Miami, Florida – The Miami Marlins keep on rolling, taking the doubleheader to now win three straight in the series. In both games, Brian Anderson was a contributing factor. Anderson produced a home run and an RBI single, making his first-ever career appearance at first base. It might take some getting used to but his versatility adds another position to his repertoire. 

All you need is one

Andy was the difference in the first leg of the doubleheader, hitting a solo shot in the fourth inning for the only run of the game. Elieser Hernandez spun a very effective outing, tossing over four shutout innings and fanning five. The contest was largely a pitcher’s duel, coming down to who made the least mistakes. The Marlins showed discipline at the dish, making very good takes to run up Orioles starter Alex Cobb’s pitch count. 

The first game of the twin bill also saw the MLB debut of Eddy Alvarez, a former Olympic speed skating silver medalist.

The bullpen took care of business, getting out of two instances where the Orioles threatened to score. Hernandez ran into trouble in the fifth after pinch-hitter Pedro Severino hit a bloop single to put runners at the corners with only one out. Coach Don Mattingly called on Nick Vincent for a tough test on the mound. However, with one pitch Vincent got out of a jam, forcing Hanser Alberto into an inning-ending double play. 

Baltimore tried again in the sixth with a runner on second but Richard Bleier shut the door. Brandon Kintzler picked up his second save of the year. 

Double the Fun

Miami kept going with an encore performance by Anderson in the second game. Andy didn’t take up his usual spot in the hot corner, instead, he made his first-ever start (minor and major league) at first base. Alvarez took over at third and Ryan Lavarnway was the catcher in a series of changes. Monte Harrison was benched for game two, likely because of his struggles at the plate. Harrison is currently hitless in six at-bats, whiffing five times. After Jesรบs Aguilar sac flied to score the first run, Anderson hit an RBI single to bring in Jon Berti from third. 

The Fish didn’t send out a starter, opting to use their bullpen throughout the game. The last time I saw a team go with a platoon of relief pitchers was a midweek game for the Miami Hurricanes. Josh A. Smith went first with a pair of innings, fanning one guy while giving up a walk and a hit. From there it was Sterling Sharp and then Brian Moran, the latter striking out the side.

The O’s finally recorded their first run of the series in the sixth but Stephen Tarpley recovered and stopped the rally, staying on the mound for the save. 

Once again the relief corps protected leads and did its job, amazing considering they were hit hardest by coronavirus. The journeymen and call ups from Jupiter have performed relatively well going forward. We shall see what happens next especially when the roster is cut down to 28. 

What it means 

If folks were expecting the Marlins to struggle on their return it hasn’t happened. Miami has now won three straight in the series and four overall. The ballclub seems to have made the right moves thus far and adapted to their situation. Luckily, most of the players affected by COVID are asymptomatic with some experiencing mild symptoms. The hope is the guys make a speedy recovery and are healthy, ready to move forward.

Eddy Alvarez went hitless but the guy made a nice play scooping up a grounder with one heck of a throw across the diamond to get the final out in the third, just beating out the runner Anthony Santander. In 2014 Alvarez was the first-ever Cuban-American male speed skater to make the US Olympic team. He won a silver medal in Sochi, Russia in the men’s 5000-meter short-track relay. He also played 66 games in Triple-A New Orleans in 2019, his first year with the organization. 

I did not expect the Marlins to be 5-1, certainly not after their COVID-19 saga. But here they are, standing proudly atop the NL East. Eventually, they’ll come back down to earth but this momentum has been a lot of fun to watch. The boys are really showing they can compete in spite of it all. Given their performance and expanded playoffs, if this keeps up not only will they be a .500 club but also make the postseason, turning heads doing it. 

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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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