Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Jun 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) is late on tagging out Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ (8) at second base in the fifth inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) is late on tagging out Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ (8) at second base in the fifth inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins fell to the Chicago Cubs in a big way yesterday. They struggled in all phases, and will look to right the ship moving forward.

The Miami Marlins entered last nights game needing to go 7-1 for the rest of the month to finish at the .500 mark by the end of June. Well, last night they surrendered their available loss in game one to the Chicago Cubs. They’ll need to go undefeated the rest of the way.

The Fish found themselves battling back from a deficit again on Thursday. This time, they’d come up well short. With several players on their way back from the disabled list, one might not make it back in a Miami Marlins uniform. Plus, Marcell Ozuna continues his impressive first half.

The Miami Marlins need to go 7-0 the rest of June to break even. We hope their mothers make sure they eat their Fish n’ grits!

Marlins fall to the Cubs

The Fish trailed the entire time in this one. After mounting a furious comeback against the Nationals on Monday, there were hopes they’d do it again. They’d fall well short this time, as the Cubs continued to pour on.

Miami would tally only one run the entire game, a home run off the bat of Marcell Ozuna. Other than that, there wasn’t much that went right for the hometown team.

Starter Jeff Locke was pulled from the game early. After breezing through a seven pitch first inning, he hit a wall in the second. He’d surrender two runs, but would escape from a bases loaded jam that could have been much worse.

He wouldn’t be so lucky in the fourth.

The Cubs would tag him for another three runs in the fourth inning, two off of a Kris Bryant home run. The Marlins bullpen was ineffective as well, surrendering six runs in five innings.

Where will Hech land?

There were hopes that Martin Prado and Adeiny Hechavarria would be returning to the ball club sometime on this home stand, possibly the next. That might remain true for Prado, but Hechavarria appears to be on his way out.

Rumors have surfaced that the Miami Marlins might be looking to trade the sure-handed shortstop. The Rays and Cardinals have been named as possible landing spots. It’s unclear at this point what the Marlins will get in return for him.

Hechavarria become expendable once JT Riddle started performing well in the Major Leagues. Though he’s cooled off lately, the organization believes he can hold down shortstop duties full time at the highest level. With a significantly lower price tag and comparable production, this isn’t a difficult decision.

Whatever the Marlins return, this doesn’t signal the beginning of a fire sale. This is a move that is being made for a practical reason. They have an expendable asset that is making $4.3 million this year, and will make close to $6 million next year.

A deal is expected to be made soon.

Marcell Ozuna continues to shine brightly

Yesterday we published an article that serves as a comprehensive guide on how to get Marcell Ozuna into the All-Star Game. Last night, he continued to prove why he deserves to be there.

More from Marlin Maniac

After blasting his 20th home run of the season, Ozuna continues to find himself behind Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist for the third and final outfield spot. Both are having laughable season compared to Ozuna.

Despite all that, Ozuna remains over 100,000 votes behind Heyward. If that seems like a big number, it is. Get out there (to your computer) and vote! Heyward is batting .258 this season and was just moved to the disabled list. The time is now.

I expect Ozuna will already be ahead of Zobrist by the time the next set of voting results come in.

Looking ahead

The Fish still have three games remaining against the Cubs, then three against the Mets, and one against the Brewers this month. They need to win them all.

Tonight they’ll send Jose Urena to face off against John Lackey on the mound. The Marlins drew Lackey in their previous serious against the Cubs, and pounded him. They scored five runs, including two homers off the veteran righty who has struggled in general this year.

They’ll need more of the same. Urena’s last two starts have gone six innings. They’ll need at least that many from him today. The bullpen is exhausted and they need a break.

Next: '#ASGWorth' not enough to get Ozuna into mid-summer classic

The Miami Marlins backed themselves into a corner with a poor month of May. Now, they’ll need to fight their way out. With a potent offensive attack, they’ve shown they are capable of putting runs up in a hurry. They’ll need them, as they look to embark on a seven game winning streak.