Saturday, September 30, 2023

Dangling in Theoreticals


The fate of the Marlins' season may hinge on a game that may or may not need to be finished.

The story goes that, because the Mets-Marlins game from the other night was still a one-point game going into the inning that was not finished due to the rain that eventually postponed other somewhat crucial New York-set games this week. If the Marlins can hang on to the third playoff spot, the game will be called as a Mets win, as it won't matter. But if the Marlins are still in a deadlocked situation after tomorrow night, they will definitely have to go all the way back to Queens and finish the last inning of that game, meaning that the Mets' eternal role as the spoiler of NL wild card races may come back into vogue. 

It is insane that the entirety of the NL Wild Card race could come down to one inning of one game that would have already finished anyway. But that is the game we're dealing with right now. 

The Cubs and Reds, as I write this, are a game and a half back. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but the Reds may have the higher probability of sneaking in because they've been hot lately. They absolutely killed the Cardinals, tied themselves with the Cubs, and went from a long shot to a slightly more possible playoff variable. Again, this doesn't happen if the Marlins hold on, but it could.

The Marlins still having the momentum in addition to still being prone to win games does make me think they might be alright. Even without Alcantara or Perez, the rotation is getting by, and they're really just narrowing their postseason options. That means that Edward Cabrera, who's been a great lower-tier starter for them, might get a playoff start if things to right, and being that he leads the team in Ks per 9 innings, with 10.7 [OVER ALCANTARA AND LUZARDO], he could be especially lethal given the right postseason picture. Not to say that Luzardo and Garrett won't be problems for opposing offenses either, but those two are the expected ones; Cabrera might be the wild card, and it'd be cool if he shifts into high gear.

Also, and this is a nice change of pace for the Marlins, but everybody in this lineup is healthy. Jake Burger has slid into the starting 3B position, Josh Bell is taking the majority of reps at 1B, Jazz Chisholm and Jorge Soler are healthy and surging, and you've got a 200+ hit season on your hands with Luis Arraez, who's sure to be dangerous in the postseason. Even the depth options, like Xavier Edwards, Jon Berti and Garrett Hampson, are really impressive. 

The Marlins, at their peak, have been dangerous, scrappy and hard to handle. Only issue is they've gone cold when it benefits them the least. It could happen now, as the postseason is on the line. It may come down to one inning in Queens. However this season finishes, be it now or next month, the Marlins should be very proud with how well this season went, and how they defied everyone's expectations despite the moment belonging, it seemed, to the Mets. 

Coming Tomorrow- Julian Merryweather had the job, then he got hurt. Then Rafael Dolis got the job, then he got hurt. The rest has been history in Toronto.

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