News

5 Takeaways from a week of Marlins Baseball

After taking 3 of 4 from the Atlanta Braves early last week, the Marlins came home and took 2 of 3 from the San Francisco Giants. This caps a week of positives for the Fish, as they look forward to a much easier schedule in the coming weeks. After a slow and demoralizing start, the pieces are starting to come together in Miami. 

 

Here are 5 takeaways from a successful Marlins run:

 

Marlins Win When They Score

 

I know, isn’t that the basics of baseball? You score and you win, simple. For the Marlins, it hasn’t been so easy. With a consistent lack of production from the bats earlier in the season, the Fish put together a strong set of games offensively. The Marlins are now 5-1 in games where they score 5 or more runs and a whopping 2-7 in games where they don’t. Regardless of who is on the mound, the bats are determinant of when and how the Marlins win.

 

Especially with the talent the Marlins have in pitching, it makes it more strange that this season will come down to how well the bats can perform consistently. Nevertheless, the Marlins found a way to win low scoring games last season, and they need to start doing so this year to keep the pressure off of an inconsistent lineup.

Jorge Alfaro is a fine option

 

Out of 54 qualified catchers in the early 2021 season, Jorge Alfaro ranks 16th in framing. Obviously, he is no Russell Martin behind the plate, but he is actually performing well-above expectations defensively. The passed balls he has allowed have skewed the narrative on his performance. Now, with his bat finally waking up, he may be the best option the Marlins have at the catcher’s position. He is not a juggernaut offensively or defensively, but all he needs to be is average.

 

Trade rumors have circulated for months about Wilson Contreras replacing Alfaro/Wallach in Miami. Contreras, although a superior hitter, is 41st among qualified catchers in framing. At this point in the year, the Marlins should focus on putting their young pitchers in the best situation possible. A good defensive catcher gives them even more leeway to develop further. 

Adam Duvall can carry an offense

 

It is no secret that the former Brave can swing the bat. He terrorized his old team in Atlanta, especially in Tuesday’s game where he went 4-5 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. He is still trying to figure out how to hit elsewhere, but once he does, he can carry this Miami offense on nights where the rest of the lineup is faltering. His bat alone almost won that game in Atlanta on a night where the Braves scored 8 runs, as he accounted for half of the runs in a 14-8 win. Duvall getting his bat consistent is a central key to this Marlins team’s future. 

Starling Marte is… clutch

Marte is central to every operation on this Miami Marlins team. He is invaluable offensively and defensively, and he is the guy who picks up the important hits in key situations. In Friday’s win versus the Giants, his 3-run homer in the 8th sealed the deal. On Saturday, his 2-out RBI single in the 9th tied the game, leading to an eventual win. In Sunday’s 1-0 loss, Marte elft the game with an apparent injury in the bottom of the 9th. In Don Mattingly’s post-game interview, he expressed the “Next man up” mentality that the Marlins have.

 

There may not be a next man up to replace anything near what Marte provides. Hopefully, for the Marlins sake, it isn’t that serious.

Marlins compete versus good teams

 

It is no easy feat to start a season versus the defending AL Champs, the presumptive NL Central winners in St. Louis, a revamped first place Mets team, and a Braves team that was one game away from the World Series. The Marlins left those games just 2-games under .500, and now sit one game under heading into a much easier schedule. They play the Orioles, Giants (again), Milwaukee, Arizona, and Washington. 

 

This set of games may be the most important of the season for the Marlins as they try to take advantage and gain ground in the standings. They don’t play the Mets until late-May and the Braves until early June, so this is the time for the Marlins to show what they are capable of. 

Loading
Loading...

Marlins Overall Takeaway

 

There is something special brewing in Miami (and not just Marlins Lager from Biscayne Bay Brewing). This team feels different from even last year’s squad. Baseball is fun to watch again in Miami, and this Marlins team still has a lot to prove. Enjoy a fun week of Marlins baseball ahead, Marlins fans.

