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The Marlins continue getting crushed in one-run games

So far, Miami has lost 18 contests by a margin of one run, the second-highest total in the Majors.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s obvious that the Marlins won’t overwhelm anybody with their offense yet. In 2021, they are second-to-last in the Majors in OPS with .669 (only above the Pirates’ .649) and are the fifth-worst team in terms of strikeout percentage with 26.1%.

Considering the good pitching they have, that’s gonna give you plenty of one-run games regardless. But unfortunately, those contests haven’t gone as the Marlins could’ve wished.

So far, entering Sunday, the Marlins have lost 18 one-run games in the current season. That’s the second-highest number in MLB, only behind the Diamondbacks (20). It is the main reason there is such a disparity between Miami’s mediocre 35-46 record and plus-21 run differential, which is fifth-best in the National League!

Rarely in Marlins history has there been a team as frustrating as this one in “coin-flip” games. The franchise’s single-season record for losses by one run is 37, set during their inaugural season (1993). At the exact midpoint of the 2021 campaign, this current group is projected for 36.

Most Marlins’ one-run losses by season:

  • 1993: 37
  • 2021: 36*
  • 2013: 35
  • 2011: 32
  • 1998: 29
  • 2001: 29
  • 2014: 29

*on pace for

In order to compete with the best teams of the National League, the Marlins need more dangerous hitters. At the very least, it’d be nice to give Don Mattingly better options to use in pinch-hitting situations (awful .168/.276/.248 slash line in 135 PA for Miami PH in 2021). The front office took a small step toward addressing that in trading for Blue Jays infielder Joe Panik.

With Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jesús Sánchez and other names such as JJ Bleday or Lewin Díaz, the organization has promising young pieces on the position player side. But the time to sacrifice some lower-level prospects to acquire good hitters via trades and/or to invest big dollars in free agency might be around the corner.