The reality of the 60-game season is the Miami Marlins don’t have a lot of margin for error in their quest to make the playoffs in 2020.
Following the Miami Marlins 7-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, I did something that might be viewed as an overreaction.
Yes, I know it’s only the second game of the season, and I know that the Marlins are playing .500 baseball, but my initial reaction was there are only 58 games left in 2030. After a season opener when they created so much emotion and had fans and media alike believing this could be a special season, part of the wind was taken out of the sails just that quickly.
That’s what an abbreviated season will do. There is still plenty of high hopes for the Miami Marlins this year as they have as good a chance as anybody of making the playoffs, especially since the field has been expanded to 16 teams.
What I’m worried about is a fan, not somebody who covers the team for Marlin Maniac, is that with each game am I going to be this emotional because this is my team? Caleb Smith had a rocky start, and the emergence of both Nick Neidert and Alex Vesia wasn’t what we’re expected.
“Smith labored through three innings, allowing just a Didi Gregorius homer, but he matched a career-high with six walks, which also happened to be against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 5, 2018,” wrote Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
This is a ball club that has plenty of work to do. so do the other 29 teams in MLB. With a shortened season, winning becomes more paramount. If this were 162 games, I wouldn’t feel the way I feel while writing this.
This is a young team. The blueprint is still developing, and while the front office believes this team can win this year with everything that’s going on, I still believe a playoff berth is plausible.
The Phillies hit four home runs and were walked nine times during the game on Saturday – something a young pitching staff must get a handle on if they are planning to move forward.
“It seems like the walks were the theme for setting us up for trouble all day,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after the game. “It could have been a lot worse, honestly. You walk nine guys in this ballpark, and it could have been a lot worse.”
But the damage was done and Vesia wound up with the loss.