The Miami Marlins return to the former home of pitching whisperer Jim Benedict, looking to bounce back in a huge four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With two struggling teams squaring off, it might seem as if billing this as huge is a reach. But that epic Miami Marlins slump in May was largely started by these Pirates.
Seeing the club exact revenge would go a long way towards making Marlins fans feel better about the chances for a June rally.
A series win would offer something even more significant:
Miami’s first tie breaker over a National League opponent. It’s way, way too early to talk about such things. Except, it really isn’t calendar wise. Not with mid-June less than a week away.
If we’re looking at a turned around Marlins team in late July, a series like this one is going to matter.
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Plenty of entertaining Miami Marlins milestones have been talked up already in this series. Last night saw Giancarlo Stanton celebrate the seventh anniversary of his arrival in the majors.
It was also well anticipated follow up start after a no-hitter from Edinson Volquez. Looking down the road to Sunday’s finale, Jeff Locke will face the Pirates for the first time in his career after six years with the team.
Whether that means an advantage for hitters, or for the pitcher, will only add added drama to that pivotal start from Locke.
Succeed, and he likely remains in the rotation. Stumble, and he’ll be looking like the bullpen option he was projected to be in the offseason.
However, if you are really thirsting for some added Marlins subplots, kindly direct your attention to these top three stories to watch. From a formerly lauded matchup of All-Star outfields, to an answer to what to expect the rest of the way in 2017, to a curious pitching decision, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s dive in.