Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

We’re nearly through our second series in June. Here’s what you need to know about the Miami Marlins over your morning breakfast.

The Miami Marlins are attempting to mount a furious comeback to make themselves relevant in the National League again. Earlier this month, I outlined an audacious plan, which if adhered to would put the Fish right in the thick of it.

It hasn’t worked out exactly as I envisioned. Having dropped the first two games of the series against the Chicago Cubs, obstacles continue to mount. Losses, injuries, lingering trade rumors, the Fish will have to overcome it all to secure the wild card.

Chicago Cubs series

The Miami Marlins entered the series knowing they had a tall task ahead of them. The Fish needed to take two-of-three from the Chicago Cubs. That hasn’t happened. After losing the first game by a narrow margin, 3-1, and the second game by a wider margin, 10-2, the Fish are in salvage mode tonight.

If they can limp out of Chicago with at least one win, they live to fight another day. They’ll draw Chicago for four games later in the month and will need to take three-of-four there. The can make amends for their shortcomings in this series with a sweep later in the month. The Braves are the likeliest target for that to come to fruition.

Injury news

The injuries continue to pile up. Justin Bour was placed on the 10 day disabled list due to an “ankle contusion”. He was experiencing discomfort after landing awkwardly at first base in his last at bat on Saturdays game. He isn’t expected to be out longer than the 10 days.

In a corresponding move, the team recalled AAA catcher Tomas Telis. The 25 year old catcher has gotten tastes of the big leagues the past three seasons, but has failed to establish himself. He is slashing .266/.308/.367 in New Orleans, and has driven in 16 RBI’s with two home runs.

Tonights matchup

Jose Urena gets the nod for the series finale in Wrigley. Urena has been one of the surprises of the seasons this year for the Marlins. After being thrust into the starting role due to injuries elsewhere, he has pitched well.

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He has firmly entrenched himself as a starter on the Miami Marlins team moving forward. This year, he is 3-2 with a 3.80 ERA and 28 strike outs. His numbers are skewed by two poor starts in what has otherwise been a strong season. Funnily enough, those two poor starts were both games in which he notched a “win”.

He’ll match up against big league veteran John Lackey. The 6 foot 6 inch Texan is in his 15th year at the Major League level. It’s also been his worst statistical performance of his career through 64.1 innings.

Lackey currently sits at 4-5 with a 4.90 ERA, fanning 66 batters. Despite his inflated numbers, his average game score sits right at 50, indicating an average season.

Next: Bour plagued by ankle again

The Miami Marlins will have to barrel the ball up against Lackey this evening. Urena has proven he is able to do his part to keep the team in the game. They’ll need to augment a strong effort from him with regular run production.