The Miami Marlins took two out of three versus the first place New York Mets this weekend, cementing their place in the NL East. They now stand only 2 games behind the Mets, with another division rival in the Phillies looming this week. The Fish are now 53-53 over their last 106 games, proving that last year was not a fluke. As Jazz Chisholm said, “[The Marlins] have the most swag in baseball.” The pieces are finally coming together.
Here’s 5 key takeaways from a successful weekend of baseball:
Cody Poteet deserves the rotation spot
After being called up from Triple-A for a spot start versus the Diamondbacks a little over a week ago, Poteet has dominated. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, which results in low strikeout numbers, but he gets outs: and a lot of them. He now has a 1.06 ERA through his 3 starts, and he is the second Marlins starter in history to not allow 3 runs through his first 3 starts (the other is now-Met Jordan Yamamoto, who he beat today). Poteet was quoted after the game saying, “You never know when your last day in the MLB is going to be.” As of now, he shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Garrett Cooper found his swing
Cooper has struggled to start the season, and for an injury-riddled Marlins, this was a source of early panic. Clearly, any doubt was premature, as Coop has not only started to hit for average again, but also hit the long ball. He homered to tie the game in game 1 of the Mets series and hit a 2-run walk-off homer in game 2. Last year, he had the 2nd best OPS on the Marlins, and his bat is essential if the Marlins want to make a run for the playoffs.
Sandy, Pablo, Trevor
Guys. I’m taking these three guys over anyone at the moment. With Poteet emerging as a strong option, and Sixto and Elieser in the wings, we could be looking at the best rotation in baseball.
Sandy Alcantara struggled in LA, but bounced back with a dominating performance versus the Phillies. 6 innings, 9 strikeouts, no runs. His ERA is at a 3.63, and without the one bad performance versus the Dodgers, would be much lower.
You have to feel for Pablo Lopez. It has felt like every outing he has had throughout this season, he has deserved the win. Last night versus the Mets was no different. 7 IP, 8 strikeouts, no runs. And still, the Marlins found a way to give him the no decision. He has been brilliant, per usual, lowering the ERA to 2.73.
Trevor Rogers: the unexpected ace and frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young. It feels like every time he takes the mound, the Marlins are going to win. Unlike the other two stars, the Marlins have had no trouble giving him run support. His win versus Philadelphia improved him to 6-2 on the year with a 1.74 ERA. Wow.
And Sixto Sanchez isn’t even here yet.
In the Phillies and Mets series, the Fish lost 2 games. Both losses can be credited to the bullpen; however, there is no reason to get stressed about it. Bullpens have off nights, and you have to deal with them throughout the course of a season. It is when those off nights become consistent that an issue arises. The Marlins bullpen has been relatively dominant on every other night.
Floro, Bass, Garcia, and the boys have given the Marlins great innings over the past few weeks and are doing exactly what is needed from them. Floro had one bad outing that cost the Marlins a win in Philly, but that came after a multitude of good ones that led to wins. The bullpen loss on Friday was more due to running out of options than a failure on the bullpen’s end of things. As Anthony Bass comments on seemingly every Miami Marlins Instagram post, “Keep the faith. I promise we will figure this out.”
This squad is NOT a fluke
For anyone who has tuned into my coverage of the Marlins over the past year or so, you know that I am very upfront about how I believed last season to be the lucky result of a small sample size.
With the 46 games played this season, the Marlins are now 53-53 in their last 106. Maybe, just maybe, the Marlins were no fluke last season and were actually a .500 team that benefitted from an extended playoffs. What does that mean for this year?
Well, it means that the Marlins can get to the playoffs: this time by winning the NL East. In an extremely condensed division that is separated in total by 2.5 games, it is anyone’s to win.
Why not the Marlins?
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