Don Mattingly said something very important about a week ago when asked about the Marlins and their playoff hopes. Something along the lines of “first we must get to .500, then work on staying above it.” This will be key if Miami wants to stay close in the wild card hunt, because the last thing they want is to still be five or six games out by the time mid-September rolls around.
The Marlins got back to .500 two games ago and proceeded to lose the next game to the Phillies going back under. Today (hopefully) began the long battle for the Marlins to stay above .500.
This game was an offensive battle that involved little-to-no effective starting pitching. Vance Worley was at his worst today, which included giving up nine hits, eight earned runs, and two home runs in just four innings. Pitching for the Phillies, Jake Thompson gave up seven hits, five earned runs, and two home runs in five innings of work.
*** Stanton Update*** Giancarlo hit his 47th home run in today’s game, bringing his RBI total on the year to 100.
Rhys Hoskins also continued to torment the Marlins throughout the game, this time with another home run, while also driving in another couple of runs throughout the day.
But when the Phillies had power, the Marlins had the power to answer right back, including a Christian Yelich home run in the sixth inning — his 15th of the year. Then speed came into the game in the form of MLB’s fastest catcher J.T. Realmuto, who hit an inside the park home run. The last time a Marlin did that was 2015... and you guessed it — that was also Realmuto.
While the action went back and forth throughout the game, Miami’s bullpen really shined and held everything together. Junichi Tazawa, Drew Steckenrider, Jarlin Garcia, Kyle Barraclough and Brad Ziegler all came together to give the Marlins five innings of scoreless ball. This was the key for this game and the key for future Marlins games. The pitching must hold up, but especially the bullpen. There are plenty of talented arms in there and the Marlins must utilize them if they want to really make a push for the wild card.
This game was wild and exciting and showed that the Marlins can hang after taking three of four from the Phillies. The next few weeks will be nail-biting times for Marlins fans, but I believe with good health and a strong bullpen the Marlins can make it.
The Marlins next game will be Friday, August 25. They will be back at home against the San Diego Padres and it will be Adam Conley (6-5) vs. Travis Wood (3-4).
King Fish: Marcell Ozuna (.285)
Flounder: Vance Worley (-.588)
Play of the game: JT Realmuto inside-the-parker (.263)