With another series concluded the Marlins not only took care of business in Texas but completely destroyed the Rangers in the series finale. Saving the best for last, the Marlins took Game 1 of the series 4-0 behind the surprising strength of Adam Conley putting in seven strong innings without giving up a single run as Stanton drilled two more balls into the outfield seats to take the game 4-0. In the following game the Rangers struck back despite Christian Yelich’s best efforts at the plate, beating us 10-4. Then on Wednesday night we were treated to an outright shootout as the Marlins utterly annihilated the Rangers, 22-10. No that is not a typo, it’s practically a football score as a grand total of 5 homeruns occurred, 4 of them from the Marlins. 22 runs on 22 hits. HULK SMASH!

Star Performances of the Series

I’m going to divide this up into two parts. Stanton and Ozuna displayed some mighty fine baseball on Monday. Gonecarlo went 2-for-3 lifting two monster homers, driving in 3 RBIs while Ozuna kept up his awesome pace going 2-for-4 with an RBI. On Tuesday, Christian Yelich carried the offense driving all 4 runs going 3-for-4 with a homerun and two doubles. It was a losing effort but way to hustle!

EVERYBODY drove in a run.

Now for Part 2. After the third game, the entire starting lineup deserves to be in here as EVERYBODY drove in a run. I mean woah, what a game. Ozuna hit 2 doubles, Yelich smacked 3. Big O Ozuna even got a triple during the game while the Marlins belted 4 long balls, Stanton and Dee “The Flash” Gordon included. Then there was Derek Dietrich going 2-for-5 with 5 RBIs on the night, an excellent performance. These were some of the notables but really, the entire team deserves a long round of applause. I am so proud of them, I really am.

Should he stay or should he go?

As we enter the final week before the trade deadline, phones will ring off the hook and deals will be made with the fans stalking their twitter feeds awaiting news of who went where (Not a confession). For some, it’s the start of a playoff push, for others the final piece towards greatness and for the rest just another date on the calendar. With regards to us, the concern is whether or not we’re about to witness yet another full-blown fire sale despite the top brass repeatedly stating that the core is off the table.

We’ve seen David Phelps get shipped out to Seattle with possible suitors eying the remaining players from J.T Realmuto to Dee Gordon and even GoneCarlo Stanton. Hopefully, that nickname remains for his ability of making baseballs disappear and not him actually… I won’t jinx it. So it seems the team is aiming towards restocking the farm and rumor has it A.J. Ramos will be the next person to be dealt. So the question becomes keep Ramos or Vamos Ramos? Does it matter?

Let’s begin with some of his stats. For the year he is 2-4 with a 3.76 ERA as of Wednesday night. Thus far he has 19 saves out of 21 opportunities and in 38.1 innings, he has 46 strikeouts. Ramos joined the Marlins in 2012 and recorded his first save back in 2015, arguably his best year with us. Since then his ERA has crept up from 2.30 to what it is now. Granted, we just started the second half so he can very well match it. In case you were wondering his career ERA hovers at 2.79 with 91 saves. He passes this test, but is anyone convinced the 30-year old reliever is the man for us going forward?

These last two years I’ve seen A.J. Ramos as a serviceable reliever at best. I mean just this past Monday his control was all over the place as he walked a guy and gave up a single. Among the batters he faced he almost beaned one of them. Back in mid-June Ramos blew his first save of the season against the Braves. Man it was ugly, he gave up consecutive doubles to Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis allowing Atlanta to tie the game and then in the 10th inning with a runner on second Ramos gloved a comebacker only to turn around and airmail ball into center field. It was a futile attempt to catch the runner who was way off second base. With now runners at the corners, Brandon Phillips hit the game winning ball. And don’t get me started on that come from behind homerun Yasiel Puig smacked off him two weeks ago. We were one pitch away from victory that night. One. Pitch.

Moving on, I’ve sort of noticed something. It isn’t every time but he tends to allow runners to get into scoring position. Check this out: At home he ERA is stellar, 2.56 but on the road it’s a mess standing at 5.60. When the bases are empty his ERA is 0.56, magnificent. But when it comes to runners in scoring position it rises to a crazy 15.95 (7.1 IP for transparency). Looking deeper into the numbers, with a mere out his ERA stands at 2.03 but he has the quirk of it rocketing up to 6.57 when he’s just ONE OUT away from victory. Oh god Puig just flashed before my eyes.

He definitely isn’t lights out but hey, he isn’t Fernando Rodney either. Coach Don Mattingly had given some indications that in the event A.J. Ramos gets traded, Kyle Barraclough would get the closer spot. That was the thought…before Barraclough went into the 10-day DL. Things are now in flux. Our bullpen would roughly consist of Tazawa, McGowan, Wittgren, Worley, Garcia and Ellington. Keep in mind Ziegler remains injured. So should he stay or should he go?

From an objective and personal stand point, I’d say yes. Our farm system could use a continued boost and given his talents he could fetch a decent haul. Of the teams interested in him just about all of them want him in a setup role, not as a closer. Personally, I thought David Phelps was the better pitcher and while the guy certainly wasn’t perfect he was good enough for us to use him in extended relief to the point of making him a starter to shore up the rotation. If we’re to keep our youthful core while at the same time building for the future, other pieces need to be moved, Ramos and Phelps included.

Will the bullpen become weaker without Ramos now that Barraclough is injured? Depends on the trade really. What if it’s all prospects? One would think without Ramos, our bullpen will be trending downward but guys like Tazawa, Wittgren and Barraclough (When healthy) can surely step up. They’ll have to.

I don’t think Ramos is a lousy closer, I just think we can do better and younger too. If he ends up staying which it wouldn’t surprise me, great. If he ends up leaving, that’s fine too as I will appreciate the work he’s done for us. Sacrifices (trades really) have to be made, and if it helps keep guys like Yelich, Ozuna and Gordon around while getting a decent return, then so be it. Until next time, stay frosty.

Stat(s) of the Week: The previous record for most runs in a game was set in July 2003 when the Marlins spanked the Atlanta Braves at home 20-1. Marcell Ozuna also became the first player in Marlins franchise history to hit a double and a triple in the same inning, nice work Big O.

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Views from the Cheap Seats is a biweekly segment where a Miami raised sports nut recaps, screams and analyses a week’s worth of games giving a toast, or the finger, to his hometown team depending on their performance. A truly hopeful but always realistic fan putting thoughts to pen to paper and always striving to improve. Be bold, be good, be you.

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Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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