Th Miami Marlins are trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in the National League Wild Card playoffs. It's sad, considering how excited the players have been to make the playoffs. The good news is that tonight does indeed look promising for The Fish. As we look forward to tonight's game (8:08 PM ET on ESPN), let's look at the three reasons why the Miami Marlins can win this series.
The Miami Marlins can still win the NL Wild Card playoff series against the Philadelphia Phillies tonight.
2. Braxton Garrett is pitching tonight.
The Miami Marlins are facing a must win game tonight, can The Fish win it and then win the next one as well? The first reason why the Miami Marlins will win the series is tonight's starting pitcher Braxton Garrett. Braxton had a breakout season and I fully expect him to continue the good performances tonight.
It doesn't hurt that the Philadelphia Phillies will have a worse starting pitcher on the mound in Aaron Nola. Nola has a 4.46 ERA this season and has fallen flat in multiple big outings. It would be kind of uncharacteristic for him to suddenly have a big game. I fully expect Nola to give up enough runs for The Fish to be able to tie up the series.
Do you know what else matters here? Braxton Garrett happens to be a lefty starter, which of course helps him against Philly's multiple lefty bats. One of those bats is LF Kyle Schwarber, who has a .188/.325/.430 batting line against lefties this season. 1B Bryce Harper has a career .264/.363/.463 batting line against lefties (compare it to his .281/.391/.521 career batting line. Bottom line is that Garrett has a good chance at shutting down Philly's top bats.
I also expect Braxton Garrett to go all out tonight. This is the most important start of his career and I see him giving a memorable performance. He is a good lefty starting pitcher having a good season, who is going up against an average starting pitcher and a team with multiple key lefty bats, who don't do good against lefties. Tjis could be enough to get the Miami Marlins to game 3.
NEXT: Philly's "Achilles' heel"