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Marlins Move to 2nd in East

Six games later, the Marlins took a 4-2 series lead on the Phillies in this 7-game series, moving to 23-21 on the year. This pushes the Marlins to 8-2 in double-header games and propels them into the 2nd place spot in the division. Regardless, they are currently in a good playoff spot with only 16 games remaining this season. 

Oh boy, the pitching

On Sunday, we took another good look at Sixto Sanchez and our first look at Braxton Garrett. Wow. Sixto pitched a 1-run complete game en route to a 1-run win. What continues to impress me is his ability to pitch to contact in stressful situations. 100 MPH plus craftiness is in most cases untouchable. Sixto looks more like the future of Miami Marlins baseball every time he steps on the mound. Sixto’s dominance may have overshadowed Braxton Garrett’s first start, although it shouldn’t have. Braxton (our 2016 first-round pick) went 5 innings, allowing only 1 earned run on 3 hits, striking out 6. I have repeatedly mentioned both the current strength of this rotation, as well as the future strength. This outing hopefully signifies another addition to what is shaping to be one of the best rotations in baseball.

Can’t lose when the pitching allows 1 run

The pitching gave the hitting a big cushion most of these two games, whereas normally the opposite happens. Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte’s RBI singles were enough to get the job done in game 1, but the bats broke it wide open in game 2. The whole squad put together nice at-bats, with the icing on the cake being Chad Wallach’s first homer of the year. 

Special shoutout to Brian Anderson for making a Manny Machado-Esque play at third base. Braxton Garrett’s reaction was priceless. 

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Secure the bag.

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Looking ahead for the Marlins

The Marlins are now 2nd in the division, but obviously this could be short-lived as the Marlins play the Phillies today again at 4:10 pm. Pablo Lopez (3-4, 4.50 ERA) takes the mound for the Marlins against Vince Velasquez (0-0, 5.85 ERA) of the Phillies.

Marlins Walkoff Win the Day After Meltdown

“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.” – Big Sean, The Marlins

After one of the most embarrassing defeats in baseball history in which the Atlanta Braves slaughtered (that’s probably the best word) the Fish 29-9, the Marlins picked up the pieces and won a close game at home versus Philadelphia. They fell down early and trailed 6-3 late into the game before a 3-run double by Starling Marte tied it up. Jorge Alfaro’s walk-off single in the 9th sealed the 7-6 comeback win. Grit. Determination. Culture. This team is showing their true colors.

Sandy was slightly sloppy but still good

Despite the 6 runs allowed, Sandy actually fought pretty well last night. Only 3 of those 6 were earned and he only walked 2 through 6 innings pitched. Alcantara will be one of the most important pieces the rest of the way, as him getting back to ace shape will push the Marlins to the finish line. Nick Vincent, Richard Bleier, and Yimi Garcia were brilliant in their 3 combined innings, not allowing any runs to keep the marlins in the game. Only 3 earned runs in nine innings feels a lot better than 27. 

Marlins bats are woke

I feel like the Marlins picked up on my constant mentioning of the statistic that said they hadn’t scored 4 or more runs in more than 3 games in a row all season. The streak is now at 7. Continually, we are seeing an increase in the level of quality at-bats the Marlins are putting together. Most notably, they worked deep into counts versus Jake Arrieta last night, forcing him out of the game relatively early in the 6th inning. Starling Marte continues to deliver, as his 3-run double tied the game in the 8th and gave the Marlins a chance to win.

6 more versus the Phils

This is the most important series of the Marlins season. It is as simple as that. Being only .5 GB of the Phillies for the 2nd place spot means that series win means more than ever. The Marlins and Phillies play in a doubleheader today. Game 1’s starters are Trevor Rogers (1-0, 3.00 ERA) and Aaron Nola (4-3, 2.74 ERA). Neither team has announced their game 2 starters.

 

Logan Morrison returned to Miami as a rival

Former Miami Marlin Logan Morrison returned to his old stomping grounds to find the place completely redone. He returned as a member of the rival Philadelphia Phillies during a Players’ Weekend series.

“It looks great,” Morrison said of the new-look Marlins Park, “more uniform, classy. I like it.”

Morrison was the Austin Dean of a previous era, a fan favorite who played both left field and first base. He was on the 2012 Opening Day lineup when the Marlins open the new ballpark against the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.

“A couple of things I remember fondly enough was the awesome energy, the electricity, sold-out crowd,” Morrison said, “being able to get a hit in that game was cool. It was fun, man.”

Morrison played on the Marlins during their first two seasons at Marlins Park (2012-13), a time when the record books were being established. At one time he hit the second furthest home run in Marlins Park, but he played with a certain slugger named Giancarlo Stanton, so it was only a matter of time before that changed.

“Now he has like 18 of the farthest 19 home runs and I’m like 19th or 20th,” Morrison said with a chuckle.

Logan Morrison and his Marlin moments

Logan Morrison was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Carter Capps in the offseason leading up to the 2014 season. He hit a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017 but a disappointing, injury-riddled 2018 season with the Minnesota Twins that ended with hip surgery in August found him out of the loop throughout the offseason.

“The thing was I was healthy and I was playing every day,” Morrison said. “I had the opportunity to do it and I was healthy. Last year I was hurt, probably shouldn’t have been playing, didn’t have the year I wanted to have.”

The New York Yankees signed Morrison to a minor league contract after spring training and his season didn’t begin until May in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He slashed .289/.341/.658 with 15 home runs in 43 games and was picked up by the Phillies after the Yankees granted his release on the fourth of July.

Morrison said he started to, “feel like himself” in Triple-A prior to making it back to the big leagues with the Phillies. The role he has there now is similar to what fellow former Marlins Justin Bour had a year ago, a first base bat off the bench. Even if Morrison was back to his 2017 form, we wouldn’t know with his current role.

“At the end of the day, you’re not going to be putting up those kind of numbers without 500 at-bats,” Morrison said.

Morrison has gone 3-for-12 since being called up to Philadelphia. His lone appearance in this series came as a pinch hitter and resulted in a strikeout.

 

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JT Realmuto knows comeback to Miami will be quiet

JT Realmuto will play for the first time in his career against the Miami Marlins.

However, he doesn’t expect much of a revolution in Marlins Park’s stands today when he steps up to the plate.

The All-Star catcher knows it will be a quiet atmosphere.

The best hitting catcher in baseball, along with Buster Posey and Willson Contreras, who crushed two balls out of Wrigley Field today, knows Miami and the fans here.

Will he get a big ovation? Probably not.

And not because he doesn’t deserve it, because he does, but because as usual, Marlins Park will look like an empty mall (which doesn’t happen here in Miami).

“It will be just like any other at-bat. I don’t expect too much out there for me,” were Realmuto’s words before the first of the three-game series between the Marlins and Phillies.

Miami struggled a lot swinging the bats during the road trip, scoring only eight runs in six games, getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds.

But for Realmuto, life is beautiful right now. He forgot about playing for the losing Miami Marlins and is finally playing for a competitive team.

There, with Bryce Harper and company, he is having the opportunity to play in a pennant race.

Harper wanted him in Washington, as he publicly confessed, and he even whispered a couple of times in Realmuto’s ear when he was a member of the Washington Nationals.

Now, they can both be happy slugging for a city that loves baseball and supports their team.

 

JT Realmuto’s comeback to Little Havana will get most of the headlines, but we will come back to reality soon  to realize this team had the best catcher in baseball, the best outfielders in baseball and the best pitcher in baseball at some point, and the stands were empty.

Good luck to Sandy Alcántara tonight, by the way.

 

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