The Rays came to town and leftquite an impression – blowing out the Marlins in the first two games of the series and rallying back in the final game yesterday to nearly sweep their cross-state rivals. Things are getting tougher these days for the Fish who keep battling anyway.
Yesterday’s 5-4 win in the 11th inning of a Ross Gload slapshot to right field gave the Marlins temporary relief in a series where they just looked overmatched. Take Carl Crawford, for example – in the top of the ninth inning he stole 2B on the first pitch to the hitter after him. The Marlins knew he would and even called for a pitchout – and Crawford still beat the throw.
The Rays scored runs – the Marlins did not. The Rays pitched better and fielded better. Up to this point in the season, the Marlins had been in pretty much every game and hadn’t been blown out. Well, now they have seen that happen twice and to their credit, they fought back and held on long enough to squeeze a win out yesterday.
If this is a sign of things to come, then the Marlins are quickly going in the other direction. The fact that they have now only gone 9-25 since their 11-1 start should send a front office into panic mode. This has yet to happen.
You have to wonder if anything will. The Marlins are going to square off against another rival – the Philadelphia Phillies. Incidentally, the team that beat the Rays in the World Series last year. A great opportunity to really evaluate where the Marlins are heading this season.