The Miami Marlins, with a makeshift roster, are winning baseball games and enjoying the time on the diamond.
I don’t know how much better you can get than the way the Miami Marlins have played baseball upon their return from an eight-day layoff.
Clutching pitching and defense have been key as the Miami Marlins 5-1 this season, are riding a four-game winning streak that dates back to before the organization was forced to put their play on hoard to deal with issues from the coronavirus that left the team wondering when it may get to play the game it loves again.
The Marlins have come back with a rebuilt roster, different depth in the bullpen, and the addition of players who have come in and helped turn things around. But the reality is the ball club is an extension of how manager Don Mattingly has envisioned this team this season.
And with 54 games still remaining, anything can happen. This team, for all the criticism it has taken because of what owner and CEO Derek Jeter called a “false sense of security”, is ready to play baseball and put the immediate past behind them.
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"“It’s like a little eye-opener today, especially,” Mattingly said after the doubleheader win on Wednesday night. “Seeing guys we haven’t seen. Some of our guys, we don’t know what we’re going to get necessarily. Some of our guys have just been sitting for awhile.”"
It’s a situation this team can take on and not have to worry about expectations. That might be the best way to put it. No one predicts this team to lead the National League East. The national media didn’t have this squad making the playoffs. This is a group of men playing with house money after being the subject of ridicule and questions about responsibility because of COVID-19 running through the organization.
And if anyone has been watching how the Miami Marlins are a scrappy team playing winning baseball, it is good to know that Mattingly matched Jack McKeon for the most wins of any Marlins manager with 281. What is even better is Miami is off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2014.
Things are falling into place. This might have been what was supposed to happen a year from now, but Jeter and the front office will take the results and grin ear to ear.
It’s not just the front office and coaching staff that feels the shift. Brian Anderson has talked about it as well.
"“All it’s about for us is trying to get wins,” said Anderson, who started at first base for the first time in his MLB career“Just piecing them together any way we can. As of lately, our pitching has been incredible. I don’t know how they go from throwing into a mattress and going out and getting big league hitters out like that. But whatever they’re doing, we’ve got to keep doing it.”"