The Marlins last win came on Sep. 2, 2017 and before that on Aug. 27, 2017 when they swept the San Diego Padres. The Fish are on a four game losing streak again and have lost nine out of their last 10 games. After sweeping the Padres and coming 4.5 games from the securing the second Wild Card the wheels have fallen off the wagon and the Marlins of old are back. They’re sitting at 67 – 72 and are back under .500 as they’ve been for the majority of the season.
A lot of the team’s misfortune falls on Giancarlo Stanton, their MVP candidate. During the losing streak Stanton is 3 for 35 (.086) and 2 for 20 (.100) during the month of September. Pitchers have found away to work around Stanton and although he hit home run number 53, he’s reverted to chasing pitches outside the zone. He’s falling victim to the low and away slider and high fastballs. While Stanton hasn’t been playing well, neither has the rest of the offense. The team’s average during the last 10 games is .221, well below their season average of .263.
The hitting hasn’t quite been there but the pitching hasn’t allowed the Marlin hitters the opportunity to even remain in games. In the last ten games they’ve given up 31 runs in 37.2 innings for an ERA of 7.41. The bullpen is responsible for two of the nine losses but also failing at keeping the game close enough to win with eight pitchers giving up more than one run in less than two innings of work. Vance Worley and Jarlin Garcia are having the most difficult times getting hitters out. In his last two outings of the past 10 games Worley’s allowed eight runs in 5.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 13.50 and Garcia has allowed nine runs in 3.1 innings with an ERA of 24.30.
While these pasts ten games have diminished all that this Marlins team has accomplished it cannot take away from the season they have had so far. The starting rotation was never able to come together as hoped with injuries to Edison Volquez, Jeff Locke, and Wei-Yin Chen who were projected to be a part of the rotation in March. The Marlins did find an ace of sorts in Jose Ureña and a number two starter in Dan Straily. With Adam Conley pitching better as of late, Chen’s return from the disabled list, and Dillon Peters having pitched okay for a September call-up, the Marlins have some sort of an idea for who to use in their rotation next year.
In addition, over the course of the season, this has been one of the best hitting teams in Marlins’ history. Stanton has had an MVP type season, Marcell Ozuna has had a career year, Justin Bour was on his way to a career year before being sidelined with an oblique injury, Dee Gordon has bounced back, Christian Yelich and JT Realmuto are consistent as they’ve always been.
Although the season appears to be over already it does bode well for next year if the new management is able to make a couple of smart moves. There are rumors of cutting salary for 2018 but that shouldn’t be the case; not with this team. I hope Derek Jeter and company have paid attention to what occurred after May because that is the level of baseball this Marlins team has the potential to play at. Tearing it down sends the wrong message. This team needs to be retooled and management needs to get rid of bad contracts i.e. Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa, and Martin Prado to name a few.
Although 2017’s playoff hopes are effectively over, this team has shown it’s potential, and they deserve a fair shot and a front office that cares to see them win.