Sep 13, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A jersey of injured Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (no pictured) hangs in the Marlin dugout during game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Marlins dream of winning the National League East is 1 game away from being dashed, yet again. Miami has never won the N.L. East since expansion, 21 years ago. Both of the World Series Championships that the Marlins won came from a Wild Card berth.
If the Marlins lose 1 more game, or the Nationals win 1 more game, the division will be out of reach for Miami. Of course, they have not yet been eliminated from Wild Card contention, as they currently sit 6 games behind Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card spot. The Marlins elimination number is 8, which goes down if either Miami loses a game, or the Wild Card leader wins a game.
6 games is a large gap to make up, particularly in just 13 games. Miami would likely need to go 11-2 in their final 13 games to even have a shot, and even then, it would take a losing streak by all 3 of the teams in front of them.
Even though Miami’s playoff hopes are dwindling, Giancarlo Stanton has not yet been ruled out from returning this season. Of course the slugger has something else that he is competing for. Stanton is in the running to become the first Marlin in history to win the MVP award.
This award is generally given based on statistics such as batting average, home runs, and RBI’s. Stanton has excelled in all of those categories, including some of the advanced metrics like WAR.
The added factor could be simply returning to the lineup after such a horrific injury. I am not saying that returning should be considered, only that it might sway some voters to choose Stanton on the ballot, especially after everyone was pretty convinced he was done for the season after being struck in the face by a pitch.
If he is able to return, many will be highly surprised and his dedication to a team that is no longer in the playoff race would be without question. No one would fault him if he didn’t return this season, but it would make quite a compelling storyline on his way to the MVP.