Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Jun 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna (13) hits the game winning RBI single to defeat the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna (13) hits the game winning RBI single to defeat the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins are fresh off their most exciting win of the season. Looking to ride that momentum, they’re set for game two against the Nationals tonight.

It was a frustrating weekend of baseball for the Miami Marlins. After losing on consecutive nights to walk-off hits by Brandon Phillips, there was a cloud hanging over the team. The cloud seem about to unleash a thunderstorm on the Marlins early in Monday’s contest.

Playing one of the NL elite in the Washington Nationals, it took a team effort to notch an exciting one in game one of the series. You can thank Miami’s All-Star hopefuls for the bulk of the run production last night. They’ll be looking for more of the same in game two on Tuesday.

No cereal bar as you run out the door this morning. We’re having a sit down meal. It’s Fish n’ grits!

Monday night thriller

The Miami Marlins needed all hands on deck last night. After falling behind by six runs in the first three innings, it had the making of a long night. For those of you who stuck with the Fish as the deficit grew, you were rewarded.

The Miami Marlins came roaring back with the kind of intensity you hope to see from a team playing for their season. They got all six runs back in the bottom of the third inning, mostly by way of grand slam home run by Justin Bour.

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Both starters, Justin Nicolino and Tanner Roark were done by the end of the third inning. The bullpen handled things the rest of the way.

Vance Worley was asked to pitch two innings. He surrendered one run as the Nationals regained the lead. They’d hold it for several innings before Giancarlo Stanton muscled one over the fence in the opposite direction.

The Fish loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and Marcell Ozuna emptied them. Miami Marlins win.

Trio of All-Star hopefuls do the damage

For the trio of Miami Marlins hoping to get into the Major League All-Star game this season, yesterday helped make a case for all of them. Justin Bour hit a grand slam. Giancarlo Stanton came through in the clutch and launched a home run. Marcell Ozuna won the game.

It all points to the fact that the All-Star vote is starting to look a little embarrassing. Marcell Ozuna is currently fifth on the list of voting. Stanton is seventh. Bour isn’t even in the top five for first baseman. JT Realmuto, who is also making a strong case for the All-Star game doesn’t crack the top five either.

The embarrassment is doubled by the fact that the game will take place in Marlins Park this season. You’d expect fans to come out in full force and vote for their guys to appear in the mid-summer classic. It hasn’t happened so far.

Or maybe it has, and the flaw lies in the design of how the voting works. Fan voting has been a source of frustration for countless fans who have players excelling at their craft but play in a small market. Fewer fans, fewer votes, somehow Anthony Rizzo is hitting .267 and is outpacing other worthy players.

The players are more than likely indifferent to the fan vote. The nomination they all really want is by their peers and coaches around the league. That’s a true honor. And therein lies the best opportunity for the Miami Marlins players to appear in their home ballpark for the All-Star game.

Making room

Several Miami Marlins players are making strides towards recovering from injuries sustained earlier this season. Martin Prado and Miguel Rojas are each expected to return before the All-Star break. They have a timetable of 2-3 weeks each.

Justin Nicolino returned to the ball club last night after a stint on the DL with a bruised finger. To make room for him, the club optioned right-hander Drew Steckenrider.

Wei-Yin Chen should be close to returning to a throwing program after a platelet-rich injection in his left arm. It will still be a while before he is able to return to the ball club competitively. He might be out the remainder of the season.

Junichi Tazawa is close to rejoining the team. He tossed a perfect inning in relief in AA on Sunday. The team hasn’t set a timetable, but it should be sometime this week or next.

Looking ahead

The Miami Marlins work isn’t done yet. Tonight they send Edinson Volquez to the mound to stymie the Nationals potent offensive attack. Washington will be looking for a little retribution after last night, so they’ll come out swinging.

The key to beating this Washington Nationals team is to get their talented starting rotation out of the game as quickly as possible. Their bullpen has been one of the worst in baseball this season. After a lot of work last night, they’re ripe to be picked the next two games.

The Marlins bullpen was taxed heavily last night, too. They’ll need Volquez to throw six or seven strong innings. Then they’ll turn things over to their pen, and try and bridge the gap to A.J. Ramos.

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After last nights win, the Fish need to go 8-2 the rest of June to finish at the .500 mark. They’ve made strides towards that number already this month. Remember, they sat as many as 13 games below even at one point.

The Nationals can be beaten the next two nights. The bats will need to be clicking for the next 18 innings to make it happen though.