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.