 

5 Takeaways from Marlins 14-8 Win in Atlanta

Last night, the Marlins showed the baseball world that they can compete. After sporting one of the worst offenses through 9 games, the “Bottom Feeders” broke out at just the right time to take game 2 versus Atlanta 14-8. For the first time this season, the bats carried the starting pitching in a nice turn of events for the floundering Fish bats. Former Brave Adam Duvall led the way, going 4-5 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. 

 

Although this is one game (and I’ll be the first to say one game means nothing), if certain aspects are continued, this Marlins team will be able to compete this season. Here are my 5 takeaways from the Marlins explosive win in Atlanta:

Loading
Loading...

Marlins CAN Compete in the NL East

 

The NL East is one-of, if not the best division in all of baseball. For a young Marlins team, competing versus the juggernauts in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and even Washington seems daunting and near impossible. Regardless of how you order the rest of the division, the Braves are the top of the food chain. The Fish have now matched up with Atlanta twice in this young season and won. That’s not to say that the Braves won’t win every other game in the season series; however, if the Marlins can continue to play as they have the last two nights, they will be able to compete with the best.

 

The Marlins took the season series versus the Nationals and Phillies last season, while dropping the season series to both the Mets and Braves. If this team can figure out one of those matchups, they will be in good shape to maintain a steady place in the division once the Braves figure things out.

 

Marlins bats aren’t bad, they were just cold

 

There was a huge misconception spreading that the Marlins bats were not capable of much. That is simply an overgeneralization of 8-9 games of baseball in my opinion. This team boasts 6 hitters that are statistically above the league average in many categories consistently throughout their careers. 

 

Games like these show that the bats just needed to find consistency after a long offseason and inconsistent lineups. The bats are starting to see the ball better, which is the best news a Miami Marlins fan can receive. Don’t expect consistent 14-run games out of this offense, but when they are on, expect them to give solid run support to the starters.

Starting Pitching can have off nights

 

It is ironic that 3 of the 4 Marlins wins to-date have come on days where the starters are not on their A-game. Elieser Hernandez was hurt in win 1. Sandy Alcantara had his B+ stuff at best last night. Pablo Lopez was shelled last night. 

 

Last night is evidence that the Marlins don’t have to have their starters pitch like they did to start the season (led the MLB in total starters ERA) to win games. Rather, the starters just have to match an awakening offense.

 

It should be extremely exciting when the Marlins can combine the awakened bats with the stellar starting pitching.

 

Adam Duvall could be “the guy”

 

The Marlins have needed “the guy” on offense for years. We all thought it was going to be Starling Marte, Brian Anderson, or even Garrett Cooper. But it may just be Adam Duvall. He has been this guy throughout his entire career, and my guess is, it won’t be changing anytime soon. 

 

Duvall has powerful bursts of offense that can pilot a Marlins team through close games the rest of the season. Nights like last night will be few and far in between, but if he can consistently produce as he has been lately, the Marlins will finally have “the guy” they need carrying the weight of the offense. 

 

Duvall is no Mike Trout or Freddie Freeman, but he is the best power option the Marlins have had since Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Progress? You decide.

Marlins are making adjustments

 

The Fish are starting to make adjustments at the plate. This was evident last night , not against Max Fried, but rather against the Braves bullpen. Last season, this bullpen was kryptonite to Marlins bats in both the regular season and postseason.

 

Clearly, these arms like Tomlin and Dayton have struggled out of the gate, but it is important for the Marlins to be able to capitalize on those situations and get better with time. The Fish have gotten periodically better over time at damaging bullpens late in the game. The last two nights in Atlanta, they have put up 10 runs alone.

Loading
Loading...

Overall

 

The first two games in Atlanta have been a positive twist to an unfortunate start for Miami. They sit at 4-6 now with 2 more games to go in this series. Tonight, Nick Neidert takes the mound looking to win the series versus veteran Charlie Morton. 

