Nothing compares with the rush of tuning in to live Marlins games. But as you are all aware, unfortunate circumstances have delayed the start of the 2020 regular season. Need help filling that void? Fish Stripes will be presenting full-length FOX Sports Florida broadcasts from the 2010-2019 Marlins seasons.
The “Games of the Decade” series is a collaborative process between the Fish Stripes staff and audience. Please continue recommending games that deserve to be rewatched!
It’s been one of the most lopsided rivalries in Major League Baseball. Entering Aug. 10, the Marlins had a 3-11 record against the Braves during the 2019 season. That’s after going 5-14 the previous year and being outscored by nearly three runs per game. Looking at it through a broader lens, the Fish have never finished atop the NL East, whereas Atlanta has 14 titles since joining the division.
So understandably, there were tempered expectations for this Saturday night matchup against gifted young right-hander Mike Soroka.
The Marlins actually made plenty of quality contact through the first two innings—Isan Díaz’s hustle double, Lewis Brinson lining out to the left-center field warning track, but nothing to show for it. From there, Soroka would settle in. He surrendered only one more hit over the next five frames, a well-placed dribbler that didn’t get past the infield dirt.
Being asked to match zeroes on the scoreboard, Miami’s inconsistent All-Star stepped up. Sandy Alcantara piled up 15 swinging strikes, featuring a more effective slider than usual.
The top of the eighth inning was a second-guesser’s delight. Post-trade deadline and having played 15 games over the previous 15 days, Marlins manager Don Mattingly had an unproven and beleaguered bullpen. On the other hand, Alcantara’s workload was at 99 pitches attempting to navigate through the Braves batting order for a fourth time. Mattingly ordered an intentional walk of phenom Ronald Acuña Jr., hopeful that Alcantara could escape the jam unscathed by retiring Ozzie Albies.
Sandy missed his spot, but seemingly got the desired result. Shortstop Deven Marrero was positioned perfectly up the middle to field the ball...it just took an unpredictable bounce off the pitcher’s leg. Infuriating.
Jarlin García came in to stop the bleeding, having done well at stranding inherited runners all summer. Well, Freddie Freeman was unfazed by the lefty-lefty matchup and singled to increase the lead to 3-0.
The Marlins punched back immediately with two in the bottom of the eighth. However, Garrett Cooper swung through a 95 mile-per-hour heater, leaving the potential tying run at third base.
Pitching at home in front of Marlins fans for the first time since being acquired via trade, Ryne Stanek made a horrible impression—career-worst four walks allowed and a deflating Johan Camargo three-run homer. It was now 6-2.
But then, a comeback that must be seen to be believed. Six consecutive hits at one point in the ninth, a brilliant relay that (temporarily) kept the game going, and the final blow delivered in extras by the worn-down yet revered veteran Martín Prado.
Full FOX Sports Florida game broadcast (with Paul Severino, Todd Hollandsworth and Kelly Saco)
TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)
- Scoreless through seven innings, there was a final total of 13 runs scored! Don’t see that very often.
- Announced attendance of 29,720 was the highest at Marlins Park all season, no doubt boosted by the University of Miami Night promotion.
- This would prove to be Deven Marrero’s first and only start for his hometown team.
- The comeback came in the midst of a rough stretch for the Fish. From Aug. 3-22, they lost 16 of their 19 games, outscored by four runs or more in the majority of those contests.
- Nonetheless, Prado spoke postgame about the importance of a level-headed approach and his optimism about the long-term direction of the franchise. I’m usually not one to eat up clichés, but he hit all the right notes here. Genuinely moving.
"Today I was so happy!"— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) August 11, 2019
We once again caught up with Martin Prado as he comments on the Marlins win, his team finally coming together, flipping the script on the Braves, and how happy he was to get the victory.#JuntosMiami #MLB pic.twitter.com/Vd0PkhEJcm
The “Games of the Decade” series is also available as a YouTube playlist (games listed there in chronological order)