The Marlins at long last find themselves in the playoffs. The Fish are 2/2 in World Series runs in their previous attempts, but this streak should not be of concern. There is a new winning culture here in Miami that will hopefully lead to a level of consistency we have never seen before. This Wednesday, the Marlins kick off a 4-game series versus the Chicago Cubs. We all know what happened the last time these two teams squared up in the postseason in ‘03. This should be fun.
Pitching, pitching, and more pitching
Well, fun for the pitchers that is. Both the Marlins and Cubs find themselves with solid staff. Looking first at the Marlins, a 1-2-3 punch of Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00 ERA), Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA), and Pablo Lopez (6-4, 3.61 ERA) is definitely a scary sight for anyone to see, especially in a 3-game series. These guys are young, electric, and hungry, and on the right day they can shut down any offense thrown their way. The Cubs are no slobs on the mound either, arguably having a more talented staff. Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA) made a Cy Young run, Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 2.88 ERA) did Kyle Hendricks’ things. And if those two aren’t enough, the Cubs have Alec Mills (5-5, 4.48 ERA) who threw a no-hitter this year, and postseason hero Jon Lester (3-3, 5.16 ERA) to pitch third. This will be a clash of 6 extremely talented arms, and most likely the winner of that battle will win the series.
Marlins Bats: Alive or Dead?
The Marlins have struggled all year to find consistency at the plate. The Marlins have the 17th best on-base percentage (.319) in baseball. The question is whether they will be able to score once the runners get on. Being 2nd in stolen bases (51), the Marlins are going to need to utilize their speed on the base paths. Runs will not come easy in Chicago. The marlins find themselves at the bottom of the league in slugging percentage and.OPS, so they have to make each runner count. If they can play small ball and take advantage of small mistakes made by the Cubs, they will have a shot to put up enough runs for Sandy, Sixto, or Pablo to hold on.
Let’s enjoy this
We waited 17 years to experience a Miami Marlins playoff game. That’s a lot of time, and we don’t know what will happen next year. Game 1 starts Wednesday at 2 pm on ABC. Tune in, have fun, and watch the Fish “Ride the Wave.”