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The Wild Card

The loss yesterday may not have been the last nail in the coffin but it allows for very little escape room.

The good news: the loss only cost the team .5 games in the Wild Card standings.  The bad news: time is running out with only 12 games to play.

The Marlins have lost 4 of their last 5 games.  Not to mention the team is starting to look tired.  It is the kind of weariness one sees in a long distance runner who had to expend too much energy just to catch up to the field and then didn't have enough for the final kick.

Still, all is not dead.  This is a team of kids.  Kids who have continued to defy the odds all season long.  If they are going make the playoffs, they are, basically, going to have win out.  It is possible, due to the flipping of the leaders out West, they can lose another game and still pull it off.  But I wouldn't count on it.

If you are looking for a ray of hope, it is provided by Tony Perez.

Marlins special assistant Tony Perez believes in miracles like the one the Marlins now are hoping for. That's because the Hall of Fame player was a participant to one of baseball's greatest: the 1964 National League pennant chase.

''I've seen it happen,'' said Perez, who was a September call-up for the Cincinnati Reds that season.

With 12 games to go in their season, the Philadelphia Phillies held a 6 ½-game lead over both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Reds. But the Phillies crumbled, losing 10 straight, while the Reds and Cardinals both got hot.

The Cardinals won the pennant by one game, and the Reds and Phillies finished in a tie for second.

The events, like those of the 1964 season, don't happen often.  But neither do teams being down by 20 games and returning to .500.

The odds are not in the Marlins favor but they haven't been with them all year long.

I'm really not trying to be overly optimistic - I know it is an unbelievable long shot.  It's just the team has been so surprising up to now that I hesitate to throw in the towel until it can't possibly be done.

Given what they have done this year - I think they have earned that.