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Fresh Fish News, 9/29/19: Rollercoaster season for Smith, attendance numbers, free agent targets

The regular season is close to the end and the Marlins are looking to finish strong in game 162. After that, they’ll have some interesting decisions to make.

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Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

It has been a tough season to watch for Miami Marlins fans as the team is last in the division and in possession of the worst record in the NL. They’ve had bad days, but they have also had glimpses of their true potential, indicative of a bright future. Whether coming off a good or bad week, you can count on Fish Stripes to bring you the latest news, analysis and highlights regarding your Marlins.

Marlins Game Recaps

The Marlins salvaged the last game of their series against the Washington Nationals before heading on the road and splitting two of four with the New York Mets. Miami started their last regular season series against the Philadelphia Phillies, losing the first two games. For the week, they went 3-4, and for the season, they are 56-105.

September 22—Marlins 5, Nationals 3; Pablo López got the start against the Nationals, going five innings allowing three runs on six hits with four walks and one strikeout. The Marlins scored five runs with Starlin Castro and Jon Berti both had 2 RBIs while Austin Dean hit a solo HR.

September 23—Marlins 8, Mets 4; Caleb Smith took the mound against the Mets, going six innings allowing four runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. The Marlins scored eight runs with Jorge Alfaro having a solo HR and a grand slam while Harold Ramirez had a two-hit, 2 RBI day.

September 24—Mets 5, Marlins 4; Sandy Alcantara got the ball against the Mets, going seven innings allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. The Marlins scored four runs and outhit the Mets, 11-9, but still came up short with Jon Berti getting three hits and having four stolen bases to match a franchise recored. Isan Diaz also contributed a run with a solo HR.

September 25—Mets 10, Marlins 3; Robert Dugger had trouble against the Mets, only going two innings allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The Marlins scored three runs all in the ninth on a Neil Walker RBI single and a Jorge Alfaro two-run HR.

September 26—Marlins 4, Mets 2; Jordan Yamamoto had a stellar start against the Mets, working six scoreless innings on one hit and three walks with 10 strikeouts. The Marlins scored four runs with Tyler Heineman hitting his first career HR, Curtis Granderson hitting a go-ahead solo HR and Austin Dean giving the Marlins an insurance run in the ninth with a solo HR.

September 27—Phillies 5, Marlins 4; Pablo Lopez took the ball against the Phillies, going 4 13 innings allowing four runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Miguel Rojas had a four-hit game, Starlin Castro had a three-hit game with an RBI and Harold Ramirez had a three-hit game with a solo HR.

September 28—Phillies 9, Marlins 3; Caleb Smith got the start against the Phillies, going three innings allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits with four walks and one strikeout. His lone K victim was the opposing pitcher Zach Eflin. The Marlins scored three runs on seven hits with Starlin Castro contributing an RBI single and Neil Walker hitting a two-run HR.

Analyzing Attendance Numbers

Even with the Marlins’ tough start to the season, the preference that many fans have for viewing at home and the lack of big series on the schedule, attendance has increased slightly from 2018 to 2019. Many expected that with the Marlins in the depths of a rebuild, the turnout would’ve taken a big dip. The full story by Fish Stripes’ own Danny Martinez can be read here.

Rollercoaster Season for Caleb Smith

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Caleb Smith had an up-and-down 2019 season for the Marlins as his first half start was one of the better streaks in Marlins history. However, his second half—after returning from a minor hip injury—was very different. He struggled to go deep in games and gave up many HRs. There are many different reasons why he has not been the same since coming back from the injured list, as explored by Fish Stripes’ own Juan Paez.

Which Marlins will Stay in 2020 to Help Rebuild?

The Marlins will have some interesting decisions to make in free agency. With veterans set to hit the open market, the front office has to decide if they want to bring them back or look at the possibility of replacing them in the hopes of getting better production. The full article by Andre Fernandez of The Athletic (subscription required) can be read here.

Mattingly Wants a “Nastier” Pablo López

Pablo López is seen as one of the friendlier and nicer players on the Marlins club, but Don Mattingly has urged Lopez to pitch with more fire next season. López notes even though that is not really his personality, it would not be a bad idea to try and find that edge, especially when trying to put batters away. The full article by Wells Dusenbury can be read here.

Granderson Wants to Play in 2020

Curtis Granderson has seen his on-field role with the Marlins shrink later in the season, but he has brought a leadership that cannot be denied. Granderson says he wants to play in the major leagues next year at age 39—whether that means re-signing with the Marlins and continuing to mentor the young players or signing with another team remains to be seen. The full article can be read here.

With the regular season ending, we will use the coming days to reflect on 2019 before transitioning to coverage of what the Fish have in store for next year. Continue to stick with Fish Stripes for your latest Marlins news, highlights and analysis!