With 12 games left, the Marlins are not out of it. And if success for a season is gauged in how long you play meaningful games, then the Marlins are having a successful season as they wind down.
Being only 5.5 games in back of the surging Phillies for the NL East lead (while the Mets repeat their choke job from year) and only 5.0 games in back of the Mets for the NL Wildcard the Marlins are still in the thick of it. Sure it is a long shot, but so it was for the Rockies last season.
What is the difference now? The Marlins are scoring runs and are eating up the competition. Sporting a 6 game win streak, the Marlins look to continue their winning ways against the Astros and push it up to 7 games. Tomorrow they will close out the series and then it is off to Philadelphia for a three game series.
That could be the season defining series.
For the Marlins, win the series and gain a game; sweep and gain three. If the Phillies win the series, it may keep the Marlins from making a real push for the NL East title. Also, it could let the Mets back in and make it a two way race.
The Marlins have a pretty good pitching staff and they are looking deeper at this time of year than they had all season. Their offense seems to be waking up at just the right time. It is definitely going to be a fight to the finish.