Sep 7, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (3) and second baseman Donovan Solano celebrate their 4-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Just keep winning games.
That has to be Miami’s mantra at this point in a season in which they find themselves improbably in a playoff hunt that most people thought they were a couple of years away from at best.
With a big victory on Sunday afternoon, the Marlins were able to win the final series against the Atlanta Braves 2-1, and also win the season series 10-9. For a team that routinely struggles against the top teams in the N.L. East, that is a huge accomplishment.
Unfortunately, Miami doesn’t have the luxury of being able to rest on their laurels. The Milwaukee Brewers come into town reeling after dropping 9 of their last 10 games. The Brewers sit 4 games in front of the Marlins, who kick off a convenient 4 game series tonight in Marlins Park.
Currently there are 3 teams battling it out for presumably one spot left in the Wild Card. The Pittsburgh Pirates still hold a slim lead after the weekend, with the Braves and Brewers tied .5 games behind them. The Marlins are desperately trying to get into that group to give themselves a chance.
A successful series could do just that. The Braves are headed to Washington to take on the Nationals, a team in which they have had some success against this year, but the inconsistent play of the Braves certainly gives the Marlins hope.
The Pirates kick off a 4 game series in Philadelphia and even though it doesn’t happen often, I will certainly be rooting for the Phillies this week.
Of course, the Pirates and Braves losing this week is irrelevant if the Marlins can’t take advantage at home. Here are the projected pitching matchups.
Brewers: Yovanni Gallardo 8-8, 3.43 ERA
Marlins: Brad Penny 1-1, 6.61 ERA
Brewers: Matt Garza 7-8, 3.87 ERA
Marlins: Tom Koehler 9-9, 3.74 ERA
Brewers: Wily Peralta 15-10, 3.84 ERA
Marlins: Jarred Cosart 4-1, 1.99 ERA
Brewers: Mike Fiers 5-2, 2.03 ERA
Marlins: Nathan Eovaldi 6-10, 4.19 ERA
While the Marlins desperately need the sweep to bring the Brewers into the same spot as themselves, I see a 2-2 split here. Miami will be looking to rely on some high-powered offense for a change, and hopefully they will be able to take advantage of the Brewers recent slump.
What do you think will happen? Let us know in the comments below and Go Fish!