Marlins series Braves

Marlins Take First Road Series from Braves

The Miami Marlins showed some moxie over the weekend with their 2-1 series victory over the defending world champion Atlanta Braves. Although the Marlins absorbed their second shut-out loss of the season in the series opener, Miami rallied to secure a pair of wins and pass the Braves in the NL East standings.

The Marlins weren’t the only team from Miami to have success in Atlanta this weekend, as the Heat took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Hawks in their playoff matchup. Even Inter Miami notched a win versus Atlanta FC.

But for the Marlins, this series win over the Braves remains important, and could be a launching pad for the club this season.

Marlins Bats Get Going in Series vs Braves

The Marlins’ offense has been up-and-down this season, to say the least. Miami’s offense struggled to consistently produce save for one game against the Cardinals prior to this trip to Atlanta. But after a shutout to start, the Marlins bats got going in this series against the Braves.

Following a series in which the team went 2-for-21 with runners-in-scoring-position, stranding 21 on base, the Marlins came through in clutch spots against Atlanta. After an 0-for-4 with RISP on Friday, Miami hitters went a respectable 9-for-33 (.272) with runners-in-scoring-position. The Marlins scored 14 runs over the final two games in the series versus the Braves.

In the back-and-forth contest on Saturday, the Marlins got clutch hits throughout the evening. Avisail Garcia came through with pair of RBI early, while Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jorge Soler helped the Marlins grab the lead in the sixth. Garrett Cooper’s pinch-hit two-run single gave the Marlins the lead for good, and Jesus Aguilar added an insurance run with a sac fly.

Chisholm was particularly good on Saturday, connecting on a lead-off home run and recording a career-high four hits on the night. He drove in three runs, scored three runs, and nabbed two stolen bases.

On Sunday, Garcia got the Marlins on the board once again, this time with an RBI double. Cooper came through with an RBI single after that. Jacob Stallings contributed with a sac fly in the sixth before Cooper drove in another run in the seventh. Joey Wendle’s seventh inning double capped the scoring for the Marlins in this series against the Braves.

Scoring nine runs then five runs in two games stands as Miami’s best run production in consecutive contests this season. And they could’ve done more, considering 33 runners were left stranded by Marlins hitters in this series versus the Braves. Miami now ranks 23rd with RISP this season (.209).

Veteran Marlins Bats Finding Their Stroke in Series vs Braves

The Marlins sunk some money into their lineup this offseason. But after some early season struggles, it seems like Miami’s veteran bats are starting to find their stroke.

Soler received his World Series ring this weekend, and celebrated with his most productive stretch of play since the Fall Classic. Soler registered hits for the Marlins in each of the three games in this series against the Braves. He reached base eight times, scoring two runs and driving in one.

Garcia also got going, notching three RBI, three hits, and one run scored in the series. He picked up his first stolen base of the season. Aguilar also picked up three hits over the weekend, driving in one and getting his batting average up over .205 for the first time this season.

Cooper entered this series 1-for-his-last-11 with just two RBI on the season. But after an 0-for-3 Friday, Cooper came through with one of the biggest hits of the season with his bases loaded, pinch-hit, two-RBI single on Saturday.

Cooper maintained that momentum Sunday, going 3-for-4 with a double and two more RBI. That lifted his batting average to .272 with an on-base percentage of .396. Cooper hit .328 with RISP last season.

Closer-By-Committee Taking Effect

At the end of Spring Training, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the team would use a closer-by-committee approach early on. Presumptive closer Dylan Floro landed on the 10-day IL to start the season with a rotator cuff injury, so Miami planned to mix and match at the backend of the bullpen.

That said, Anthony Bender proved to be the closer in all but name through the season’s first few weeks. But Bender’s results left something to be desired. While he registered a pair of saves early on, the 27-year-old second-year reliever surrendered the tying or winning run(s) in three of his five outings.

Bender didn’t pitch for the Marlins in this series against the Braves, though, because of hip soreness. He sports an 8.31 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP over his first 4.1 innings of work this season.

On Saturday, Mattingly turned to recently acquired Tanner Scott in a crucial save situation. Scott registered the second save of his MLB career with an 11-pitch outing that finished with a strikeout of Austin Riley. Scott’s stuff plays like that of a traditional closer, but on Sunday, he didn’t have his best. He surrendered a season-high three earned runs, recording just one out.

Mattingly then turned to Louis Head, another new member of the Marlins bullpen, to close out the game. Head surrendered a double to Marcell Ozuna before striking out Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario for his first career save.

Marlins relievers tossed 11.1 innings in this series, allowing five earned runs and striking out 14 Braves hitters. Miami’s bullpen now ranks 16th in ERA (3.33).

Reinforcements should be on their way soon, too, with Floro beginning his rehab stint in Jupiter this week. Floro threw 23 pitches in his first outing and could be back with the team by the next homestand.

Marlins Afloat Following Tough Start to Schedule

13 of the Marlins first 15 games this season came against teams that finished above .500 in 2021. Three of their first five series came against teams that made the postseason a year ago (San Francisco, St Louis, and Atlanta). So far, Miami’s played the third-toughest schedule among NL teams and the seventh-toughest schedule overall.

The Marlins were able to tread water during that tough stretch, going 7-8 with a plus-1 run differential. They’re now second in the NL East and start a three-game road series against a Washington Nationals (6-12) team that’s lost five in a row.

The Marlins grabbing a 2-1 series win over the Braves helped them climb in the NL East standings, but Miami needs to maintain this level of play against their division rivals. The Marlins took five of the first seven matchups versus Atlanta last season, but the Braves dominated the rest of the way. Miami finished 8-11 against Atlanta in 2021.

The Marlins have lost the season series to the Braves for seven straight years. The last time Miami won the season series versus the Braves was 2014. The Marlins have won more than lost against Atlanta only five times in the franchise’s 29 years.

If Miami’s going to make a push for the postseason in 2022, the team needs to capitalize against losing teams like the Nationals. Of the Marlins next 16 games, nine come against losing clubs. Miami also has a home series against the Seattle Mariners and a road series against the San Diego Padres in that stretch, both winnable sets.

Here’s More on the Marlins Series Win Over the Braves

1 reply
  1. Vicent Baldayo Recio
    Vicent Baldayo Recio says:

    Impressive Dave!! At this point, the most positive is 5-2 in the East Division of the National League. This series victory must be ratified by sweeping the Nats, if the aspirations are as discussed!


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