The Miami Marlins will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks for the final game of a four game series today. Leading 2-1, the Marlins have a chance to win their third consecutive series.
The month of June is everything the Miami Marlins could have asked for so far. They’ve taken two of three against one of the leagues best teams so far. The final game of a four game series against the Diamondbacks could net them a series victory.
After Edinson Volquez threw a no-hitter in game three of the series last night, the Fish are riding high. Snapshots of greatness like the one the baseball world last night are magical, but they become a footnote if part of an otherwise hapless season.
The Marlins remain eight games below even. They’ve been playing better baseball as of late, and they’ll need it to continue. Their last series loss came against the Dodgers in mid-May. Since then, the Marlins are 8-3 and have played substantially better baseball.
The Fish will turn to veteran Vance Worley to bring home the series victory. Worley is making his start in place of the injured Justin Nicolino. Nicolino bruised his thumb while trying to lay down a bunt in his previous start.
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Worley was supposed to make the transition into the bullpen, but is now being asked to make his third start of the season. Worley showed improvement from start to the next. After failing to go five innings in his first start, Worley allowed held the Angels to only two earned runs in his second go.
He has appeared to struggle once his pitch total starts to escalate. Tonight, the Marlins will need him to go at least five innings. A bullpen that got the night off last night should be able to handle the rest. In two starts, Worley is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA, and an average game score of 48.
On the other side
Toeing the rubber opposite of Worley is right-hander Braden Shipley. Shipley is in his second Major League season, but has struggled to this point. His rookie year saw mixed results as he started 11 games. The Diamondbacks were hoping for a step forward in year two. That has yet to materialize.
In his lone start this season, Shipley went four innings and allowed three earned runs. He profiles similarly to Worley: big right-hander who wears glasses and pitches to contact. In 70 innings last season, Shipley only notched 43 strikeouts.
The Marlins will have a chance to put the ball in play today. With J.T. Realmuto, and Justin Bour getting the day off, their offense will be missing two important pieces. Tyler Moore gets the start at first base, while A.J. Ellis fills in behind the plate.
First pitch is at 1:05 at Marlins Park. Look for Mattingly to be quick on the trigger to pull Worley if things appear to be getting out of hand. The bullpen is well rested, and he won’t be shy to have them eat several innings if needed.