The Miami Marlins try to continue their hot hitting tonight as they face the Milwaukee Brewers for the second game of a three-game series on the road.
If the Marlins somehow can continue this pace and find a way to creep toward the 75-win mark, the organization will look at May 17 as the date that turned this season around.
Over the last 17 games, the Marlins have scored 100 runs. It might not seem like a lot, but a 5.88 runs a game, it shows vast improvement from a team that started this season 10-31 and could run to bats together to score a run, much less find runs consistently at the plate. Now, with a healthy lineup that is consistently producing, this Marlins team is one of the better hitting ballclubs in Major League Baseball.
The Marlins currently rank 24th in the Majors with a .237 batting average, but that doesn’t show what is happening down in South Florida, especially with the team scoring 34 runs in their last three games. Hitting surges like these usually do not last, but it’s good to see hitters finding a rhythm to help a young and developing pitching staff.
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I dare to say this, but there is a bit of calm about these Marlins. Players – most notably Harold Ramirez, Garrett Cooper, Jorge Alfaro, and Brian Anderson, give us Marlins fans something we have not had in some time – hope.
An 11-5 fifth inning on Tuesday night was the difference in the 16-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Miami is getting it done on the road and at home, which makes for an interesting rest of the first half of the season.
"“The ball was flying today,” Mattingly said following the game last night. “Seriously. BP was a joke today here. The roof open. … You didn’t really feel like you had enough runs, even when you get four, you’re not comfortable. You start to get comfortable when you get that other inning. I felt better there.”"
It also begs for several questions to be answered.
- Will Jose Urena be dealt in the second half of 2019?
- Does Neil Walker become a bench player now that Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez have led the way at the plate?
- How long before the team decides to purchase contracts of Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz?
- Is there a permanent place on this roster for Austin Dean?
- When will the Marlins make a decision to bring center fielder Lewis Brinson back to the parent clubs?
These are all good problems to have. They represent the change of this ballclub, that is growing before our baseball eyes.
The Marlins are currently last in the Majors in home runs (46), 29th in RBI (201), and last place in triples with only 1. They are last in OPS (.647) and 26th in hits with 463. It’s getting better, but it’s a marathon. Right now, facing the Marlins is something opposing managers must game plan for.
"“Guys were kind of running over to the bat rack,” Anderson said. “Guys were wanting their at-bats. It’s pretty exciting.”"
That excitement continues tonight as Sandy Alcantara takes the mound. In five starts in May, he posted a 3.23 ERA. He was not the power pitcher the team hoped for, striking out just 19 batters in 30 2/3 innings. He walked 16 batters. Jimmy Nelson, who will take to the mound for the first time in 21 months, will get the ball for the Brewers.