Best part of watching baseball every day is that I think it’s like surfing. Sometimes you get to ride the wave. Everything is going great. You get the win. Everybody played well. Then the wave breaks, game over and you wait for the next wave to come tomorrow. Next day you hop on the board and start surfing expecting to do it just like yesterday but then you fall. Nobody is hitting but you hit your nose on the rocks on the bottom or as in Miami Marlins case; you get hit in the head by Michael Conforto´s elbow pad. The month of April has been full of unexpected cases for this team. Let’s look back at some of the highs and lows for this team.
Last time I was expecting the Marlins to gain some momentum from their tough road trip against the Mets and the Braves before heading back home. Series against the Mets was just almost completely shambolic. First game ended on that Michael Conforto hit-by-pitch bases loaded walk-off. You make your own judgement call did he cover the plate with his elbow, trying to force the hit-by-pitch by sticking out his elbow. You are now (this is a family-friendly name) on my “players I don’t like” list, Michael. Anyway, water under the bridge now. Marlins didn´t come to the next game head hunting him. Instead, they got him with three strikeouts and Jazz Chisholm hit a home run off Jacob deGrom. Marlins won the game. Good day at the beach.
Nobody: Yeah, there is no way we can play in the pouring rain and when I look at this weather app it says that there is a chance that the rain might not go away anytime soon. Let’s just reschedule this game and lets not risk our players .
New York Mets: Hold my beer. Play ball!
Last game of the series started in the pouring rain and after Marcus Stroman had a pitch count of nine the game was cancelled and rescheduled for later. I have no idea what kind of information backed this decision to start the game. Maybe the beer sales at Citi Field. Why would you risk yours and other team players in that weather and waste your starter like that? Bad day at the beach.
After dealing with much controversy in New York expectations heading into the four-game series against the Atlanta Braves were not high. Braves entered the series also after a bit of controversy because of the incident in Philadelphia. Phillies Alec Bohm scored a run but the replay showed that his big toe perhaps never touched the home plate and that run proved to be the winning run. I was expecting the Marlins to get swept by this angry Braves side but this Marlins team can be so weird at times. Sensationally, the Marlins took three games out of four from the Braves. Former Braves outfielder Adam Duvall was the ultimate Atlanta killer as he hit three home runs and batted in nine runs. Surfing with the dolphins kind of feeling.
Heading back home and Marlins kept riding the same wave taking two games out of three from the Giants. Two blown sweeps for the Fish isn’t something you get to type every day. Marlins fail to take home advantage in the interleague series against the Baltimore Orioles as they split the two-game series. Dark clouds came over the loanDepot park in the Giants series though when Starling Marte went down with a fractured rib. He is set to miss some time but the Marlins can only hope he does not have any setbacks. It was like a shark seen near the beach day. No surfing, no fun.
Giants series in the Bay area was just miserable from the Marlins point of view. Fish came up with just one win out of four games. Positive news from the series was that Jesus Aguilar apparently switched his diet and has now hit four home runs. I’m making arepas this weekend for the family.
Just like entering the Braves series there wasn’t supposed to be any chance for the Fish to get any kind of production against the record-breaking pitcher Corbin Burnes. Still yet to give up a walk, Burnes had 40 strikeouts and no walks in his four starts and he was due up against the Marlins without their best hitter. Marlins UK official hype man Peter Pratt said that the Marlins are going to blow up Burnes and was kindly asked if he was on acid. Marlins blew up Burnes and won the game 8-0. Baseball, right?
When we talk about Marlins prospects you hear a lot about Jazz Chisholm, Sixto Sanchez, JJ Bleday to name a few. Trevor Rogers, who flew a bit under the radar with these other names in the organisation, surely has shown that he has a spot on this rotation. Left-handed pitcher who was Marlins first-round pick in the 2017 draft was called up last year in August and started seven games. He posted 6.11 ERA and 1.607 WHIP in 28 innings pitched. Now he has the same amount of innings pitched after five games. He has a 1.29 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He has won pitching duels against deGrom and Burnes. Really exciting to see how this season progresses for him.Embed from Getty Images
Heading in to the month of May, Marlins will not be over .500 but could be close to it when they finish the first series of the month against the Washington Nationals. Overall the month looks a bit tricky as the Fish plays first series of the season against the Phillies. There is also road games ahead against the champions Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.
Jazz Chisholm hurt his hamstring, Brian Anderson is on IL with left oblique strain, Marte is out. Fish is fighting but the depth is tested at the moment. We will see if it was a fun month at the beach with surfboards, cigars and tequilas or were the Fish eaten up by a shark. One thing is for sure; expect the unexpected.
Stay safe and lets go Fish!
Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
Tomi Korkeamaki is covering the Miami Marlins during 2021 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @TKorkeamaki