For the first time since 2003, the Marlins will be headed to the playoffs!
The Marlins started off their season looking like fools, being the first MLB team to have a Covid outbreak. Now the Marlins are the story of the MLB season, as the "rebuilding" team that was widely projected to finish last in the NL East, clinch the 2nd spot in the NL East.
Marlins Clinch Playoffs!
The Marlins traveled to the Bronx, to get ready for the final 3 games of the season. The final 3 games would be nothing like the past, as this time the Marlins were playing for a playoff spot. The Marlins headed into this series with the magic number at 2, going down a number with every Marlins win, or/and every Phillies loss.
With a 4-3 extra-inning win over the Yankees Friday night and a 6-4 Phillies loss to the Rays, the Marlins clinched second place in the NL East and a berth in the 2020 MLB postseason. Yes, really! There was no tougher opponent that the Marlins could face to end their season then the Yankees. Even though the Yankees clinched the playoffs, they still had something to play for: A better seed. Aaron Judge and Stanton were finally back off of the IL. The Yankees also had J.A Happ pitching, who has done really well in a lot of games this season. It didn't matter at the end, as the Marlins won in extras. They simply were great in extras, finding a way to score in the 9th, after Monte Harrison escaped a rundown. Brandon Kintzler and the Marlins then found a way to escape a bases loaded jam, in which AL batting champ DJ LeMahieu grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Marlins will go to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years, looking to keep the streak alive of "never losing a series in the playoffs". The Marlins have made the playoffs two times, and all two times they came out as a World Series champ! Not just that, they made the playoffs both times as a wild card, which is truly impressive.
If the Marlins want to win a 3rd World Series Trophy and keep the "never losing a series in the playoffs" streak alive, they will first have to get past the Cubs in the Wild Card Round. The Cubs who are the 3rd seed, will be the home team in the whole three game series against the Marlins, who come in as the 5th seed.
Probable Pitchers and Series Preview
As most of us know, the Marlins have been one of the biggest surprises this season, but let's not forget about the Cubs. The Cubs have also been one of the biggest surprises this year, as they won the NL Central, a division that is always hard to win. Yu Darvish has turned into a Cy Young pitcher, and Kyle Hendriks is playing like he is in his prime. Speaking of Darvish and Hendriks, they are the probable starters for Game 1 and Game 2 of the 3 game series. If the series goes 3 games, Jon Lester will probably be pitching for the Cubs. Adbert Alzolay could be in competition with Lester, but he is coming off a terrible outing.
For the Marlins, it’s gonna be young starters Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sánchez, and Pablo López. If the Marlins want to win this series, the key will be to get some offense against a very good Cubs rotation and bullpen. During the season, Darvish was 8-3, with a 2.01 ERA that led all NL pitchers. Darvish has proved to be one of the toughest pitchers to face in the MLB, and it could very well be that case in the Wild Card Round. The Cubs are not that dangerous on the offensive side of things, so the Marlins young and talented pitchers can take advantage.