Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Jun 5, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) leads off from second base against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) leads off from second base against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

It was an exciting afternoon of baseball for the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. Playing well and with reinforcements on the way, things are looking up.

The Miami Marlins played baseball’s most exciting game yesterday. Max Scherzer no-hit the Fish into the eighth inning, then fell apart. The Marlins manufactured two runs on an infield single, an error, and a missile off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton.

For the hometown ball club, it was the kind of win that playoff caliber teams notch. They’ll need to climb back to the even mark before they can start thinking about that, though. With a number of players already performing well in their rehab starts, they’re due for an influx of MLB talent.

After taking two-of-three against the Nationals, it’s an extra-delicious edition of Fish n’ grits! Is that cinnamon? It’s Fish n’ grits!

Manufactured win

The Miami Marlins won a game yesterday that they probably didn’t deserve to win. Max Scherzer was dealing, and were it not for an error on the part of his third baseman, he keeps the Marlins off the board.

But he didn’t. And that’s baseball. After pitching one of his best starts, and that’s saying something considering how well he’s pitched this season, he ends up on the losing end of the book. He surrendered two hits, which accounted for two unearned runs.

Dan Straily pitched well in his own right, but ultimately didn’t factor into the decision. Over six innings, he allowed only three hits, and one earned run, a solo shot to Ryan Raburn. Jarlin Garcia, Kyle Barraclough, and AJ Ramos combined for three innings of shutout baseball after that.

For the Marlins, it was an encouraging sign after having lost 12-3 the previous night. While the first two games of the series were slugfests, this was a classic pitchers duel.

The climb back to the equator

Ultimately, the Fish took two-of-three in a series they needed to sweep. Dropping the series to Atlanta will haunt them if they lose two more games this month. At 32-38, the Miami Marlins need to go 7-1 the rest of June to finish at the .500 mark. They’ll play the Cubs, Mets, and draw one game against the Brewers.

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12-3 in their last 15 games, a finish like the one described above is a far cry from being 13 games below the even line in May. The team is finally clicking, but they have a lot of ground to make up for. There is no time to dally.

If the team is going to lose one of their next eight games, it’d best be one to the Cubs. The Fish need to sweep one of the two series remaining, doing it against a division opponent offers a number of advantages. Not to mention it’s the Mets.

Miami Marlins working their way back

After the team was decimated earlier in the season, it left the pro club scrambling. Team captain Martin Prado went down. So did slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. And all on the same weekend!

In corresponding moves, the team signed and promoted Christian Colon, and recalled JT Riddle. One of those two moves has worked out better than imagined (I’ll let you figure out which one).

It appears that the two are playing well in their rehab starts with the Jupiter Hammerheads. Last night against the Fort Myers Miracle, they each went 0-3 as the Hammerheads were picked apart and managed only two hits.

But the previous night, each put together multiple good at bats and found a way to get on base.

They are running, fielding and swinging at full speed. They could be back with the team on this home stand, if not by the next.

Prado will slide back into his spot at third base. Dietrich has performed well defensively, but has struggled at the plate. He is hitting only .235, and has been subject to dry spells where he appears lost at the plate.

What to do with Riddle and Hechavarria at shortstop will make for an interesting mini-drama. Riddle has certainly done enough to prove he belongs in the Major Leagues. He struggled against Washington though, managing only one hit in his 11 official at bats. He’ll need to put it back together against Chicago to stay in the mix at shortstop.

Junichi Tazawa is also making strides in his rehab appearances and could join the team soon.

Cubs in town

The defending world champion Chicago Cubs roll into town for a 7:10 start at Marlins Park. The Cubs (36-35) haven’t gotten off to the kind of start they expected. Tell them the line starts right behind us.

The Miami Marlins will send Jeff Locke to the mound, while the Cubs counter with Jake Arrieta. After pitching well in his debut for the Marlins, Locke has struggled in his last three starts. He’ll face a challenge in changing that against a dangerous Cubs lineup.

Arrieta has failed to regain his Cy Young award winning form as well. His starts have bee hot and cold this year, with few of them falling somewhere in-between. He remains a nightmare for hitters when he is in a groove, and the Miami Marlins will look to jump on him early.

Get to the bullpen, that is the motto of the Miami Marlins team.

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With momentum on their side following a thrilling victory and series win against Washington, things are looking up for the Miami Marlins. They welcome the Cubs into town, needing to win seven of their next eight games to finish at .500 heading into July.

One game at a time, this Marlins team is giving you reason to think they can erase a month of ineptitude.