It was an emotional day as the Miami Marlins earned their 57th victory of the season in a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
You could not have asked for a better ending to a forgetful season for the Miami Marlins.
"As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com pointed out, “The Marlins salvaged the three-game series on Closing Day, finishing 57-105, and ended up 10-9 in the season series with the Phillies, the lone National League East rival they had a winning record against.”"
But the game meant more than that for so many reasons in the 4-3 win on Sunday. It meant a win for Sandy Alcantara who had the best 6-14 season of any MLB starter in recent memory. It was also a day where Starlin Castro and Martin Prado – two veterans who may not be part of the team’s plans next season – each homered, along with rookie Isan Diaz.
Castro, who became the workhorse of the lineup once Brian Anderson had his season end with a fractured hand, reflected on the last game of the season and the team’s makeup in 2019.
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"“I’m not going to say this is the best season, but I think we have the guys here to compete,” he said. “Everybody is on the same page to help the team win. It’s really fun to watch.”"
It was fun at times, watching rising stars make their MLB debuts and observing how Castro, who is due $16 million next season should he stay in Miami, used the second half of the season to make adjustments at the plate to hit the ball better. His move to third base was also part of the growth of this franchise as Diaz came up from Triple-A New Orleans after the All-Star break.
Castro’s homer off Blake Parker was his 22nd was a career-high. He batted .302 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs following the All-Star break, after hitting .245 with six homers and 34 RBIs in the first half.
I believe the team will think long and hard before letting him walk away from the organization.
"“That was cool for him to do that, also,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We talked about him early, when he was struggling, [that] water reaches its level. Guys who do what they do, they end up there. That’s what we saw in the second half. His second half was huge. And playing every day. He played 162.”"
Prado has dealt with injuries once again, which could highly factor into whether the front office will offer him a new deal over the winter. Prado’s leadership is unmatched, but his lack of offensive production is concerning.
His home run was his 100th of his career.
As odd as this sounds, there will be an opening or two on the Marlins coaching staff. Just, saying.
For their 57 wins, which is seven less than last season, Miami will draft third overall. After a sold selection process this season, can Derek Jeter and Michael Hill pull off another haul of hitters with power and potential star power?