Considering that Major League Baseball has been around since the 1800s, there are few areas where the Florida/Miami Marlins stand alone. On this day 15 years ago, however, the Marlins did something no team had ever done before nor have since.
Once a dreadful 11-31, the Florida Marlins in 2006 became the first team in history to get back to .500 after falling at least 20 games under. The Marlins did so with a convincing victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-3.
The Marlins were going for the series sweep of the Brewers as they arrived at Miller Park on Sept. 3, 2006. They achieved that goal behind a stellar start from Scott Olsen and a big late inning to put the game away.
For seven innings, Olsen kept the Brewers off the scoreboard. The Florida lefty allowed just a hit and two walks while striking out seven. A first-inning infield single from Jeff Cirillo served as the lone hit off Olsen.
That score remained until the top of the seventh when Olsen helped himself with an RBI single to score catcher Miguel Olivo. Olsen would come around to score on a Ramirez double as the Marlins opened up a 3-0 lead.
Olsen found himself in a bit of a jam in the bottom of the inning. Bill Hall walked and later advanced to third with one out, but Olsen was able to strike out Corey Hart before getting Kevin Mench to fly out to end the inning.
The Marlins blew the game open with seven runs in the top of the eighth. Olivo singled home a run off Milwaukee’s Geremi Gonzalez before Alfredo Amezaga plated two more with a single. Ramirez and Cabrera put together back-to-back two-run doubles off Gonzalez to make it a 10-0 lead.
Milwaukee came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, but it was a case of too little, too late. Ramirez and Cabrera each drove in three runs while combining for seven hits. With the win, Olsen improved to 12-7.
The Marlins would actually get above .500 the following day and were two games over on Sept. 11, but dropped 13 of their final 18 games to end the year. Although the Marlins finished below .500, they’re the only team in baseball history to get back to .500 after falling 20 games below. They got there on this day 15 years ago.