Tag Archive for: Jon Berti

The Marlins Maintain Playoff Hopes With Win

With the season on the brink, amid pouring rain in Atlanta, GA, the Miami Marlins turned to Pablo Lopez. After much heralded pitching prospects Trevor Rogers and Sixto Sanchez failed to get the Marlins back on track, the 24-year-old veteran in his third season settled the Marlins on the mound and gave the team the opportunity to stop the skid and maintain their hold on a playoff spot. The Marlins managed a 4-2 victory over the Braves in what was the latest most important game of the topsy-turvy 2020 season.

Lopez went five innings and surrendered only two hits while piling up six strikeouts, including the 200th of his MLB career.

“Obviously, every game is important in a short season like this one,” López said. “We knew coming into today that this is the biggest game yet. We’ve seen the Braves the last three days. Obviously, it’s a tough matchup.”

The Marlins entered Thursday night’s matchup losers of four straight and watched their lead in the playoff race dwindle to 0.5 games. With the Phillies nipping at their heels, Miami turned to Lopez, who’s been one of the few constants this season, and he turned in one of the biggest performances of the season.

But he wasn’t alone. The offense, which has sputtered of late and has been maddeningly inconsistent throughout the season, found just enough of a rhythm. The bullpen also turned in a critical performance.

The Marlins Offense Came Through in the Clutch

In the sixth inning, tied at zero, the Marlins offense went to work. Brian Anderson reached on an error, then Garrett Cooper singled, moving Anderson to third. A pair of strikeouts followed and the Marlins seemed like the same old story of lackluster offense would hold true in this spot. But backup catcher Chad Wallach came through.

Wallach, starting thanks to his recent chemistry with Lopez on the mound, punched an 2-0 offering from Ian Anderson into right field. That scored Anderson and moved Cooper to third.

Jon Berti came to the plate and continued Miami’s two-out magic by ripping a two-run double to left. The Marlins held a 3-0 lead entering the top of the sixth.

The Bullpen Held On

Marlins manager Don Mattingly turned to Yimi Garcia earlier than usual when he summoned the right-hander from the ‘pen in the sixth. Garcia walked Marcell Ozuna, but proceeded to get Travis d’Araud to line out, then registered a pair of strikeouts of Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall.

In the seventh inning, Jesus Aguilar extended the Marlins lead with a home run off AJ Minter. It was Aguilar’s eighth homer of the season.

James Hoyt and Richard Bleier combined work through a tense seventh before Marlins closer Brandon Kintzler entered in the eighth to attempt a six-out save. Brad Boxberger had loaded the bases without recording an out, and although Kintzler surrendered a pair of runs on a Dansby Swanson single, he limited the damage to two.

“He comes in a tough spot,” Mattingly said of Kintzler after the game. “I’d trade outs for runs at that point. Obviously, a great job getting us through there, and he had to go through their top of the order in the ninth.”

Kintzler notched his first career six-out save and the 60th save of his career with the Marlins win.

“That was a really big win,” Wallach said afterwards. “We’ve been doing that all year. When we’ve gotten down and may have lost a couple of games, we’ve battled back when we’ve needed to. We played a great game, and that’s just something we’ve done all year. Hopefully, we can continue it going on.”

Playoffs on the Line in New York

The Marlins (29-28) head to New York for a crucial three-game series against the Yankees. Miami holds a slim one-game lead over the Phillies (28-29) for second place in the NL East and a guaranteed playoff spot. The Phillies are in St Petersburg to face the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend. The Marlins hold the tiebreaker over Philadelphia and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to two.

The Marlins have Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12 ERA) taking the mound against the Yankees in an effort to possibly clinch their first postseason berth since 2003.

Recap of the 2019 Marlins

It’s hard to recap such a negative season, but here we go.

Let’s all be honest, no one expected the team to be any good whatsoever. We expected at least a 60-win season with many ups and downs. The Marlins finished the season with a 57-105 record which was pretty much expected.

I’m sure we would’ve loved to avoid 100 losses but it is what is, it did secure the third overall pick in the 2020 draft. But then, this recap would’ve probably been similar, anyway… 

There were definitely some bright spots for the Marlins this season. Just to name a few, Sandy Alcantara started to show what he can do, Jon Berti became the perfect utility man, Harold Ramirez did great in his rookie season, and Isan Diaz started to become comfortable at the major league level. Diaz started making lesser errors and showed comfort at the plate.

