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5 Takeaways from Marlins’ Series Win vs. Astros
5 Takeaways from Marlins’ Series Win vs. Astros
Jun 24, 2024 3:27 AM

It looks like the Miami Marlins have finally found their groove in the midst of the season. The Marlins have just won their second straight series as they won two out of three games against the Houston Astros.

In Game 1, the Marlins beat the Astros 7-4 with huge performances from second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and first baseman Jesus Aguilar. In Game 2, Miami shutdown Houston’s offense with their 5-1 victory. Unfortunately, Miami couldn’t get the series sweep and lost Game 3 by a score of 9-4.

It’s hard for any team to hold an offense like the Astros to so many runs in a series. The fact that the Marlins were able to capture a couple of wins against the second-best team in the American League says a lot about how much Miami has grown in the past couple of weeks.

Before Sunday’s loss against Houston, the Marlins had won five games in a row. That was their longest winning streak since their seven game streak back in April.

The Fish are hot and it’s going to be fun to see where they go from here.

Here are five takeaways from the series.

DON’T TRADE JAZZ

Last Tuesday, Marlins manager Don Mattingly held a team meeting to address some issues that players had in the locker room.

Apparently, the meeting was centered around Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the players were criticizing his work ethic and the way he dresses to the ballpark. Some might even think that the players were jealous of Chisholm and Mattingly knew he had to call a meeting before things spiraled out of control and the team chemistry would fly out the window.

Man, was that meeting one of the best decisions Mattingly has made this season.

Since Tuesday, Chisholm has hit four home runs and tallied nine RBIs. He had also stolen a base during that span which allowed him to join Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker as the only two MLB players to hit at least 10 home runs and have at least 10 stolen bases so far this season.

Another thing to take note of is that ever since the team meeting, Miami’s record has been 5-1.

Miami’s bats have come alive

The Marlins’ offense has finally woken up. In the month of June, Miami has averaged 6.5 runs per game. Those 6.5 runs per game are the second highest among any team in the MLB during that span. Miami has also managed to bring their team batting average up to .246, seventh-best in the National League.

During the series against the Astros, the Marlins’ bats came alive as they scored seven, five, and four runs in each game against an elite Houston pitching staff.

In Game 1, Chisholm and Aguilar each hit two home runs that helped give the Marlins a series-opening victory.

In Game 2, Miami had big performances from multiple players including third baseman Jon Berti, left fielder Luke Williams, and Aguilar. Berti was able to produce two RBIs and Williams had an RBI and a couple of base hits. Aguilar had two hits including a double.

In Game 3, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander had pitched six shutout innings and struck out five Marlins batters. Verlander has been incredible this season with a 1.94 ERA and a league-leading eight wins.

But just when you think that this was going to be another one of Verlander’s dominant outings, in the seventh inning, Miami was able to produce four runs that included a big three-run home run from right fielder Bryan De La Cruz that sent the ball soaring into the Crawford Boxes.

It’s great to see the bats come alive and hopefully, the Marlins can sustain the production on offense in the games to come.

The bullpen has been surprisingly solid

The main area of concern all season has been the quality and consistency of the bullpen. Miami has lost countless one-run games because of blown saves or missed opportunities to get out of situations by the Marlins’ relief pitchers.

The starting pitching has been lights out all season and to have their games ruined by the bullpen has been frustrating. But, there’s a glimpse of hope.

During the series against the Astros, Miami’s starting pitchers often found themselves out of the game early due to the rise in pitch counts. No Marlins starting pitcher ever made it to the sixth inning during the three-game set because of how hard it was to get Houston’s hitters out. From top to bottom, the Astros are loaded with talent, so it’s understandable that Miami’s starting pitchers couldn’t go deep into games.

The bullpen did a fantastic job in suppressing Houston’s batters as much as possible. Aside from Game 3’s outing from right-handed reliever Louis Head who gave up four runs, Miami’s bullpen had given up just two runs in the series.

Impressive outings from right-hander Anthony Bass, right-hander Cole Sulser, and left-hander Tanner Scott have played a huge part in Miami’s ability to come out with a series win.

Should we be concerned about the injuries?

Miami has been dealing with injuries for a large part of the season.

Guys like Brian Anderson and Joey Wendle have been on the Injury List for a couple of weeks, so they should be returning to action pretty soon. Then, you have a guy like starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo who hasn’t seen game action since early May. It feels like every day, there’s a new player getting put on the IL.

Right before Game 2 of the series, arguably Miami’s best hitter Garrett Cooper was placed on the IL due to COVID.

During right-handed starting pitcher Pablo Lopez’s start in Game 1, he was forced to come out of the game with what looked like an injury on his right wrist after he got hit by a line drive in the fifth inning. The good news is that x-rays came out negative and Lopez was diagnosed with a right wrist contusion. The bad news is that because he got hit on his throwing arm, how much is that going to affect his accuracy or pitch velocity? As of now, Lopez is day-to-day and should be able to pitch in his next start on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

There shouldn’t be any concern with Cooper, as he should come back into the lineup as soon as his 10 days on the IL are complete. As for Lopez, we’ll see how much he is affected by his wrist in his next start. But, Miami definitely dodged a bullet because this could have definitely been much worse than it was.

The NL East is the hottest division in baseball

Aside from the Washington Nationals, the NL East has been tearing it up in June.

The Marlins have been rolling and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Philadelphia Phillies had won nine in a row since June 1st before getting their win streak snapped against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. The Atlanta Braves have looked unbeatable and have won 11 in a row. Even though the New York Mets haven’t looked great as of late, they are still 39-22 and sit on top of the National League with the best record.

It will be interesting to see how the standings play out in the coming weeks because the Marlins have a series against the Phillies and the Mets this week. Those series are crucial for Miami if they want to climb the standings in not only the National League, but their division as well.

The Marlins have a three-game series against the Phillies that will be played in Philadelphia from Monday through Wednesday.

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