The Miami Marlins and Jose Urena earned a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he wouldn’t tinker with his lineup against playoff contenders as he might against other MLB teams. The Marlins and Jose Urena beat the Philadelphia Phillies to put a dent in the National League East rival’s playoff chances.
There is still plenty of baseball games to play, but as the Miami skipper said, he wants this team to remain competitive, especially when playing foes in the division and scratching to make the postseason.
Urena may have pitched his best baseball of the season on Monday, which was the second consecutive win for the veteran (5-12). After the past month where the 26-year-old was embroiled in controversy over hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna, he appears to have finally found his stride, something the Marlins can use in the final few weeks of 2018.
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"“That first inning, it looked like [Urena’s] stuff was electric — and it stayed that way all game long,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said via MLB.com. “They hit a couple of balls hard, squared them up, right at us. But Jose was good today.”"
If Urena continues to show he can be a workhorse and the veteran of what should be a very young staff next season, the decisions on who stays and who may be traded will become tougher for the Marlins organization. Urena was the Opening Day starter this year after winning 14 games in 2017.
Per the story by Joe Frisaro, Since he was suspended five games for hitting Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch on Aug. 15 at Atlanta, Urena has a 2.45 ERA in three starts (6 ER over 22 IP).
"“I’ve tried to be aggressive and attack those hitters, trying to get ground balls and get weak contact,” Urena said. “When you attack more, things can happen. I’ve got people behind me, and they do a pretty good job in the field.”"
Now, with 24 games remaining and a 55-83 record, the Marlins are trying to avoid a 100-loss season and some momentum to get excited about for the offseason and heading into Spring Training.
Miami must decide what to do with Urena and a rotation that could feature first and second-year starters. Dan Straily, the veteran of the staff, could be traded this offseason. Wei-Yin Chen may be too expensive to keep in 2019. Sandy Alcantara has recently been called up from Triple-A. Pablo Lopez was pitching well before a shoulder strain ended his season. Trevor Richards has been the team’s most consistent pitcher of late.
Urena is arbitration eligible this offseason. Despite issues with hitting batters and some control problems early on, he has not pitched as poorly as his record would indicate. Most of all, the Marlins should keep him as a front-line starter to balance the rotation until the youngsters find more control on the mound.
The Marlins got a third outing of its starter that allowed some rest for the bullpen. Both Straily and Chen went eight innings this past weekend.
"“I don’t know if it’s a stretch or what it is,” Mattingly said. “But the guys have thrown the ball well for us, especially on this homestand — with Dan starting it, then Wei-Yin, and Jose today.”"