Here’s a recap of the positives of the season:

Sandy Alcantara

Alcantara was voted to represent the Marlins in the All-Star Game because of his start to the regular season. His Pre All-Star stats are as follows: 4-8 record, 3.82 ERA, 70 strikeouts, and an opponent batting average of .241. After the All-Star break, he hit a bump in the road where he started to show inconsistency in his fastball command and started to walk more batters. 

August he began to turn things around, in five games started he had a 3.03 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched with a 27:12 strikeout to walk ratio. September came along and he reached another level. In six games started, he had a 2-2 record with a 2.59 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched with a 35:9 strikeout to walk ratio. September became Sandy’s best month without a doubt.

Jon Berti

Jon Berti blossomed into the perfect utility man. He can play all positions in the infield and outfield. He also showcased his insane speed on the base paths. He swiped 17 bases this year, he would’ve swiped more but he spent some time on the IL. In 73 games played, he hit for a .273 average with six home runs and 24 RBIs. Berti is a nice surprise for the Marlins, he definitely made a case for a roster spot next season.

Isan Diaz

Isan Diaz is an interesting story. He absolutely tore up Triple-A pitching and earned himself a call up to the show back in August. He launched a home run off Jacob deGrom in his MLB debut but rookie struggles kicked in early. He was having trouble making routine plays and was uncomfortable at the plate. As he gained more experience he became more comfortable and didn’t think too much while on the field. He ended up finishing the season with a .173 average, five home runs, and 23 RBIs. Not the best stat line but he did only play 49 games while being completely tensed up. It should be fun to see how he plays next year.

Harold Ramirez

Harold Ramirez signed with the Marlins during the 2018 offseason and what a great sign he is. In 119 games, he hit for a .276 average, hit 11 home runs and drove in 50 RBIs. He definitely showcased why he was formerly a Top 100 prospect when he was in the Blue Jays organization. He can play all three outfield positions and has a very decent defense. He without a doubt became a fan favorite for Marlins fans and earned a roster spot for the 2020 season.

Your 2019 Marlins were not the best but they did show improvement. They may have lost six more games this year than they did in 2018 but the pitching held its own and we got to see some rookies showcase their ability. The club next season will be more competitive than it was this year and it’s going to be more fun with more rookies making their debuts and some new faces from free agency…

We will be here to recap when they win the World Series…

Jon Berti

Jon Berti working his way back from injury but with no guarantees

Jon Berti recently began his minor league rehab assignment in Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday and is expected to take it all the way into the MLB All-Star Break next week. He played centerfield and drove in a run his first game since injuring his quad. 

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday that he read the report on Berti and received a text from New Orleans manager Keith Johnson first thing in the morning, saying that he played seven innings without setback.  

“He came out healthy and he looked pretty good,” Mattingly said. 

Just a few hours later, Berti hit two solo home runs to power New Orleans past Memphis 6-3. In 15 total games in the minors, Berti is hitting .302 with a 1.078 OPS. Those stats can be taken with a grain of salt, considering most of the players who had success in the Pacific Coast League received the call up to the big leagues and were unable to replicate that success.

Once Berti returns, his role is still a mystery. He was used as a utility infielder who has seen time at centerfield and slashed .268/.362/.463 in his last 15 games prior to his injury.

“Bert was good while he was here,” Mattingly said, “and it was unfortunate that he got hurt but now he’s got go get ready to play again and then we make decisions. So he’s going to have to be productive in what he’s doing. Obviously he’s on the IL but there’s no guarantee that he just starts here again. There’s different things you can do. I’m saying that in a bad way. It’s just that there’s no true plan. If Bert’s doing what he was doing before, he was having good at-bats for us, he was a spark in our lineup, a guy that could steal a bag. He knows how to play. There’s a lot of things to like but he’s got to get back to where he’s rolling again and then we can make a decision.”

JT Riddle was called back up to the Marlins on May 31. Through the month of June, he has batted .215 with a .647 OPS. All four of his home runs came in the final 10 days of the month, which counted for half of his hits. There isn’t a need for the Marlins to carry both Riddle and Berti so if he were to continue rolling through rehab a big decision will have to be made after the All-Star Game.