For so long, the National League's Wild Card race has been absolutely insane. It had been a logjam for the longest time, but eventually, numbers get thinned out--such is life in sports. For the most part, it had been the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins, and the Cincinnati Reds vying for those two vacant spots, though for the most part, the Marlins had been behind that magic playoff line. However, they started winning at the right time--during the Cubs' sudden inability to hold a lead.
As a result, the Marlins entered the final day of September, and the penultimate day of the season, with the "win and in" clinching scenario. All they had to do was defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates. That's it. They managed to do it, a 7-3 victory, and the Marlins were postseason bound.
The Miami Marlins are in their 31st season in MLB, debuting in 1993 along with the Colorado Rockies. This year is only their fourth postseason appearance in their franchise history, yet in spite of that, they are two-time World Champions. The Marlins have never won a division title; all of their appearances came as Wild Cards. 1997, their fifth season of play, was the then-named Florida Marlins' first taste of postseason baseball, and they took that Wild Card and ran all the way with it, reaching the World Series and defeating the then-named Cleveland Indians in seven games.
After that championship, the Marlins tore it down, resulting in the team only winning one-third of their games in 1998. However, the rebuild was effective, as 2003 saw them back in the postseason after a late winning tear. That year saw the Marlins oust the San Francisco Giants in a four game NLDS, capped off by a memorable play at the plate that saw Ivan Rodriguez hold up the ball like a trophy. They later defeated the Chicago Cubs in a very memorable seven-game NLCS, and with their second pennant in franchise history, the Marlins won another World Series, this time defeating the New York Yankees in six games.
The good times ended there for a long time. Bad seasons left and right, losing Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, you name it. Their next postseason didn't come until the shortened 2020 season, though for the first time ever, they lost a postseason series. This time, the Marlins wouldn't have to wait too long for their next taste of October: only three years. That's all. The Marlins actually faced having to finish their suspended game against the New York Mets on Monday, October 2, only doing so if their playoff lives depended on it, but with this clinch, they'll either finish with a 161 game season, or they may declare that game a victory--it was suspended in the 9th inning with Miami up 2-1.
The Marlins will start this postseason on the road regardless of where they finish. They can only get as high as the #5 seed, which would send them to Philadelphia. The Marlins actually won the season series against the Phillies, going 7-6 this season against their division foes. If they drop to the #6 seed, the Marlins will head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers. Regarding that season series, Milwaukee went 4-3 against Miami this season. Again, the Marlins have had very few postseasons, but even then, they are known for their surprising long runs. Remember: two World Championships in their first two postseason appearances. Won their first seven postseason series. That is just epic and amazing. Do the Marlins have another shockingly long run in them? If any state knows about lasting longer than they should in sports, it's Florida. Just ask the Panthers and Heat from last year.