As the Astros, Nationals and Yankees continue to fight it out for MLB supremacy, fans of baseball’s other 27 teams are left to reflect and look forward to next year. This past season wasn’t one to remember with fondness for the Miami Marlins, but it did have its moments.
The Marlins finished the 2019 campaign with a record of 57-105, the second-worst in franchise history. With low expectations, the Marlins finished with the worst record in the National League, but better than both the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.
While there is reason to believe that better days are ahead, 2019 had a few moments that kept us coming back. In what will be the second piece of a three-part series, we begin counting down the 15 best moments from the Marlins this past season.
10. Yamamoto Shines in Debut
June 12, 2019
After a rough start to the 2019, the Miami Marlins were looking for a spark in mid-June. That spark came in the form of pitcher Jordan Yamamoto. Yamamoto made his big-league debut at Marlins Park against the St. Louis Cardinals and was nothing short of outstanding. Yamamoto has aided by a pair of double-play balls, but went seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out five. He even had an RBI with a bunt groundout in the fifth inning. Yamamoto would finish his first season with a 4-5 record and 4.44 ERA.
9. Moran Gets First Strikeout vs. Brother
Sept. 5, 2019
Up until last month, there had been plenty of match-ups between family members. But until Miami’s visit to PNC Park, two brothers had never squared off in a pitcher vs. batter match-up. Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Marlins turned to lefty Brian Moran, who at 30 years old, was making his big-league debut. After getting Bryan Reynolds to ground out, Moran was forced to face brother and former Marlins’ first-round pick Colin Moran. The younger Moran worked the count full, but on a 3-2 pitch, Brian was able to get him looking with a breaking ball for his first major league strikeout.
8. Comeback in Throwbacks
July 26, 2019
There’s something about those 1997 uniforms that brings out the best in the Marlins. On the first night of “Throwback Weekend” against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Fish donned the uniforms of the Florida Marlins team that won the 1997 World Series. As was the case in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against the Cleveland Indians, the Marlins entered the ninth inning down 2-1 and as was the case in 1997, the contest ended with a 3-2 win for the Marlins. This time however, the Fish didn’t need 11 innings. The Marlins loaded the bases off Arizona closer Greg Holland with no one out before Jorge Alfaro evened the game with a deep fly ball to right field to score pinch-runner Yadiel Rivera. Neil Walker was able to advance to third and go on to score the winning run after Harold Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to center field off Yoshihisa Hirano.
7. Marlins Push Across 11 Runs in Record-Breaking Fifth
June 4, 2019
Entering the fifth inning of the first game of a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Marlins probably liked their chances. When that half-inning was over, there was no doubt how the night would end. Miami led 4-0 before pushing across a team-record 11 runs in the frame. The Marlins sent 15 hitters to the plate in the inning. All nine hitters in the lineup reached base during the inning and all nine plated at least one run. Garrett Cooper had a pair of singles in the frame while Harold Ramirez, starting pitcher Pablo López and Starlin Castro all had doubles. Cooper finished the night with four hits and four runs scored while becoming the first Marlin to have multiple hits in an inning in four years.
6. Cooper’s Grand Slam Breaks Tigers
May 23, 2019
The Marlins had just clinched their first road series win as they went for the sweep against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 23. For eight innings, the Tigers had kept the Marlins off the board, but Miami broke through in the ninth against Detroit’s All-Star closer in Shane Greene. Neil Walker broke up the shutout with an RBI single, but with two outs, Greene walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases and set the stage for Garrett Cooper. Cooper had hit his first career home run the night before and on the second pitch he saw from Greene, Cooper blasted his first career grand slam well into the left-field seats to put Miami ahead 5-2 in what would be a series sweep.