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Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – NLDS 2019

The regular season is in the books for the 2019 Miami Marlins. We are playoff bound, taking on the N.L. Central winning Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September

I am feeling pretty accomplished at this point. I took one of the worst teams in baseball – and after only 68 trades and free agent signings – took them to the playoffs.

NLDS

As I mentioned earlier, the Reds won their division and were pretty consistent throughout the regular season.

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The Reds only have a couple of bats that I need to worry about – Scooter Gennett provided the most power and Tucker Barnhart was the most consistent at the plate. They also have Joey Votto – who you can’t forget about. On the mound, Tanner Roark was their best arm, but Luis Castillo is the true ace of the staff.

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Honestly, their lineup is not very much to worry about. It seems just fine – but there are only a couple of intimidating bats. Outside of Votto and Gennett there is truly nobody I need to be too careful pitching to.

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Now that is a nice looking Marlins lineup. Jose Martinez, Christian Yelich, Vladamir Guerror Jr., and Max Muncy give me an incredibly tough heart of the order to get through.

Game 1

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Ender Inciarte took the first pitch of the game and lined it to right center field for a single. Jose Martinez did the very same thing with the second pitch, and the Marlins had two on and nobody out with Christian Yelich coming to the plate. Yelich flew out to right, not quite deep enough for Inciarte to tag up on. Vladamir Guerrero Jr. came up and hit a shot to the Left Fielder Jesse Winker – who made an incredible catch down the left field line. Inciarte took off from second – not expecting a catch to be made and was doubled up at second base to end the inning.

The Reds were also able to put to hits on the board in the first inning. Jorge Alfaro threw out their leadoff guy on a steal attempt, and no damage was done after that.

In the top of the second, Jorge Alfaro lined a single up the middle with one out. Johan Camargo was up next and drove a double into the left-center gap – scoring Alfaro from first to put the Marlins up 1-0.

With two outs in the bottom of the second, Matt Kemp hit a towering shot off the top of the left field wall for a double. Jameson Taillon was able to strike out Tucker Barnhart to end the threat.

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Taillon, who hit .049 on the year, led off the 5th with a single to shallow right field. Inciarte followed with a single to left field. Martinez was up next and drove a double to the right center gap with his first pitch, scoring both runners. Yelich was beaned and Valdamir Guerrero Jr. singled up the middle to load the bases with nobody out. This knocked Luis Castillo from the game, and the Reds brought in a relief pitcher.

Max Muncy grounded to Joey Votto at first base – who tried to turn two – luckily the turn was not quick enough. A run scored and the Marlins still had first and third with only one out. Alfaro next singled down the 3rd base line to score Yelich. Camargo and Mondesi both hit the ball well on the next two at bats – but they hit it directly to Reds players to end the inning. The damage was done and the Marlins were up 5-0.

The Reds were able to score in the 5th and 6th inning to bring the game a bit closer.

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In the top of the 9th Yelich drove the first pitch over the left field wall for a solo homerun – putting the Marlins up 6-2

In the bottom of the ninth Matt Kemp led off the inning with a single. Jose Alvarado was able to get a fly out and strike out the final two batters to end the game.

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Alvarado was great on the mound – only allowing a single hit in two innings of work. He was so great that the Marlins were able to save their pen for another day.

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Game 2

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The first two innings were rather quiet at the plate. The Marlins were able to get a hit in each of the first two innings, and the Reds got their first hit in the second with Yasiel Puig. That threat ended quickly when Christian Yelich made an amazing catch to end the inning.

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In the top of the third Scooter Gennett made his own web gem play – robbing a hit from Trevor Williams

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The game was quiet – until the bottom of the 5th. Yasiel Puig led the inning off with a mammoth homerun to left center field. Williams was able to retire the next three batters in order – but the Reds had a 1-0 lead.

We didn’t have much action again for the next few innings. Williams pitched a great seven innings, and wood lasted through 8 full innings – holding the Marlins scoreless.

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In the top of the 9th with one out Yelich singled to left field. On the next pitch he stole second base.

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Jose Martinez lined up the middle to score Yelich and tie the game at 1-1. Antone Cruz came in to run for Martinez. Cruz stole second on the first pitch of Max Muncy’s at bat. The next pitch was a wild pitch, advancing Cruz to third base with one out. Muncy struck out, and Vladamir Guerror Jr. flew out to end the inning, leaving Cruz stranded on 3rd base.

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Joey Votto was up to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Votto was up on the count 1-0 and absolutely turned on the ball, sending a shot down the right field line. The ball unfortunately stayed fair – giving the Reds a 2-1 walkoff victory.

