Checking in with the Miami Marlins trek to .500

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

After a dreadful second month of the season, the Miami Marlins put themselves behind the eight-ball. They’re trying to dig their way out in June.

It wasn’t pretty. The month of May was one of the worst the Miami Marlins have endured in a long time. Their final record in the month is skewed slightly by a strong finish. 10-18 for the month is bad, but it sounds a lot better than it actually was. (Or felt!).

The team was listless for stretches of time. Opposing beat writers treated the team like a bargain bin to postulate trades that would launch their team into the playoff race. The Marlins became an afterthought. A laughing stock. A melting pot of disappointment and frustration.

They’ve made strides towards changing all that in June.

The Fish are playing better baseball. Much better. This was the team fans were expecting to see all year. Can you chalk it up to growing pains? The team featured a number of players who were new to the team. It takes a while for players to gel and develop that thing that makes stat-mongers cringe: chemistry.

After all, the Big Three era started with the Heat losing to the Celtics and going 9-8 through 17 games.

The Marlins were 13 games under .500 at one point in the season. Then a bench-clearing dust up between the Marlins and Dodgers, and Don Mattingly‘s third ejection in the month turned it around. What else can you attribute it to if not that?

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The Fish now find themselves six games below the equator. They have 14 games remaining in the month of June. If they are looking to head into July with a chance to be buyers instead of sellers, the time is now.

What lay ahead for the Fish

The trek back to .500 won’t be an easy one. The Fish have to go through the Braves, Cubs, Nationals, Mets, and one game against the Brewers. Their combined opponent record for the rest of June is 165-161. That’s largely due to under-achieving Cubs and Mets teams.

Both teams remain potent and dangerous.

To finish at .500, the Marlins need to go 10-4 the rest of the way. Plainly put, they’ll need to sweep the Braves. And that will only be the beginning of a finish that will require constant stream of wins.

They’ll need to win every series from here on out. That means two wins against the Nationals, three against the Cubs, two against the Mets, and a victory against the Brewers. It won’t be easy, but it’s something this Marlins team is proving they are capable of.

They’ve already closed a significant gap. With the exception of the Braves series and the lone game against the Brewers, all their games are at home. They recently moved to .500 at home for the season, sitting at 16-16.

Finishing the month of June 18-9 would be what the Marlins would need to erase that terrible month of May. If they can head into July at .500, and improve from there, it’ll be enough to convince those around the organization of the potential the team has on payroll.

Next: Fish n' grits: Miami Marlins morning news

With the Miami Marlins playing better baseball, they’ve put themselves in a position to make a run back to even. With a strong finish to the month of June, the Fish can make May nothing but a bad memory.