One week and two days ago, the Miami Marlins were 39-39 and looking to advance on the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves who were both less than two games above the Fish in the NL East standings.
In their final home game before the All-Star break, the Marlins bungled a chance at sweeping the Phillies, blowing a one-run lead in the ninth inning and losing 5-4. Donovan Solano had a devastating bobble in the ninth inning to allow the go-ahead run, and Steve Cishek was charged with the loss and a blown save after starter Brad Hand’s five-inning, three run effort.
The loss sank Miami six games back of the first place Atlanta Braves, and 5.5 games behind the Washington Nationals, who have both won seven and five consecutive games, respectively.
After hovering near the top of the underachieving NL East for a few weeks as a .500 team, the Marlins have broken even with the Philadelphia Phillies and were swept by the Oakland Athletics. They’re firmly established as the third best team in the division, Brad Hand is the new fifth starter, and their run differential is zero. Today, they face the defending National League champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the first of a three-game series. A slow rise from the fog, only to be punched in the face. Welcome to Earth.
Inside is a picture of Chris Hatcher and Mike Dunn in American Flag bro tanks, remedying their World Cup Fever. This flavor of ridiculous patriotic pride is even more appropriate on this, the Fourth day of July [American flag emoji]
While you weren’t looking, the Marlins dropped from surprising challengers in the East, to the team hoping Brad Hand can “lock down” a spot in the rotation.
Marlins make several early international deals | Fish Pond
Wednesday was the first day for international signings, and the Marlins worked deals for three 16-year olds. Most releases are apt to remind you Miami tripled their international budget, and are expected to ink even more deals.