Nail not in the Miami Marlins coffin yet

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 31: Derek Dietrich
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 31: Derek Dietrich /

After four consecutive losses, the Miami Marlins find themselves under .500, and six games behind in the wildcard. They aren’t sunk yet.

It certainly hasn’t been an ideal stretch for the Miami Marlins. After dropping three games to the Washington Nationals, they dropped the opening game of a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

It was a frustrating loss in which the Marlins squandered a number of opportunities to win. They were unable to capitalize on numerous Philly mistakes and ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 final. They have a month togged over .500, and  make up a six game deficit in the Wildcard.

The odds are long, but don’t count the Marlins out yet.

A favorable schedule leaves them a reasonable chance of stealing a playoff berth. They’ll have to take advantage of it though. Miami will need to be perfect the rest of the way, and can afford very few losses.

That means taking care of the Phillies every time they come around. Including the remainder of this series, the Marlins will play Philadelphia six more times before the season is over. They need to win them all.

With the final month of the year having arrived, it’s officially time to scoreboard watch.

The Miami Marlins are chasing the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Cardinals. The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals are ahed of them too. The Cardinals are the only team Miami doesn’t play in the final month that are ahead of them in the Wildcard.

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Arizona has stayed hot despite a high level of competition, and for all intents and purposes, and locked up one of the available spots. That leaves the Rockies as the Marlins ultimate target.

How to win the Wildcard

It’s simple: Win.

The Marlins have 27-games remaining on their schedule. Fortunately for them, the Rockies haven’t been playing well, and if that continues, it leaves the door open.

The two teams will meet on Miami’s final road trip of the season. The Marlins have 22-games this month before that, only nine of which are against teams with a winning record. If they can manage to close the gap to within two games by then, anything can happen.

It’s going to take some fireworks to get there. Something like a 17-5 record over those 22-games is likely the range the Marlins will have to be in. However you want to slice it, it means they can’t be swept again at any point this season.

They can’t even afford to lose another series.

Next: Peters promotion and reasonable expectations

The odds are long for the Miami Marlins to get into the playoffs, but they aren’t insurmountable. If they’re able to start reeling off wins in bunches, it’ll be an exciting, and intriguing photo finish for the Wildcard.