 

Miami Marlins May Flop in Stacked NL East

The Philadelphia Phillies re-signed their two stars J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorious this past week. Not to be overdramatic, but this almost certainly feels like the nail in the coffin for the Miami Marlins in the upcoming 2021 season. They now find themselves in a division of 3 highly competitive teams: the Mets, Braves, and Phillies. Both the Phillies and Mets have historically underperformed in recent years, but with the Mets basically fielding an entire roster of new talent and the Phillies inching closer and closer to putting the puzzle pieces together, things are looking bleak in Miami.

 

Here’s my take on why the current NL East will prevent the Marlins from making the playoffs in back-to-back years:

 

Statistics

 

Ew. I know, I talk about the analytics a lot more than anyone would like to hear, but it is impossible to overlook them. All 4 other NL teams have either gotten better or remained the same. Last year, the Marlins overall (hitting, pitching, fielding, etc.) were statistically the worst in the division. An extremely small sample size allowed their underdog mentality to propel them forwards, but they will not have that luxury this year. With no key improvements to make any difference, we can expect a quick regression to their true mean: around 73-89.

 

Offense

 

The Marlins are simply outclassed by the rest of the division. We struggled to win 9 inning games last year because even in games where the pitching was lights out, our bats were flimsy at best. No changes made means similar issues in this season. In a division where you have to worry about Realmuto, Freeman, Acuna, Ozuna, Turner, etc., it is implausible to rely on young arms to carry you through a season. There will be close games that the Marlins pull out, but there will be a multitude of games where they are blown out.

 

Marlins Rebuild

 

Everything in Miami points to a rebuild. Kim Ng and Derek Jeter are taking last year with a grain of salt, and they are simply continuing on with the plan. The NL East has a “win now” mentality that the Marlins front office lacks. The lack of offseason moves points directly toward this. Sadly, after years of waiting for something as fruitful as the 2020 season was, Marlins fans may have to wait even longer for continued success.

 

Overall

 

At this point, all Marlins fans can do is sit back and trust in the process. After years of doing exactly that, there is expected agitation within the fanbase. Patience is key, though. The Fish may not have the talent ready now, but in a year or two we will begin to see a strong competitor emerge once again.

 

******

Sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale Design Group

You have a vision for your home — a picture-perfect kitchen, a contemporary bathroom.

But you can’t trust an important renovation to just anyone.

That’s why people turn to The Fort Lauderdale Design Group, a licensed and insured boutique-style company committed to delivering turnkey premium kitchen and bathroom renovations.

@FTLDGFL on Twitter

Marlins Drop Game 2

The Atlanta Braves played our own game and beat us. Countless of us have realized that if we are to beat the juggernaut Braves, we would have to keep each game low scoring. Yesterday, in the Braves’ 2-0 win, we did just that. The Braves only put up runs on Dansby Swanson and Travis D’arnaud solo home runs. Pablo Lopez looked great for the Marlins otherwise, but that still wasn’t enough. The bats have chosen a bad time to go dormant, and with their backs against the wall, this cannot continue.

 

Pablo Lopez did his job for the Marlins

 

In his first career playoff start, Pablo Lopez went 5 innings allowing 2 runs versus one of the most potent offenses in the league. We have talked extensively here on the network, whether it be in these articles or the youtube, about how the key to victory against Atlanta lies in holding their hitting back. It is truly a disheartening sight to see for Marlins fans. They did what they were supposed to and still lost. Pablo pitched great but lost his battle with Ian Anderson, who went 5 ⅔ innings of scoreless baseball. The issue lied today in the hitting, which starkly contrasts game 1. 

