On the last Sunday of September, 2020, the Miami Marlins shut out the New York Yankees to finish with a winning record for the first time in 11 years.
With the combined shutout, the Marlins totaled six for the 2020 campaign in only 60 games. For context, they achieved eight shutouts during the entire 2019 season.
It didn’t look like it was going to work out that way early. After the Marlins went down 1-2-3 in the first, starter José Ureña started Miami’s half of the inning by walking DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge on 11 combined pitches. The right-hander’s first-inning struggles have been well-documented. But on this occasion, he received defensive help on a 3-6 force play at second, struck out Luke Voit on three pitches, and got Gio Urshela to ground out 6-3.
After his nice pair of defensive plays in the first, Jazz Chisholm opened his night at the plate with a two-run double to stake the Marlins to an early lead. He later scored on a Corey Dickerson RBI single to make it 3-0.
Unfortunately for Ureña, he ended up taking a line drive off the bat of LeMahieu with one out in the third, falling to the ground in intense pain. An X-ray later revealed that Ureña’s forearm was broken on the play, and he’ll miss the entire postseason. He exited the game with 2 1⁄3 scoreless innings under his belt. He walked two, surrendered two hits, and struck out a pair as well. Enter Daniel Castano.
Castano entered the game with an 0-2 record after 23 1⁄3 prior big-league innings to his credit. He ended up tossing 6 1⁄3 scoreless, striking out two and allowing four hits and two walks for his first major league win, finishing his campaign with a 3.03 earned run average. James Hoyt got the final out in a non-save situation.
The Marlins later added a pair of home runs for some insurance. In the fifth, Brian Anderson hit a two-out solo shot for his team-leading 11th round-tripper of the season. Jazz Chisholm later led off the eighth with his second tater, a 408 foot shot to right-center.
Miami’s injury woes weren’t limited to the Ureña incident. Starling Marte took a 95 MPH fastball off the batting helmet in the second inning. Lucky for the helmet, Marte did suffer a left-ear contusion on the play. His availability for the postseason remains undetermined at this time.
With the victory, the Marlins nail down their seventh better-than-.500 record in their 28-season history. Incidentally, they’ve never exactly at .500, falling below the mark in each of their other 21 seasons.
With a winning percentage of .517, this counts as the Marlins fifth-best season by win-loss record, behind 2008’s 84-77 mark, 2009’s 87-75, and their two World Series winning championship seasons, 1997 and 2003 at 92-70 and 91-71 respectively.
The Marlins 31-29 record nets them the number six seed in the National League, and a first round date with the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field for a best-of-three starting on Wednesday.
Marlins vs. Yankees Box Score
- Yes—Brian Anderson, Jazz Chisholm