Tonight, the Marlins are still in Atlanta, facing the Braves in the second of three. Josh Johnson squares off against Paul Maholm. Maholm brings a 4.09 ERA to the rubber, vice J.J.’s 3.84. Johnson has come on strong since the All-star break, and looks to continue for the remainder of the season.
A not fully healed Giancarlo Stanton will be in tonight’s lineup, marking his return from an oblique injury.
The Marlins lost their last chance to act as spoilers in the National League race last night, so from this point forward, they’re playing for self-respect. There are eight games left in the season, and there is still a possibility that we can overtake the Mets for next-to-last place. We’re four games back right now, and we face them after the Philly series that follows Atlanta. It’s swan song season right now.
Look to see manager Ozzie Guillen give playing time to guys he’d like to evaluate for starting jobs next year, and look for a subdued, quiet clubhouse tonight. Yesterday’s furor over Heath Bell’s comments on Monday will put a damper on loose lips. Unless, of course, the Marlins are trying to add “classless” as an adjective to ascribe to this year’s club.