Alfaro for Wallach

 

The most notable change that must be made in Chad Wallach to Jorge Alfaro. Wallach is a measly 1-13 in Postseason play, with 0 RBIs, 0 extra-base hits, and 5 strikeouts. The decision to put Wallach in as the starter lied in his comfortability with the pitchers, but in this series with the Braves, it hasn’t mattered much. 11 runs have been allowed with Wallach behind the plate, and it’s hard to say Alfaro would make it any worse. Alfaro provides a stronger bat in the lineup with more pop. A career .262 hitter, Alfaro gives more depth to a floundering lineup, a depth that could push the Marlins over the top. I’d rather take Alfaro in a game-winning situation at the plate than Wallach. Give the young buck a chance.

 

Looking at today’s Marlins game: Could it be our last?

 

Well, if it is, it has been quite the run. The bottom feeders won’t go out without a fight, but unless the bats get out of their slump fast, we could be saying goodbye to Marlins baseball. We have Sixto Sanchez on the mound versus the Braves Kyle Wright. Backs against the wall. October baseball. There is nothing better.

Marlins Drop NLDS Game 1

This wasn’t the start that we wanted in Houston. The Marlins lose 9-5 versus Atlanta to start the NLDS. The game initially thought to be a pitchers duel between aces Sandy Alcantara and Max Fried, turned into a shootout. With the Braves lineup, that is the type of game they will always win. In the process, the Fish blew an early 4-1 lead. The Braves 6-run 7th inning sealed the deal.

 

The Braves can swing it but are beatable

 

Without a doubt, the Braves have one of the most potent offenses in the league. 3 MVP candidates leadoff their order. Acuna Jr. led off the game with an absolute missile to right-center to put the Braves up 1-0. RBI doubles by Travis D’arnaud and Marcell Ozuna cut the Marlins lead to 4-3 in the 3rd. Finally, in the 7th, D’arnaud’s 3-run homer broke it open, followed by a Dansby Swanson 2-run homer to put it away. The Braves are dependent on the long ball. Keep the ball in the park, and we win. Sandy did just that (for the most part) and saw some success. Today, Pablo Lopez attempts to do the same and lead the Marlins to victory.

 

The Marlins swung it well, struggled to close the door

 

I understand the decision to put Sandy back out on the mound for the 7th. 90 pitches in, he was on a roll. However, it may have been in the Marlins best interest to hand the ball to Boxberger for the 7th, let Yimi get the 8th, and save Kintzler for the 9th. Sandy allowed 2 singles to start the inning and put Yimi Garcia in an extremely tough situation versus the meat of an extremely potent lineup. Mattingly’s decision is definitely questionable, although Sandy most likely had some say in it. Yimi Garcia finally folded and lost us a game. It happens, and he will pick it up going forward. The bats were great early, putting up 4 runs, but they stalled late, as 9 runs from the Braves were too much to overcome.

Looking at today’s game: Marlins vs Braves 

 

Pablo Lopez takes the mound for the Marlins as they try to bounce back versus their division rivals. Ian Anderson takes the ball for Atlanta. The Marlins’ backs are against the wall, but they’ve been here before. Time to defy the odds again.

 

Marlins vs Braves NLDS Preview

The Marlins square off versus Atlanta in the NLDS. This is the matchup no Marlins fan wanted to see because of the 29-9 loss that the Marlins suffered last month at the hands of the potent Atlanta lineup. We are quick to forget that the season series was only 6-4 in the Braves favor. There is no sense of fear in the clubhouse as they have adapted the “bottom feeders” mentality fully and convincingly. The Braves have a clear tangible edge over the Marlins, but this Marlins team has a chance, and they know it.

 

Here are 5 things that need to happen for this Marlins run to continue into the NLCS:

 

Pitcher’s duels, not home run derbies

 

I think this goes without saying, but we can and will not be able to out-hit the Braves. Atlanta has 3 perennial MVP candidates at the top of their lineup. Yes, 3. Ronald Acuna Jr, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna are the most intimidating 1,2,3 punch in the entire league let alone the NL. The Marlins will look to do what they did in Chicago. Rinse and repeat. We will see Sandy, Sixto, Pablo, and probably Trevor Rogers. If the Marlins pitching can perform as they did in Chicago, then the possibilities are endless. Even though Atlanta swept the Reds, their bats aren’t exactly hot. They only put up 2 runs through the first 20 innings of the Wild Card Series before they broke it open late against Raisel Iglesias. The Marlins bullpen was lights out in the Wild Card series, allowing 0 runs in their body of work. If this translates along with stellar outings from the starters, this series can be stolen.

