Last weekend was a perfect opportunity for the Miami Marlins to win against Atlanta. The Cuban Heritage Celebration just kicked off for the Marlins’ return to loanDepot Park in 2022. Cuban-born Jorge Soler was in a great position to hand them the first walk-off win of the season. But fate often has other plans, and it seems to have had the worst for Soler.
In the end, he singled and doubled in the same match, but the Marlins still lost 4-3. The club now holds a negative record in the MLB, topping the charts or one-run losses with 13. Experts and optimists will say it means that the Marlins are getting closer to victories than ever. Those with a more realistic view know that it’s time for the club to make serious decisions, even cut some players off if required.
Soler was one bright spot in the Marlins' latest win. He struck out with a pair of runners after having singled and doubled, but it wasn't enough to beat Atlanta. The game was scoreless in the fourth when Jesus Sanchez tripled with one out. It was time for Bryan De La Cruz to take the plate. The Marlins have had trouble scoring runs this season, and with Kyle Wright pitching for Atlanta, the lousy streak was about to continue. With Mattingly calling on Sanchez to run on contact, the next 11 seconds were a real rollercoaster.
De La Cruz sent a hard grounder to stop Swanson. The latter threw home. Sanchez put the brakes on while Contreras threw the ball to Riley, who tagged Sanchez out. It was a sight to see and one that fans at the stadium appreciated.
Elieser Hernandez is struggling mightily this season, but he had a good game against the Marlins. He retired 8 out of the first 9 batters. After the game, he said that the good run of form is a testament to the hard work he’s been pouring in. It’s finally starting to show on the pitch, and he hopes that it lasts.
The Marlins have been missing a timely knock all season long. It’s the reason for their inconsistent offense. The club is only 22nd in the Majors when it comes to OPS with .681. The groundout/airout ratio is 0.88, good enough for the 20th spot, which is not good enough.
Mattingly and the players have admitted that they have such a problem. Once again, on Saturday, they had chances but couldn't convert. Mattingly says that the team has talked about it a lot, comparing the issue to a 'broken record' in the dressing room. Still, the club is actively working on a solution, and according to Mattingly, it's as simple as making a push to make those runs when an opportunity presents itself.
Fans are hoping that the problem goes away soon. If it doesn't, the Marlins will continue falling down the rankings, shattering the dreams of a deep playoff run.