Two straight wins and a dominant performance on Saturday give the Miami Marlins a chance to sweep division rival New York in the finale from Marlins Park.
Now that the seven-game losing streak is over and the Miami Marlins have won two straight over the New York Mets, is the light finally shining a bit brighter in south Florida. Will this series win for the ball club, the second of the season, turn this season around?
Probably not. But in 42 games this season, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about with this organization. The 12 wins Miami has amassed is being celebrated because it ended futility for the moment. The performance by Pablo Lopez on Saturday night was masterful. It was a clinic the young pitcher needed to erase his last outing and show the Mets he wasn’t the pitcher they saw last week.
More important than any of those things, Miami shut out a team after feeling the same fate nine times this season. And in perspective, winning within the division has more meaning than if this had been some interleague game. And Miami has something it has not had in forever – momentum.
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Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, there is some historical context to this win on Saturday, demonstrating just how far this team is from becoming competitive on a consistent basis.
"“Lopez matched career highs for innings (seven) and strikeouts (seven) and chipped in with a single in the Marlins’ 2-0 win over the Mets on Saturday at Marlins Park,” he writes.“Lopez, Tayron Guerrero and Adam Conley combined for the organization’s 19th one-hitter, with the last coming on May 7, 2017, at the Mets. Jose Urena, David Phelps, Nick Wittgren and AJ Ramos combined for that one.”"
Only Urena remains on the Marlins roster from that day, with all three pitchers leaving the organization.
Lopez threw a total of 92 pitches, 11 of them were swinging strikes. He was in control from the start and never looked like the youngster who surrendered 10 runs only a week ago.
"“That was a great response,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You find out what a guy is made of, because he took a beating there in New York. Nothing went right. There was two ways to go. Either he was going to come out and pitch like he was afraid of those guys, or he was going to be aggressive.”"
Now, the team hopes Sandy Alcantara can find the magic he displayed in his eight-inning performance in his first outing of the season. A win means the Marlins sweep the Mets – how sweet would that be?