 

Starling Marte plays for Marlins

 

If the Marlins are to win, it will have to be parallel to what they did in Chicago. Great pitching and timely veteran hitting. With Starling Marte in the lineup (our best hitter/veteran) the chances that we pick up one of those important timely hits increase exponentially. Marte has been a great veteran voice even if his statistics don’t show that in a Marlin uniform. Hitting just .245, Marte has struggled to an extent at the plate. He has, however, come through in extremely clutch moments to help propel the marlins to where they are now. Marte on the field means positive things. We can win without him, but at the end of the day, we want our guy out there patrolling center, stealing bases, and clutching up when it matters the most.

 

Small ball

 

Even though the Marlins swept the Cubs, there were a lot of missed opportunities for the Fish. They failed to move runners over after getting them on early, and as a result, relied on the home run ball to bail them out. This cannot be the case in Atlanta. The Marlins were 2nd in the league in stolen bases, and they need to utilize this aspect of their game to its fullest extent if they are to steal 3 against Atlanta. Get runners on, steal bases, move the runner over, get him in. It’s a simple method that the Marlins struggled to apply at certain points this year. They get guys on consistently and steal bases consistently but struggle with the latter steps mentioned. By controlling games with their speed, the Marlins can maintain tempo and put pressure on the Braves to respond.

Sandy needs to be the ace

 

Sandy Alcantara has set the tone recently with his amazing starts to clinch a playoff spot in New York and in game 1 against the Cubs. He allowed only 3 runs in 13+ innings of work against two potent lineups (the Yankees more than the Cubs but still). If he can do this again, he will set the tone for Sixto, Pablo, and even Trevor. Sandy needs to go out and dominate like the ace that he is. Another 7 innings of the 1-run ball would do the trick. It is all about showing the Braves we are no joke. We are not losing 29-9 again. We are not into losing, period. Unlike the Braves, we don’t lose in the playoffs. Sandy can set the tone to keep this fact true.

 

Keep the Marlins mentality

 

Even if the Marlins go down 2-0 to the Braves (or at any point for that matter), they need to play the same way. They are “bottom feeders” and they need to continue to embrace it. It allows them to play with no pressure and just play a kids’ game. It allows the veterans to stay engaged, it shows the young guys the culture they are invested in. This team has beat all the odds to get here, what’s to say they don’t beat them again. They are playing with house money.

 

The Marlins have defied reality to find themselves here with a chance to compete for an NLCS berth, and there is nothing that is stopping them. They have no pressure. They are bottom feeders, and they will continue to play like it.

The Marlins: A Cinderella Story

The Miami Marlins are the greatest story that the national media doesn’t give attention to. For those of us that forgot, the Marlins were 57-105 last season. Now they are in the NLDS after sweeping the Cubs in the Wild Card Series. Yes, this Cubs team isn’t the same team that won in 2016, but they still have the firepower. The “bottom-feeder” Miami Marlins stared Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish in the face and beat them. They stared the Yankees in the face and beat them. They stared COVID-19 in the face and beat it. Now we look ahead to an NLDS matchup versus the Braves. 

