Without a doubt, we can all feel how close the Marlins are. In my conscious lifetime, I have not watched a Marlins team in the playoffs. But here we are. 9 games left, 2nd in the division, 2.5 back of the first place. The Fish recognize this as well, as Garrett Cooper said, “It’s a team effort… We’re close to the finish line, and we’re close to something that this organization hasn’t done in a long time. Everyone knows that.” The Marlins certainly came out swing like that was the case, beating the Nationals 7-3 on 15 hits.
Pablo Lopez started for the Marlins versus Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. Corbin has been quite effective against the Marlins recently, but last night ended that. The Marlins put up 7 runs on 14 hits in Corbin’s 6 innings of work. The bats are heating up just in time. Miguel Rojas continues to produce as the centerpiece of the offensive attack, going ⅗ with a leadoff home run. Garrett Cooper added a 2-run homer. Pablo Lopez, after his bumpy start in Atlanta, has picked up where he left off, going 5.1 innings, allowing just 2 runs. The Marlins looked like a team fighting for a playoff spot last night, and hopefully, this can be continued.
Why is the most important series of the year?
The Marlins came into this series clinging onto 2nd place in the division. The Nationals are last in the NL East and the easiest competition that the Marlins will see the rest of the way. To finish off the season, the Marlins play 4 versus the Braves in Atlanta and 3 versus the Yankees in New York. Those are 7 tough games that would be made a lot easier if the Marlins sweep the doubleheader today and win this series 4-1. The goal is to give as much comfort room as possible, and these two games are the Marlins’ last chance to do so. The marlins should have Sixto going in 2 of the remaining games, which is promising.
Looking at today’s’ games
In game 1 at 1:10 pm, Sandy Alcantara takes the mound versus Max Scherzer. This will be a fun game, one that proves whether or not the Marlins can clutch up versus big-time pitching. Scherzer has not had his normal type of year (4-3, 4.04 ERA), but this is most likely due to the small sample size. The Nationals will start Ben Braymer in game 2, whereas the Marlins have not yet announced their starter.