Stat Wrap 7/9: Marlins Cruise, Can They Finish Top 3?

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Jul 8, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Every fifth day, it’s Must See TV.

Jose Fernandez was on cruise control for seven strong innings, carving up the visiting Cincinnati Reds to lead the Miami Marlins to a 3-1 victory Friday night at Marlins Park. Jose picked up his 11th win of the season, second best pitching finish all-time for the Marlins before the break behind Dontrelle Willis‘ 13 wins in 2005. The win puts the Marlins back at four games over .500, and just two games off the Wild Card pace.

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Which begs the question of just how good all-time wise can this team finish the first half of this surprising 2016 season?  Now the answer is tricky there, as the All-Star break never exactly falls at the exact midpoint of the 162 game schedule.  Case in point, the gold standard for Marlins first half finishes is the 1997 championship team.

A sweep of the Reds would put the Marlins just three games short of their glorious win total of 50 games.

Of course, the 1997 Marlins were also 14 games over .500 at the midpoint, with a 50-36 record.

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So first place, either way, is out of the question.  But if we agree to run with games over .500, this club could find itself breathing some rare air. The ranking second-best finish going into the break belongs to the 2008 Marlins, that scrappy squad that found a way to win with journeyman Mark Hendrickson pitching quality innings and reached the break at 50-45, five games over.

Since 2008, no Fish team has done better than two games over. 500.

A series win, picking up just one of these last two against the Reds, would tie the 2003 championship squad for the second-best first half mark in team history. A sweep, and they’re only looking up at the 1997 club.

And now we Stat Wrap:

  • Jose’s line: 7 IP, 6 H, 8 K while picking up his 11th win of the year.
  • Only Dontrelle Willis has done better pre-Break, during his 22-win 2005.
  • Christian Yelich hit his 7th HR, tying his total for the entire 2015 season.
  • Giancarlo Stanton has a five-game hitting streak.
  • Don Kelly got his first hit of 2016.
  • Marcell Ozuna has gone 0 for 7 since making the All-Star team Tuesday.
  • J.T. Realmuto has gone 0 for 8 since finding out he didn’t.
  • Fernando Rodney had a perfect 8th inning.
  • And fellow All-Star A.J. Ramos pitched the 9th for save No. 26.
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