After dropping the first two games of the 2019 season, the Marlins fought back on Saturday and Sunday, winning both days to split their series against the Rockies in Miami.
As we approach the first full week of regular season baseball, here are some things we learned about this Marlins team from the opening series.
5. Trevor Richards, Pablo López and Sandy Alcantara are legit
There’s been a lot of talk already this season about the young Marlins pitching rotation, and these guys already flashed their special potential over the weekend. Richards, even in a loss on Friday night, was strong on the mound (it’s hard when your offense gives you just one run and two hits). López did allow three runs, but also struck out seven Rockies batters. And Alcantara threw eight shutout innings allowing just four hits, paving the way for a Marlins win.
Sandy Alcántara. Eight innings, no runs. Google him. #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/SZkjUJhAsi— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) March 31, 2019
It’s been just one start for each of them, but it looks as if the hype surrounding them is real.
4. The bullpen is very much a work in progress
Marlins relievers had some fine outings over the course of their series with the Rockies, but on the other hand, there were equally horrifying outings as well. Sergio Romo started his season off horribly on Friday night, allowing four runs to cross while only recording one out. Though Romo bounced back on Sunday and collected his first save, it came in relief of Wei-Yin Chen, who Don Mattingly brought in to protect a ninth-inning lead in his 2019 debut? Very questionable decision there, as Mattingly quickly pulled the plug after Chen allowed the first two batters to reach base.
Uh...OK. Moving on.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) March 31, 2019
Overall, the bullpen owns a 3.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP through 12.0 IP.
3. Brian Anderson and Lewis Brinson need to step it up
Two of the brightest young stars on the Marlins team haven’t produced right away. Brinson had just two hits in 14 at-bats against Colorado, and Anderson was even worse, with just one hit in 15 at-bats. Both players struck out six times apiece. Now, of course, we’re only four games into a very long season, but Brinson and Christian Yelich are interwined after last year’s trade, and it doesn’t help to see the reigning NL MVP get off to an incredible start.
Christian Yelich has homered in four straight games to start the season. He remains on pace for 162 home runs.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 31, 2019
2. Marlins offense is right about where we thought it would be
Nobody in their right mind would’ve called the Marlins offense dynamic or filled with firepower heading into this season. On Friday night, it was almost painful to watch, as Miami collected just two hits in the loss. On Saturday, we saw “the blueprint” for how they want to play—building rallies with smart situational hitting and aggressive baserunning.
Marlins batters had 40 plate appearances, only struck out 3 times. That's not supposed to be possible in a 2019 baseball game.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) March 31, 2019
But for three out of the four games against Colorado, hits were very hard to come by.
- This is an exciting team
Miami is a team that nobody outside of this town is expecting much from, and maybe that’s why it’s so fun to see them win these two games. It’s a blast to see JT Riddle hit those two home runs, or to see Richards and López on the mound shutting down batters. The Marlins may not be in contention for any pennants this season, but it’s clear that the talent is developing.