Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins entered a weekend series against the Braves eyeing a sweep. They managed only one game in the series ahead of their return to Miami.

It seems overly ambitious now. After entering the weekend series against the Braves needing a sweep, the Miami Marlins fell on walk-off hits to Brandon Phillips on consecutive nights. The team will need to finish the month furiously to return to the even mark.

If there is silver lining in the Marlins struggles in Atlanta, it’s the return of Justin Bour. The power-hitting left-hander returned as hot as he was before his brief stint on the disabled list. Plus an up-close and personal conversation with Marlins broadcaster Glenn Geffner, and a look at the series to come.

So shake off the malaise, Marlins fans! We’re back in Miami, and the South Florida morning sun is shining brightly on your Fish n’ grits!

Opportunities missed

The Marlins entered the series needing a clean sweep of the Atlanta Braves. They nearly got it too. On consecutive nights, Miami failed to put the Braves away when they had the chance.

After grabbing a lead on Saturday, they allowed the Braves to battle back. With a 7-6 lead that was as big as four runs at one point, they called on their reliable bullpen stopper, A.J. Ramos. The power pitching righty hadn’t blown a save all season. That would change.

He’d allow the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the winning run in the first extra frame. For the Marlins, who failed to add a run after scoring two in the sixth inning, it was a winnable game. They were three outs away, and failed.

The following night felt like deja vu all over again. Jose Urena pitched well for the majority of his start. He’d eventually be tagged for two official runs before leaving in the seventh inning. After tying the game in the top of the eighth inning, the Marlins fell in the bottom of the ninth.

Two nights in a row, Brandon Phillips poked one through the infield as a Braves runner stood at third base. Now the Miami Marlins return to Miami with more urgency than ever. They’ll need to go 9-2 against elite MLB competition to finish the month at the even mark.

It’s a tall task, but if the bullpen can find it’s footing again, it’s hardly impossible. With series’ against the Nationals, Cubs, Mets, and Brewers, it’ll take yeoman’s work by the entire 25-man roster for the next two weeks.

Justin Bour: Thrilling and loving it

Playing in two games this series, Justin Bour appears to be as hot as ever. He sat for the Saturday afternoon game, a decision that was made prior to his return on Friday. In his second at bat off the disabled list, Bour put one over the fence in Atlanta.

It was an encouraging sign for the team. Bour was pacing the offense when he went down with an ankle injury. Tyler Moore started on Saturday and remained hot as well, sending a two-run home run over the wall in the top of the 5th inning.

On Sunday, Bour singled home the Marlins first two runs of the game. The contest had been deadlocked at zero to that point.

Bour’s return is tempered by the difficulties the Marlins encountered late in the game. It’s difficult to feel good about anything after losing on two consecutive walk-off’s, but this is a silver lining if there ever was one.

If Justin Bour can keep up this pace, the Miami Marlins will be difficult to beat moving forward.

Getting to know Glenn Geffner

The Miami Marlins are lucky to have one of the best in the business as part of the team calling their games on radio. Recently, our own Sean Millerick interviewed Glenn Geffner from the Marlins radio broadcast.

If you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, make sure to do so. Geffner was gracious and willing to provide real, substantive answers to Sean’s questions. The interview has been split into two parts. Part two will be up later this week.

Marlins draw the Nationals at home

The Marlins return home needing to win more than ever. The next three games will present their biggest challenge in doing so. The Fish draw National League and division powerhouse/rival, the Washington Nationals.

Justin Nicolino toes the rubber for the Marlins on Monday. It will be his first start since landing on the disabled list earlier this month. They’ll then turn to Edinson Volquez in game two, and Dan Straily to close out the series on a noon start on Wednesday.

The Marlins will need every bat in the lineup to step up in a major way. They’ll face Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez, and Max Scherzer in this series. All three are pitching well and attack batters aggressively. It’ll be an uphill climb if the Marlins allow these pitchers to get in a groove.

If they can jump on them before allowing they get settled, they’ll chase them from the game early. Therein lies the Marlins best chance to come out victorious in these three games. They need all three, and can only lost two more times this month.

Next: Marlin Maniac interview with Glenn Geffner, Part I

The Miami Marlins are looking to get a bad taste out of their mouth. After consecutive walk-off loses to the Braves, the team clings to Justin Bour’s triumphant return to the lineup for encouragement. Marlin Maniac catches up with radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner, and a quick look at the challenges that lay ahead for Miami against Washington.