Miami Marlins frustrated, still on Wildcard periphery

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 31: Cameron Rupp
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 31: Cameron Rupp /

The Miami Marlins have lost six of their last seven games. Frustrated and fumbling, they remain on the edges of a playoff berth.

It’s a double-edged sword of frustration and relief for the Miami Marlins. On the one hand, they remain only five games back in the Wildcard despite playing poorly. On the other hand, playing even average baseball would have meant huge gains in the playoff picture.

The Miami Marlins were swept by the Washington Nationals, then dropped a four-game series to the worst team in baseball. To make matters worse, the Colorado Rockies are only 1-5 over the same stretch.

The Miami Marlins open a three game series with the Nationals on Monday, desperate to turn things around.

They certainly aren’t making it easy on themselves. If Miami is going to compete for a playoff spot, they’ll need to beat up on teams like the Phillies when they have the chance. Their situational hitting was almost non-existent against Philadelphia, losing three games by a total of four runs.

The rest of Miami’s schedule is comprised of Wildcard contenders and division foes. They have 11-games against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, they can’t afford to lose a single one. Five games isn’t insurmountable, but they’re running out of time to surmount it.

Speaking with the Sun Sentinel, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said “The timing of that is not great,” manager Don Mattingly said. “But that’s what is happening right now.”

Miami has to hope they turn September around, while the Rockies continue to stumble. The Arizona Diamondbacks are no longer a target, having all but locked up one of the Wildcard positions.

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Miami is squarely in the scoreboard watching biz, chasing the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and ultimately the Colorado Rockies.

The new most important series

The real answer is that every series is the most important series. They have to win them all if they’re going to maximize their 3.3 percent chance of making the playoffs.

But the Milwaukee Brewers have closed within a half-game of the Rockies. The Miami Marlins draw the Brewers for three games in the middle of September. Time will indicate how important that series actually is.

If it carries playoff implications for both teams, it’s good news for the Fish.

Next: Giancarlo Stanton nearly a Pittsburgh Pirate

Miami’s chances at securing a playoff spot decrease significantly with every loss. It’s not enough to remain even, at some point, the Marlins are going to have to capitalize on the Rockies having gone ice cold.