The season’s first half winds down this weekend in San Francisco, with equal parts excitement and resignation in the air.
The Miami Marlins play three more games before the All-Star Break. It could easily be a different Miami Marlins team that starts playing baseball again next weekend.
That’s the reality facing our thrice dismantled, still for sale franchise. With no sale imminent, it appears it will be Jeffrey Loria behind the wheel for the trade deadline. That’s not a comforting thought if you were looking forward to seeing Miami try to compete in the second half.
No use worrying until the wheels come off though. So let’s focus on the excitement part, and how these three games are just a preliminary to get through before the main event of Miami’s first All-Star Game. South Florida baseball fans have waited twenty-five years for this, a chance to attend the Midsummer Classic in the Marlins home ballpark.
Full disclosure, I’m alternating between typing and packing.
Reigning Home Run Derby Champion Giancarlo Stanton swinging away with a home field advantage. Teammate Justin Bour doing the same. Marcell Ozuna starting the next night for the National League, and doing his best impression of being baseball’s best outfielder.
And then just the thrill of the whole event, from seeing superstars like Mike Trout to chasing autographs from Marlins legends and Hall of Famers.
Plenty to be pumped for. Still, we have that Giants series to get through though. So we might as well check it out for some stories to watch. From California power, to a desperate plea for health, to a look at a new guy, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in.
California Dreaming For Marlins Stanton
Miami Marlins fans know that Giancarlo Stanton loves playing in his home state.
Going into Friday night’s game, BigG is batting .287 with 6 HRs at AT&T Park. Not too shabby…and that number pales in comparison to the rest of his National League West Coast numbers. Especially coming off of a 2 HR game in St. Louis, it’ll be fun to see just how much damage Stanton can inflict on the Giants rotation.
Let’s just hope Miami can back him up with some capable pitching of their own.
Stay Healthy Fellas
Looking at you Miami Marlins All-Stars. Next week is probably going to be the high water mark when it comes to enjoying the summer for fans of the Fish. No, the first half didn’t go quite as we hoped. But we can take it if Stanton performs well in the Derby, and Marcell Ozuna makes a big play in the All-Star Game.
What would be very Marlins though is if the rug gets yanked out from under us this weekend with an untimely injury. It’s a bit of a bummer thought, I know. Let’s just put it this way. There hasn’t been a Marlins series in years I’ve been more interested in seeing locked up in the first two games.
Gotta Love Those George Mason Guys
Lastly, time to meet Chris O’Grady.
The 27-yr old rookie will make his MLB debut Saturday night, taking the place of Jeff Locke in the Miami Marlins rotation. Locke set the bar pretty low for the most part, to the point that four runs in five innings would have to be considered a rousing success for the new lefty.
O’Grady has been relatively solid down on the farm with AAA New Orleans, and clearly the Marlins cared more about that 3.29 ERA than his 3-5 record. Pre-performance, it seems reasonable to say this could be a one-off call-up.
But it’s not like anyone has been lighting it up back there in the No. 5 slot this season either. If O’Grady submits a solid showing, paired with Koehler’s under the radar effort Thursday, suddenly that starting rotation looks a lot different than it did a week ago.
Plenty of content coming your way during All-Star Week, and then we’ll keep running with the California vibe at home against the Dodgers.