It’s been a while since I last wrote about the Fish. I am still stinging from the loss of Jose Fernandez – such a tragedy that will never ever be corrected. More on that later, but for now, how have you all been?
It seems that the Marlins have had a typical year – mess things up in one month and then try to climb out of the hole in dramatic fashion.
Let’s face it, this team has had an unfair amount of adversity. The noted loss of Jose Fernandez above will forever leave a scar on this franchise – a promise of what could have been. The pitching staff, and this team’s psyche, was crushed as a result. It may have been behind the team’s early struggles, although no one will admit it.
Several starting pitchers have had their share of struggles, too. Tom Koehler is gone – an overachiever who helped solidify the rotation for years had regressed and needed to find new life elsewhere. Wei-Yin Chen and Edinson Volquez were both expected to anchor this pitching staff but neither has really found their groove on the field.
Yet, there is light. Don Mattingly continues to steer this team in a positive direction. The Fish are over .500 and within 5 games of a wild card berth. Giancarlo Stanton is putting on a show the likes of which haven’t been seen in a while as he approaches 50 home runs with a batting average sweltering like the thermometer in the hot South Florida summer. Marcell Ozuna quietly has been putting up stellar numbers as an electric support bat with 31 homers and a .311 average.
And Jeffrey Loria is selling the team to Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter, who will look to get the product on the field right and get people into the stands.
With a thrilling 11th inning victory over the Padres last night, off of Miggy Rojas’ bat, the Fish are officially rolling. They are doing it with flair and a high powered offense (on most nights). Could it be just in time to save their 2017 season? I’m heading down there today for this afternoon’s game to find out.