The Miami Marlins failed to notch a victory against the Washington Nationals. But thanks to poor play ahead of them, they remain alive in the wildcard.
Everyone knew a series sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals was a distinct possibility. The Miami Marlins might have been red hot going into the series, but the Washington ball club leads the National League East for a reason.
Several key additions from the disabled list bolstered an already imposing Nationals roster. It proved too much for the Fish, who were halted in their tracks on three consecutive nights. They lick their wounds and travel back to Miami to take on the Philadelphia Phillies.
Despite their struggles, the Marlins remain very much alive in the wildcard.
If Miami ends up snagging the wildcard spot currently occupied by the Colorado Rockies, they’ll have the Detroit Tigers to thank. Not often can a team be swept while trying to make a push for a playoff spot and remain in the hunt. Thanks to the Tigers, the Marlins did just that.
The Tigers managed to take the series against the Rockies, winning two-of-three games. No small task considering the way that the Motor City ball club has struggled this year. But the Rockies continue to tailspin, and have won just four of their last 10 games.
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Their schedule doesn’t lighten up much in the coming weeks. They’ll have a brief siesta by way of a home series against the NL West worst San Francisco Giants, but that’s sandwiched between series’ with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Miami Marlins will have to take advantage of the discrepancy in strength-of-schedule between the two clubs. Now is the time to make up ground.
The Miami Marlins are fortunate to be in the position they are in despite being swept by the Nationals. But they draw the division leader one more time this season for a three game series. That series coincides with the Rockies vs. Giants, which isn’t ideal.
Expect Colorado to perform well at home against a subpar team. The Marlins can’t afford another sweep in that series or it could be curtains for their wildcard run.
With four games against the Phillies, and then four games against the Braves, then three more games against the Phillies, the wildcard is there for the taking. Surviving another series against the Nationals is going to a determining factor ahead of their final road trip of the season.
They’ll draw Arizona and Colorado on their final road trip. If they can bring themselves within two games of the wildcard lead, they control their own playoff fate.
Things might not have gone the way everyone hoped while the Fish were in Washington, but they are no worse for the wear. Incredibly, they lose only one game in their pursuit of the wildcard and sit only 5.5-games back of the lead.
With a schedule that is set up for them to win the rest of the way, September will be a wild month.