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Miami Marlins thrive in September, end month with 16 wins

Although they ended the month with a pair of losses, the Marlins thrived throughout the month of September.

Several core players remained sidelined in September but the Marlins were still able to produce 16 wins.

In a lost season, acknowledging minor victories is key. Take a look back at went so well for the Marlins last month.

Pitching was just good enough

Sometimes, you don't have to be dominant but rather just good enough. The Marlins' pitching staff was able to do that throughout September.

Miami is likely paying close attention to its starting pitchers, since the club is reportedly interested in adding starting depth this offseason.

Jose Fernandez is back, and even though he has not been notably great at times, he has proven to be the leader of the staff. Heading into 2016, the Marlins are going to build around Fernandez. He is coming off of both Tommy John surgery and a shoulder injury. Some questioned whether he would pitch again in 2015. Fernandez wanted to take the mound again and it paid off for Miami.

Miami ended the month at 14 overall in team ERA. Several young arms, including Adam Conley and Justin Nicolino, have adjusted to the major league rotation. Others, such as Tom Koehler and Jarred Cosart, are looking towards 2016. The bullpen has not been shaky and the starters have kept games close.

Injuries and inconsistencies plagued Miami's pitching staff early in the year. The pitching in September was not great, but it was good enough.

Offense produces consistently

It was a slow start to the season offensively for the Marlins. Now without Giancarlo Stanton, one might think the lineup becomes even less productive. But that was not the case.

Miami ended the month with a .294 batting average, which is the best in baseball. With Stanton, it would be notable. Without him, it becomes that much more significant.

Martin Prado has been consistent and Justin Bour has played and produced at first base since he was given the starting first base job. Dee Gordon has been solid all season and Adeiny Hechavarria, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna have also all contributed.

Late offense led the Marlins throughout September. Does that make it safe to assume the Marlins' offense will produce in 2016?

Defense remains solid

There were not many highlight reel plays in September, but there never really have to be. Miami has had an overall quality year from a defensive standpoint.

Clubhouse unity

Some feel this is overrated and should not be regarded, however the Marlins have had clubhouse issues in the past. Ultimately, the Marlins now have a belief they can win together. That concept was quite evident throughout the month of September.