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Series preview, #34: Diamondbacks @ Marlins

Time for a fishing trip

Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Marlins are the worst team in the National League this year, and it’s not even close. They currently sit with a record of 38-62, on pace for another hundred-loss season. Drop one more game than that, and it would be Miami’s worst record since the infamous post-World Series fire sale of 1998, when they went 54-108. Derek Jeter’s plan appears to be to convert them into a farm team for the Yankees, or maybe it just seems that way. Though that’s a bit harsh, as Miami are beginning to put together a decent farm system. Baseball America recently ranked them tenth, when they were dead-last two years ago. The 26-year division, 16-year playoff and decade-long winning season droughts have to end sometime, right?

But the present? That’s still pretty ugly. And the locals have noticed. Miami are on pace to average fewer than ten thousand per game. Unsurprisingly, that’s dead-last in the majors, and that’s not even close either: it’s about 5,800 below the 29th-ranked Rays [Look, maybe we just need to contract Florida?] However, part of that number is because they are one of the few sports franchises to count actual butts on seats, rather than tickets sold. But there’s no way to spin crowds of fewer than six thousand, which the Marlins have had twice per year, as anything but an embarrassment. The seven lowest have all been on Tue/Wed, so we might not see anything so bad this series. Monday may be ugly though.

There’s one familiar name on the roster, with ex-Diamondback Martin Prado present in a utility-bench role. He just came back off the injured list, having missed close to a month with a hamstring issue. But he’s struggling at the plate, with an OPS of only .562 this year. One other Arizona expat appeared for them this season. Remember Peter O’Brien, the guy with monstrous power and no other tools? Now a Marlin. He was called up just after the start of the season, and played 14 times for them. He struck out in 19 of his 47 plate-appearances, and was sent back to the minors.

What about the pitching match-ups this series?

Fri, 4:10 pm: Zack Greinke (RHP: 10-4, 2.93) vs. Sandy Alcantara (RHP: 4-9, 4.25)

Zack took a no-decision in his last outing, but pitched well enough, holding the Brewers to two runs over seven innings. It was a solid bounce-back for Greinke after being battered by the Cardinals. Alcantara hasn’t had a quality start in over a month, his last coming on June 21, which was also his last W. He did pitch seven innings of one-run ball against the Phillies there though.

Sat, 3:10 pm: Alex Young (LHP: 3-0, 2.38) vs. Jordan Yamamoto (RHP: 4-1, 2.61)

Young experienced his first taste of major-league adversity, giving up a game-tying grand-slam to the Brewers, and lasting only four innings. He walked as many batters as in his previous three starts combined. This will be a battle of rookies, with Yamamoto also making his major-league debut last minth, like Young. He’s actually slightly more experienced, having seven starts to his name.

Sun, 10:10 am: Robbie Ray (LHP: 9-6, 3.95) vs. Trevor Richards (RHP: 3-12, 4.62)

At first I thought Richards was the staff ace, but then I realized I’d misread his record as a 3.12 ERA. Nope. He hasn’t won since June 2, going 0-7 over his eight appearances since. His last five outings have gone exactly five innings, so it’s possible Ray might outlast his opposite number here. Robbie has now gone 6+ in eight of his last nine starts, so maybe it’s time to put that meme to bed?

Update:

Mon, 4:10 pm: Merrill Kelly (RHP: 7-10, 4.22) vs. Toby Decided

Kelly was shelled by the Orioles, which is never a good sign. Hopefully, just a bump in the road, though his road ERA is still close to a run higher than the one in Chase Field (4.68 vs. 3,77), even after that meltdown The Marlins haven’t announced who’ll be pitching for them. Maybe they’ll pick a fan at random from the stands.

Poll

How will this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    4-0: All you can eat fish fry
    (9 votes)
  • 27%
    3-1: The wild-card chase goes on
    (9 votes)
  • 30%
    2-2: Splitsville, USA
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    1-3: This dish smells off
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    0-4: SELL!
    (2 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now