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.