After their first real home win of the season, what will the Miami Marlins do for an encore as they face the Atlanta Braves tonight?
One down, two more to go for the Miami Marlins.
After taking the first game of the first “home” series of the season from the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, the Miami Marlins have finally been able to win a good on home soil. They also showed once again they should be taken seriously as a playoff contender in the National League.
The team also relied on Pablo Lopez, who once again proved he is a legitimate power pitcher, leading a revamped staff while three of his starting mates recover from issues with COVID-19.
At 9-4 this season and two games ahead of the Braves in the standings, Saturday night’s game at Marlins Park will be another test to show the ball club is ahead of schedule with a revamped roster that is winning according to a new game plan.
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"“Pablo López established a career-high with eight strikeouts in six innings. Jon Berti swiped home as part of a double steal with Jonathan Villar, and Magneuris Sierra stole a bag, too,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote.“Third baseman Brian Anderson made a run-saving defensive play on Marcell Ozuna to end the fifth inning, and Joyce made a sliding, backhanded grab to deny Johan Camargo of an extra-base hit.”"
It’s more about how this team is winning, not the fact they are. Key plays with different “heroes” on different nights. This is a more athletic roster from only a season ago. And winning is now going to be expected rather than looked upon as a surprise.
Are the Miami Marlins in “win now” mode? It’s quite possible.
"“You’ve got a bunch of grinders,” said left fielder Matt Joyce, who made two standout defensive plays. “You’ve got a bunch of fighters. You also have a bunch of guys that are having fun.”"
Joyce is one of the veterans who were brought in, bringing balance to the line-up. While he is a platoon player in the outfield his contributions have been noticeable. The outfield has been an interesting mix with rookie Monte Harrison still adjusting to the Majors and Lewis Brinson hanging by a thread to remain in the batting order and potentially with the Marlins after this season.
With Villar now playing at second base for Isan and manager Don Mattingly awaiting the return of players from the I.L. from their time away because of the Coronavirus, there has been plenty of change to adapt to.
The Miami Marlins have dealt with each move the manager has made so far.
"“In this unprecedented and unpredictable 60-game season, the Marlins have made 60 roster moves since the season began on July 24,” Frisaro added. “Even with such a high turnover of players, manager Don Mattingly’s club is building an identity: it’s extremely adaptable.”"