After taking three straight games from the Rockies, the Miami Marlins sat 8.5 games back from an NL wild-card spot. A series sweep against a playoff contender would spoke volumes.
Giancarlo Stanton‘s 40th, 41st, and club recording tying 42nd home-runs were instrumental completing the sweep. Alongside balanced starts from Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino, the tide appears to be turning for the Miami Marlins.
Stanton has electrified the entire offense. The team has produced 15 runs in three games, while holding the Rockies to only nine. The Marlins are keeping their fans optimistic about a run at the playoffs, especially after beating upper-echelon teams.
However, there have been numerous times this season when the Marlins appear to be at rock-bottom. This month, Miami has lost a series to both the lowly Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves. Both teams are in rebuilding mode, while the Phillies have the worst record in baseball.
On the flip-side, they have managed series wins against the division leading Washington Nationals, and now the wildcard place-holding Rockies.
Miami Marlins sweep hints at contention
Vance Worley wasn’t stellar against the Rockies in the finale. But the bullpen that ate five innings was lights out. Worley allowed three earned runs in four innings of work. His start comes a night after an encouraging performance from Justin Nicolino
The left-hander was called up prior to the game to make the start on Saturday. He was able to keep his pitches low and hit his spots, inducing weak contact and fly-balls. He allowed his defense to make the plays around him in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.
Led by Stanton, the Marlins have a stellar offense that ranks top five in batting average. However, allowing only three runs against a potent Rockies lineup is easier said than done. The Rockies boast the major-league RBI leader Nolan Arenado and All-Star leadoff batter Charlie Blackmon.
Credit the daisy chain of Javier Gurerra, Brian Ellington, Junichi Tarazawa, and Odrisamer Despaigne for delivering five innings of shutout, two-hit baseball. Gurerra pitched two flawless innings in which he registered three strikeouts.
Now the Miami Marlins welcome the west coast San Francisco Giants. The Giants have had their own struggles, and have yet to reach 50 wins on the season. Another series victory would pull the Marlins closer to .500, and conceivably closer to an improbable playoff run.