With the win against the Padres, the Marlins closed out the series with the ‘daddies’ by taking it 2-1. That is 3 series wins in a row (not counting the double-header debacle in Colorado, that would be 4 series in a row and a split against the Cards).
In fact, the Marlins are 10-8 in the month of August, not exactly blistering, but they are now 1 game back in the wild card race and 4.5 games back in the NL East race.
Why? Because every team in the race is falling flat. They all want to play, but none can seem to commit. Guess it is a ‘guy thing’.
But helping out is the Phillies and Nationals splitting their series, 2-2. And there is the Astros losing 5 of their last 6 games…
So, here we are, Marlin fans. Perched right near the top of the NL Wild Card race and within striking distance of the NL East title. Not because we are damn good, but because we are damn lucky.
14 shutouts on the season? That feat right now leads all of major league baseball. That isn’t the surprising thing about that stat for the Marlins; what seems to be more astonishing is that they actually won all 14 of those games with this finicky offense.
Now, I am not normally a pessimist, so I won’t pretend to be one here either. The Marlins could play better, yes, but they are starting to. Sure, the offense isn’t clicking, but they have won 6 of their last 9 games. That is a start. And as long as the Marlins keep getting the pitching performances they have been, they have a great shot. Over their last 7 days, the Marlins pitching staff is 4-2 with a 1.17 ERA, 2 complete games, 40 strikeouts and 16 walks in 54 innings pitched while only allowing 35 hits.
That is pretty nasty, ladies and gentlemen.
And this is the time of year where pitching and defense seperate the good from the bad and ugly. The Marlins have both of those features – no, not bad and ugly (I wouldn’t go there…). Because of the Marlins pitching and defense, they are still in this and maybe “gumping” their way isn’t such a bad thing after all. I have accused the Atlanta Braves of such a feat many times, but they seem to have a formula – considering their 196 division titles in a row now.
Better to be lucky than good? I guess. So, may the best gump win.