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Williams and Wood had incredible stat lines in this pitcher’s duel:

  • Williams: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7 K
  • Wood: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 K
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Game 3

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With the series tied at 1-1 and heading to Miami, we had Chris Archer against Tanner Roark on the mound.

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This was a straight up pitcher’s duel through the first four innings. The Marlins were able to sprinkle a few hits here and there – and the Reds had a hit of their own. No team was able to advance a runner past second base through the first four frames.

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With one out in the bottom of the 5th inning Adalberto Mondesi roped a ball to the right-center field gap – using his speed to make it safely to third with a triple. Chris Archer came up to the plate next and struck out – bringing up Ender Inciarte with two outs and a runner on third. Inciarte lined a pitch off the hip of Roark and the ball deflected to the 3rd baseman. Inciarte was able to beat out the throw at first – scoring Mondesi – giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

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Jose Martinez was up next. On the first pitch of the at bat Inciarte stole second. Martinez then hit a line shot to right field, where Yasiel Puig was waiting to make an incredible diving catch, saving a run and ending the threat from the Marlins.

In the top of the 6th, the bats of the Reds finally came to life. Jorge Peraza singled to left field. Joey Votto came to the plate and did what Joey Votto does, hit a homerun to right field. This gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

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In the top of the 7th Archer allowed a double to Puig and a walk to Kemp. There was one out – after a mound visit the boss decided to keep Archer in the game. With a 2-2 count, Archer hung a slider to Tucker Barnhart – who put it into the right field bleachers. This gave the Reds a 5-1 lead. Archer stayed in to finish the inning, but the damage was done.

In the top of the 8th Craig Kimbrel came in and got the first two guys out. Eugenio Suarez came up, and with two strikes hit a blast over the left field wall. 6-1 Reds.

The Miami Marlins were unable to string together enough hits to create a threat. The Reds took home a 6-1 victory and 2-1 series lead.

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Game 4

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In Game 4 we had Marcus Stroman vs Luis Castillo. I was surprised to see the Reds bring Castillo out again so soon, especially after his game 1 performance. He was sitting with an 11.25 playoff ERA.

I decided to sim this game – I had played the first three games and it was not working out to well for me.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning Miami scored first – getting four runs across the dish. Christian Yelich homered – scoring two runs. Marcus Stroman was able to help himself later in the inning with a 2 run single.

The Reds responded with two runs of their own in the top of the 4th. Matt Kemp had a 2-run homerun of his own. The Reds were down 4-2.

  • In the bottom of the fourth the Marlins scored twice. 6-2 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 6th the Reds scored two more runs. 6-4 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 8th the Reds scored 3 runs. 7-6 Reds.
  • The Marlins scored one in the bottom of the 8th. 7-7.

For some reason – Marcus Stroman was still in the game. He was at 132 pitches. I needed to take over. I stopped the sim and entered in the Top of the 9th. I brought in Edwin Diaz, and the Reds didn’t have a chance.

In the bottom of the 9th Max Muncy ledoff with an infield single. Johan Camargo singled after a Jorge Alfaro line out. The Marlins had 1st and 2nd with one out. Antone Cruz came in to run for Muncy at 2nd.

Adalberto Mondesi grounded to the second baseman. Double play ball. The Reds got the out at second, then threw to first. The throw was wide and Mondesi was safe. However – Cruz decided to push things and round 3rd, he tried to score from second on a double play ball. Votto was able to get the throw home in time, ending the inning.

I went back to simming because I got bored at this point. I had a headache from staring at the screen. The Marlins got out of the inning without giving up a run. I accidentally pushed the wrong button when I wanted to hit for the Marlins in the bottom of the 10th. The Marlins scored and won 8-7.

It looks like Kike Hernandez pinch hit and doubled. With two outs Yelich doubled – scoring Hernandez and tying the series 2-2.

Game 5

In game 5 we had Jameson Taillon vs Alex Wood. I decided to go with the quick manage because I was pretty burnt out at this point.

Miami scored first in the 4th inning. They put three more across the plate in the 6th to go up 4-0. They scored again in the 7th. The Reds came back with 2 more in the 8th.

Now was my time to enter the game. We were up 5-2 heading into the 9th.

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With one out – Yelich doubled down the line. Martinez was up next and struck out.

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Muncy came to the plate and absolutely wrecked a ball – hitting it deep over the right field wall. The Marlins were up 7-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Taillon was still in the game – but at 111 pitches I decided to be safe and bring in Edwin Diaz to close this series out.

With a quick 1-2-3 inning it was all over – Diaz sat the Reds down in order and the Marlins were off to the NLCS.

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Up Next

We are going to follow the Marlins to Los Angeles for the NLCS against the Dodgers. Over in the American League we have a surprising ALCS – with the White Sox against the Red Sox.

– Buzz

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