The Miami Marlins did a fantastic job this season, but their far-off chase for the playoffs in 2014 came to an end over the weekend. The Fish were officially eliminated from playoff contention with the club's 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night. The team's four-game sweep at the hands of the Nationals also left them with 81 losses for the season, meaning Miami would have to win seven games in a row to reach a .500 record for the first time since the 2010 season.
The Marlins fought hard for most of the season and were as close as 2.5 games from the second Wild Card at some point within the past month, but injuries to Jose Fernandez at the beginning of the year and Giancarlo Stanton late in the year cost the Fish their two best players. Without those two stars on the roster, the Marlins had a hard time scoring and preventing runs. The team's chances were always low, even back in July and going all the way to September, but Miami hung around longer this year than it has in some time. At this same point of games played in 2010, the Marlins had All-Stars in Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla and a young Stanton and were only three games better than this year's Marlins, who endured more hardships than that squad did.
Miami Marlins fans instead got a solid performance and MVP-caliber play from their franchise player. Stanton put up a monster season and had an outside chance at an MVP award before his gruesome face injury, and the Fish got healthy contributions from the rest of its top-notch outfield. Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna were fantastic all year and the Marlins' starting pitchers were good enough even in Fernandez's absence. Even Miami's lone trade, the acquisition of Jarred Cosart from the Houston Astros, is looking positive.
Alas, it was all not enough to push the Fish into contention in the end. The injuries and the fact that the Marlins got little or no production from first base, second base, and shortstop doomed the roster. In the end, the 2014 season will finish up with another losing record for Miami, but it should not be seen as any sort of disappointment for a young and injury-battered roster.