 

To see if the Marlins can continue their streak, we have to understand how we got here:

 

Trades

 

The Marlins were beaten up by the media for their trading of Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, and JT Realmuto. Let’s look at where those guys are. Ozuna will play for the Braves versus us in the NLDS, Christian Yelich and his Brewers have been eliminated, Giancarlo Stanton is in the ALDS with the Yankees, and JT Realmuto and the Phillies were eliminated from postseason contention. On paper, those trades felt horrendous, but they have proven to be some of the more fruitful trades in Marlin’s history. You name a guy on this team, and he’s probably from one of those trades. Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, Lewis Brinson, and Jorge Alfaro to name a few. What a story. This experience in the playoffs alone will quicken the learning curve for these players, solidifying a winning culture that Ozuna, Yelich, Stanton, and Realmuto never understood.

 

Marlins Pitching

 

The Marlins had multiple experiences of being blown out this year. Past those few and far games (29-9 in Atlanta, 15-0 vs Washington), the Marlins pitching has been stupendous. Sandy, Sixto, and Pablo have all propelled this team forward. We didn’t get to see Pablo start this series (luckily), but Sandy and Sixto balled out. Sandy allowed only 1 run over 6 ⅔ and Sixto threw 5 shutout winnings with the help of some stellar defense. In 2 games versus an accomplished Cubs team, the Fish allowed a combined 1 run. 1 run?! Call me crazy but that’s Championship material right there.

 

Can we do it?

 

The Braves have given us issues. That’s true, but we have beaten them before. If the pitching is as strong as it was this past series, anything is possible. We will most likely see Pablo Lopez in game 1 (ironic considering he started that dreaded 29-9 game). Then, pending rest, we will see Sandy and Sixto. Those 3 guys can steal games. And versus a Braves team that has struggled in the playoffs before, why not us? This team plays without pressure. They are not supposed to be here.

 

But they are. Good luck to Atlanta, but I have a strange feeling the “bottom feeders” in Miami will ball out. 

Marlins Playoff Odds Decreasing

Honestly, I think we are all getting worried. The Marlins 9-4 loss last night versus the Braves marks their 4th straight loss in must-win games. The Fish fall to 28-28 and the Phillies climb to 28-29. This means that a Marlins loss tonight would even up the Phillies and Marlins, as the Phillies do not play. The Wild Card seems unlikely as well because the Giants and the Reds both sit a game above .500. Let’s first analyze last’s nightmare before we take a look at possible ways the Marlins can still pull this off.

 

Last 4 games we took an L, but tonight we bounce back… hopefully

 

The Marlins went into last night with Sixto on the mound. Most of us expected a low scoring pitching battle between Cy Young candidate Max Fried and our gunslinging young ace. Instead, Sixto allowed 4 runs over 3 innings, and Max Fried left the game after just 1 inning (injury) allowing 2 runs. The Marlins just can’t outhit this Braves lineup, so if the pitching falters, we lose, as seen in all 3 of these games. Josh A. Smith got the loss, allowing 5 runs in his 1 inning of work, allowing the Braves to turn a 4-4 tie into a 9-4 lead. Sadly, this showing from the Marlins in this game and others recently have highlighted a central issue within the team: their youth. It was hidden at the younger points of the season behind our new veterans, but as the season is coming to a close, it is evident that this team just may not be ready. We can’t expect all of our young guys to play like Tyler Herro. And that’s okay.

 

Playoff Possibilities

 

At this point, the only thing the Marlins should be worried about is getting 2nd in the NL East. The Wild Card seems like a pipe dream the way we are playing when put in contrast to the way the Reds and Giants are playing. Let’s instead take a look at what has to happen to get 2nd in the East. 

 

The Phillies are 28-29. The Marlins are 28-28. The tiebreaker would be the season head-to-head, in which the Marlins are up 7-3. We just have to tie the Phillies. The Phillies have 3 games versus the Tampa Bay Rays. If they go 3-0, we must go 3-1. If they go 2-1, we must go 2-2. If they go, 1-2, we must go 1-3. If they get swept, we can lose all 4. The Marlins clubhouse wants to control their own destiny though, and that can be done by winning 3 or more games in their final 4. The magic number is still 3, and we all know it.

