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!
For much of the 2017 season, it was obvious that the Marlins needed an organizational reset. They didn’t have quality major league pitching, they didn’t have sufficient minor league reinforcements or high-ceiling prospects, and they didn’t have support from South Florida fans.
But for a few weeks in August, Giancarlo Stanton and the star-studded outfield made everybody forget about all that. After months of being submerged below the .500 mark and deciding to sell several veteran arms prior to the non-waiver deadline, they suddenly flipped a switch.
Stanton’s individual hot streak captured international attention. In the 15 games leading up to Aug. 27, he slashed .414/.500/.983 with 10 home runs and 20 runs batted in. His power surge—one that had no precedent in Marlins history—netted them 12 wins during that span, bringing their record to 65-63.
It was an inauspicious first inning for Dan Straily. Padres leadoff man Matt Szczur nearly took him deep (the ball twisted foul) and several other batters hit deep fly balls. He kept San Diego off the scoreboard, however, and settled down after that.
Miami took the lead against Clayton Richard in the bottom of the third. Dee Gordon sparked the two-out rally with an excellent bunt that the left-hander had no chance to make a play on. Stanton stroked a double into the right field corner to bring Gordon home, then scored himself on a wild pitch. Marlins up, 2-0.
For only the second time in his decade-long MLB career, Richard blasted a home run, tying things up in the fifth.
Both clubs had legitimate scoring opportunities over the next few frames, especially the Padres in the sixth. They loaded the bases for somebody named Dusty Coleman, who struck out looking against Straily to end the threat. (Perhaps it’s worth noting that these Padres had the worst run production in the majors in 2017.)
Fast-forward to the bottom of the eighth, Richard was still on the mound. Gordon was on first base—representing the go-ahead run—and Stanton had reached safely in all three plate appearances so far.
Maybe fourth time’s the charm? Uh...nope:
Stanton had already set the Marlins single-season franchise record for dingers, but you know how our society fetishizes round numbers! By “vaporizing” No. 50, he joined elite company and vaulted himself to frontrunner status in the NL MVP race.
A 6-2 advantage under these circumstances was insurmountable. Brad Ziegler effortlessly extended his scoreless innings streak to 12 straight, capping off a perfect Players’ Weekend.
Full FOX Sports Florida game broadcast (with Rich Waltz and Todd Hollandsworth)
TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)
- Notable player nicknames from this series included “Varis Strange” (Gordon), “Jarlin the Marlin” (Jarlin Garcia) and “Dad” (A.J. Ellis).
- The Marlins subsequently lost 16 of their next 18 games, dashing any chance of a postseason berth.
The “Games of the Decade” series is also available as a YouTube playlist (games listed there in chronological order)