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Marlins 3, Rays 2; López positions Fish for a potential sweep

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The all-time series between these Florida teams is now even at 56-56, thanks to an excellent effort from the rookie starter.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins continued their great play as of late on Saturday night, as they secured their third straight series win with a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays. Powered by a stellar performance from rookie Pablo López, it was the Fish’s fourth straight win overall.

  • Pablo López: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (89 pitches)
  • “Opener” Ryne Stanek: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (25 pitches)

The rookie starter went six innings, allowing only three hits and one run. The bullpen would combine to allow only three hits and one run in relief, as Kyle Barraclough earned his 10th save of the season.

Miami jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 4th, when Martín Prado doubled home Justin Bour, followed by a Miguel Rojas RBI groundout.

The Rays would cut into the lead in the bottom of that inning. Joey Wendle homered off López to dead center field.

However, the Marlins would pad their lead in the 7th. Cameron Maybin crushed a solo shot of his own to make it 3-1. The veteran outfielder continues to play his best baseball of the season over the past several weeks.

The home team would make things interesting in the 9th, when Ji-Man Choi homered against Barraclough. The Marlins would hold on to win anyway, 3-2. That evens the all-time series between these two Florida foes at 56 apiece.

The Marlins now have the third most wins in the NL since June 5, topped by only the Dodgers and Cubs. That’s good company considering both of them played in the NLCS last year.

If the Fish can pull out the win on Sunday, it would give them their first sweep of the season and longest winning streak since April 2016. The Marlins (43-57) will send Trevor Richards to the mound tomorrow, while Chris Archer pitches for Tampa (potentially for the final time).

July 21, 2018 win probability chart
Courtesy of FanGraphs

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7/21/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Pablo Lopez Marlins 17.0 6.35 4.86 7.41 0.0
Ryne Stanek Rays 34.2 2.08 2.67 11.42
FanGraphs

Today's Lineups

MIAMI MARLINS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Derek Dietrich - LF Joey Wendle - 2B
Brian Anderson - RF Daniel Robertson - 3B
J.T. Realmuto - C Jake Bauers - LF
Justin Bour - 1B C.J. Cron - 1B
Starlin Castro - 2B Ji-Man Choi - DH
Martin Prado - DH Carlos Gomez - RF
JT Riddle - SS Mallex Smith - CF
Miguel Rojas - 3B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Cameron Maybin - CF Jesus Sucre - C
Pablo Lopez - RHP Ryne Stanek - RHP

Matchup Summary

Way more dramatic than it needed to be, but the Marlins continued their winning ways Friday night, 6-5. Adam Conley stranded the potential tying run on second base and recorded his first major league save. Derek Dietrich blasted his 12th and 13th home runs of the season.

Some things to look for on Saturday:

  • Ryne Stanek is one of Tampa Bay’s “openers” with a season-high of just two innings pitched in any appearance, so there will be a handful of arms used over the course of the game.
  • When Pablo López gets ahead in the count, opponents take lots of desperate hacks.
  • Old man Martín Prado takes advantage of the designated hitter rule in an American League ballpark.
  • A Marlins win would clinch the season series and tie up their all-time head-to-head record with the Rays.

Thread Question: Which Marlin is most likely to be traded prior to the July 31 deadline?