 

Marlins vs Braves Finale

 

The Marlins look to salvage one win versus the Braves tonight as Pablo Lopez takes on Ian Anderson at 7:10 pm. This is shaping to be a fun last weekend of baseball. It all comes down to this.

Marlins Magic Number at 3

No, the Marlins did not win. No, they did not even come close. Another blowout win for the Braves puts the Marlins run differential at -37. Granted that differential is being dragged down by the 4 games in which the Marlins have been obliterated. Luckily, and most importantly, the Marlins’ magic number drops to 3, with 5 games remaining. The Phillies lost both games of their doubleheader versus the Nationals. 

Mattingly isn’t worried

 

“Once you get in with this format that we have — you know if you get in and you have pitching, you have a chance,” said Mattingly after last night’s tough loss. Even though there have been a few outlier games, Pitching has been the most consistent aspect of this team. Tomorrow, the Marlins’ present and future ace Sixto Sanchez takes the mound. Mattingly seems at ease because if the Marlins do make the postseason, Sixto, Sandy, and Pablo are a very dangerous 1-2-3 punch. Urena faltered last night, allowing 4 earned over 6 innings of work, but he is a perfect 4th in the rotation: a veteran with good stuff. It will be interesting to see who gets the 5th spot. Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers serve as the most likely choices, but both have had their recent struggles. If this team can push itself into the postseason, a hot pitching streak could push them further.

5 games left

 

5 games determine if the Marlins break the 17-year long streak without a playoff appearance. I have not consciously experienced a Marlins’ playoff game because I was about 2 years old during the ‘03 run. After years of season tickets, thousands of games on TV, and hundreds of thousands of MLB.TV updates, I am ready. The Marlins are ready. It is time for them to buckle down and win 3 of these games and prove that this team is capable of the improbable. Miami is ready to see their baseball team actually compete. Sixto leads the charge tonight.

Marlins vs Braves, Phillies vs Nationals

 

Yes, we have Sixto on the mound; but the Braves have their Cy Young candidate Max Fried. Game 3 will be no easier than games 1 and 2. The Fish are going to have to wake up their slumbering bats and put together good at-bats to get there. The Phillies play the Nationals again. Every Phillies’ loss is a Marlins’ win, so pay attention to both games. Marlins play the Braves at 7:10 PM and the Phillies take on the Nationals at 6:05 PM.

Marlins Lose to Braves 5-4

The Marlins played in the first game of a huge 4-game series with the Braves last night. They ended up losing the game 5-4, but their grit was evident throughout the game.  They moved closer to a playoff berth, as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies. This keeps the Marlins in 2nd place in the NL East with 6 games remaining in the year. The 6 most important games in 15 years of Marlins’ baseball.

 

Explosive start, slow ending

 

The Marlins came out swinging in this game. 3 early runs on a bunch of singles put the Marlins in an advantageous position, but they failed to capitalize the rest of the way only putting up 1 more run. The biggest missed opportunity came with Starling Marte at the plate in the 8th, as he lined a 111 MPH swing straight to Austin Riley to get the Braves out of a bases-loaded jam. This rocket off the bat had a 74% chance of being a hit and giving the Marlins the lead. The Fish stalled out in the 9th after Monte Harrison got caught trying to take an extra base. It was the right move, but Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson just made the better play.

 

Trevor Rogers struggles

 

Trevor Rogers was given a 3 run 1st inning lead to work with. That lasted a whole 2 outs in the bottom half, as he allowed 4 runs on a bunch of hits and walks. It was reported that in his last start, Rogers was tipping pitches, and maybe that was the case initially last night. Rogers can be a very strong piece of the Marlins’ young rotation if he figures it out. He has the stuff.

 

Marlins vs the World

 

I have talked repeatedly about the importance of these last 6 games. Tomorrow, veteran Jose Urena gets a crack on the mound in a game “that matters.” Jose Urena starts tomorrow versus Bryse Wilson of the Braves. It’s up to this Marlins squad to do the unthinkable. Can they do it?