealing with injuries for a large part of the season. 

Guys like Brian Anderson and Joey Wendle have been on the Injury List for a couple of weeks, so they should be returning to action pretty soon. Then, you have a guy like starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo who hasn’t seen game action since early May. It feels like every day, there’s a new player getting put on the IL. 

Right before Game 2 of the series, arguably Miami’s best hitter Garrett Cooper was placed on the IL due to COVID. 

During right-handed starting pitcher Pablo Lopez’s start in Game 1, he was forced to come out of the game with what looked like an injury on his right wrist after he got hit by a line drive in the fifth inning. The good news is that x-rays came out negative and Lopez was diagnosed with a right wrist contusion. The bad news is that because he got hit on his throwing arm, how much is that going to affect his accuracy or pitch velocity? As of now, Lopez is day-to-day and should be able to pitch in his next start on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

There shouldn’t be any concern with Cooper, as he should come back into the lineup as soon as his 10 days on the IL are complete. As for Lopez, we’ll see how much he is affected by his wrist in his next start. But, Miami definitely dodged a bullet because this could have definitely been much worse than it was.

 

The NL East is the hottest division in baseball

Aside from the Washington Nationals, the NL East has been tearing it up in June.

The Marlins have been rolling and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Philadelphia Phillies had won nine in a row since June 1st before getting their win streak snapped against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. The Atlanta Braves have looked unbeatable and have won 11 in a row. Even though the New York Mets haven’t looked great as of late, they are still 39-22 and sit on top of the National League with the best record.

It will be interesting to see how the standings play out in the coming weeks because the Marlins have a series against the Phillies and the Mets this week. Those series are crucial for Miami if they want to climb the standings in not only the National League, but their division as well.

The Marlins have a three-game series against the Phillies that will be played in Philadelphia from Monday through Wednesday.

Marlins Minor Trade

Marlins Make Minor Trade Amid Struggles

The Miami Marlins completed a minor trade with the San Francisco Giants on their off day. The team acquired 25-year-old utility player Luke Williams in exchange for Double-A second baseman Hayden Cantrelle.

This comes as the Marlins travel to Atlanta ahead of a pivotal three-game set with the Braves. Miami finds itself mired in an extended rough patch and remains in danger of falling too far behind in the Wild Card race if these struggles continue.

Marlins Make Minor Trade

Marlins Minor Trade

The Marlins completed a minor trade deal on Thursday, picking up another super-utility player for the roster. The 25-year-old Williams comes to Miami with a .245/.308/.318 slash line over 120 career plate appearances with the Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. Williams hit .250, with a .583 OPS, over eight games with San Francisco before being designated-for-assignment to create room on their 40-man roster.

Williams becomes just the next in a long line of recent acquisitions and call-ups with positional versatility. With the Phillies in 2021, Williams played seven different positions (everything but pitcher and catcher). The Giants had him man third base and left field this season.

Williams seems cut from a similar cloth as Jon Berti, a light-hitting super-utility player known for his speed. He has just six career extra-base hits, but sports solid plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills. Williams holds a 20.2 percent strikeout rate for his minor league career, and a 22.5 percent rate at the MLB level.

Perhaps most interestingly, Williams comes to the Marlins with all three minor league options intact. The Giants DFA’d him without using an option, which added to his trade value.

The Marlins sent 23-year-old minor league second baseman Hayden Cantrelle to San Francisco to complete this trade. Cantrelle came to the Marlins via trade two months ago, as part of the Alex Jackson deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. Although he started well for Double-A Pensacola, hitting three homers in his first six games, Cantrelle logged just a .185 batting average with the Blue Wahoos this season and a 36.4 percent strikeout rate.

This move reads like an organizational depth play, especially considering the recent spate of injuries in the middle infield. Williams will start with Triple-A Jacksonville and could be called up the next time there’s an MLB fill-in need.

Marlins Recent Struggles

Marlins Minor Trade

The Marlins absorbed a two-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, dropping yet another one-run game. Their rally fell short, 5-4, saddling the Fish with their league-high 14th one-run loss. Miami’s played in more one-run contests (20) than any other team in MLB.

Over their last 20 games, the Marlins sport a 6-14 record, tied for the worst mark in the league. Miami’s dropped five of their last six series and seem rudderless at the plate of late.

The Marlins have really struggled in Late and Close situations (defined as a game in the seventh inning or later, and the batting team is either leading by one run, tied, or has the potential tying run on base, at bat, or on deck). In that situation, Miami’s hitting a league-worst .182 and has posted a league-worst .491 OPS.

Their metrics with Runners in Scoring Position (RISP) rank only slightly higher. For the season, the Marlins rank 25th hitting with RISP (.223). Their .659 OPS in that spot ranks 24th. With RISP and two outs, Miami’s hitting .205 (22nd). The team strands 3.6 runners in scoring position per game, the third-highest mark in MLB and highest in the NL.

The Marlins averaged just three runs per game over their last six, where they went 1-5 (with four one-run losses).

Marlins Minor Trade

Marlins Roster Shuffle Following Minor Trade

Following the Marlins minor trade for Luke Williams, the team’s 40-man roster page got something of a refresh. 42 players occupy the page, but two of those, Joe Dunand and Erik Gonzalez, likely received their call-up via MLB’s COVID roster exemption. To create space for Williams on the 40-man, the Marlins transferred RHP Paul Campbell from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.

Miami activated both Richard Bleier and Joey Wendle from the 10-day IL today and optioned Dunand, Gonzalez, and catcher Payton Henry to Triple-A. The Marlins selected the contract of Willians Astudillo from Jacksonville when Anthony Bender landed on the IL this week. Astudillo is another player with positional versatility and MLB experience. He also has experience at catcher.

The Marlins enter a stretch of 10 games in 10 days, which each contest coming against teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race.