In the last week, the Miami Marlins have neither lost nor gained any ground in their pursuit of their first playoff berth since 2003. Just 1.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and 3 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the second and first wild card spots, respectively, and with slightly over a month of the season remaining, the Fish have a legitimate chance to steal either position. As for their division, the Washington Nationals appear pretty comfortable with their eight-game lead.
The Marlins will give the ball to Jose Urena (2-4) for their second in a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. In his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of his better performances of the season, Urena lasted six innings and allowed two runs on four hits with just one walk and three strikeouts as he snagged the win, his first since May 14th as a reliever and breaking a three-game losing streak.
For the Padres, Clayton Richard (0-3) will make his third start since coming over from the bullpen on August 14th. He was dangerous as a reliever, engineering nine scoreless innings thru eleven relief appearances. While he's lost his last two starts, he only surrendered a combined five hits and two earned runs while averaging four strikeouts. Like Urena, Richard went six innings in his last start and with five strikeouts, looked like a guy developing some confidence as a starter.
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Prediction: Marlins win 4-3.