It’s a long time from the end of the season to Spring Training. What’s a starving baseball fan to do?
It’s been 70 days since the Miami Marlins took the field and lost to the New York Mets, 1-0 to close the 2018 season. It’s still 108 days until 2019’s Opening Day, at Marlins Park against the Colorado Rockies. Although there’s still plenty of headlines through the offseason, there’s no actual baseball to watch on MLB.TV.
Or is there?
MLB.TV has been streaming video for 18 years now. Generally, you can watch games for the past three seasons. If past behavior is an indicator of future behavior, then we can expect them to take down the 2016 games when the first game of Spring Training commences.
Do you find yourself pining for some Miami Marlins baseball? I know, everyone in the world outside of our little Marlins fiefdom thinks it’s some kind of running joke. So funny. Oh look, they’re going to scare off the Marlins fans, both of them. Haha. What a riot. So original.
One of the reasons that I like baseball so much is that even the very best teams lose 60 times a year. Even the very worst win at least 60. That was the case this season with the Miami Marlins. A 63-98 record is nothing to write home about, to be sure. There were still memorable moments, and memorable games.
I used Fangraphs.com to parse some Wins Probability Added data. More specifically, I focused on total WPA+ for both teams, added together, to isolate a very specific kind of game. A high WPA+ indicates a lot of momentum shifts, and big chances for both teams to win. To account for extra innings, I simply divided every game by the amount of innings they played, and multiplied by nine. Of course, the Marlins lost more than they won, but on 63 occasions through the 2018 season, we had cause to celebrate.
Items of Interest
Best Marlins Performance in a Loss
On August 28th, the Miami Marlins lost an 8-7, nine-inning game to the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. In that contest, the Marlins and Red Sox racked up a total WPA+ of 5.44, by far the most “exciting” game of the season. In the end, the contest was lost in walkoff fashion on a JT Riddle throwing error. Before then we saw an Isaac Galloway solo shot in the third, a two-run J.T. Realmuto shot and a Starlin Castro dinger in the eighth to tie it at four. Rafael Ortega brought two home for a 6-4 lead before that inning was over. After Tayron Guerrero coughed up three runs in the bottom of the frame, Magneuris Sierra singled home Yadiel Rivera to tie it in the top of the ninth.
Most Boring Game of the Season
On August 4th, the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Miami Marlins 8-3 in a contest that was never really close. The two clubs combined for a 0.90 WPA+, the lowest total of the 2018 season.
The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Justin Bour homered in the fifth inning. The Phillies then scored three more runs over the next two innings. Miguel Rojas added a two-run shot in the eighth, but it was way too little, and didn’t make a dent in Miami’s Win Probability.
Most Boring Miami Marlins Win of the Season
On May 28th, the Marlins topped the San Diego Padres, 7-2. The Marlins scored four runs in the first inning on a Castro RBI-single, a Cameron Maybin RBI-single, and a Rivera two-RBI single to take a lead they wouldn’t at any time be in danger of losing. The Padres put one on the board in the second, but they wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
Maybin added another RBI-single in the third, and in the top of the ninth, Derek Dietrich doubled a run home and Rojas added an RBI-single. Hunter Renfroe knocked home Christian Villanueva with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t an impactful RBI. Total WPA+ for the game was 1.15, the lowest of the year in a Marlins victory.
Most “Average” Game of the Season
On August 3rd, the Phillies topped the Marlins, 5-1 in a regular, average, nine-inning contest. 80 games had a higher WPA+, and 80 games had a lower one than the 2.30 the two teams totaled on that day. Brian Anderson accounted for Miami’s run in the eighth inning, on a single that scored Sierra and got the Marlins within a run. The Phils scored three in the bottom of the inning to put an end to that.
With that, lets take a look at the 10 best Miami Marlins victories of the season that you can watch on MLB.TV.