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What Went Wrong: Marlins Outmatched by Defending Pennant Winners

The Miami Marlins' dream season came to an abrupt end after two postseason games

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 6 months ago 3 min read

The Miami Marlins were not expected to get to this point. After all, they were in a division with a team who was two years removed from winning the World Series, a team who--despite choking away the division lead--had a great regular season and was looking to get back to the postseason, and a team who won the pennant during that previous year. In addition, other teams in the National League were supposed to be in the mix, namely the San Diego Padres, who finished as the runners-up in the National League in 2022.

Funny how things don't turn out as some teams plan them.

The Padres disappointed this season, even though they were supposed to be neck and neck with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. The New York Mets were even worse, as they couldn't seen to get past blowing the division last year. In sports, when one or two favorites fall off, other teams capitalize. Enter the Marlins. They won games at the right time and at the right moment, which is the teams' M.O. in their past runs, and as a result, the Marlins were postseason bound.

However, the team who mastered the improbable run did not have another one in them. They were ousted in two games in the Wild Card Series. Nothing really went wrong with them, they were playing against the Philadelphia Phillies, and were simply outmatched. Granted, I did expect the Marlins to give it the old college try, but it was not to be. The Marlins only scored two runs in the series, yet their lack of offense, to me, is different compared to how the Blue Jays and Rays couldn't score runs this year. Toronto and Tampa Bay had cold bats and couldn't hit the side of a barn. Miami, well, they were just outgunned.

For most of the season, Luis Arraez was the story of the 2023 Marlins season, and the reason was simple: he was hitting .400 during the earliest month of the season. No matter how long that number last, when anyone is hitting .400, eyes are open. The late, great Tony Gwynn came the closest to reaching that rare batting average, but it was never to be, and unfortunately, the same fate would befall Arraez--who fell off in the summer months, but still continue to hit with precision.

Arraez finished with a .354 batting average this season, but regarding the Wild Card Series, he only had one hit. The runs were driven in by Bryan De La Cruz (Game One) and Josh Bell (Game Two), with the latter having four hits in the series. Jazz Chisholm, Jr., one of the team's young breakout stars, was held hitless in the series. Jorge Soler, the 2021 World Series MVP who led the Marlins in home runs this season, only had one hit.

The Division Series picture was completed in one day. The Game One winners completed their sweeps, and regarding the Phillies, their quest to return to the World Series continues on. They will now face off against the Atlanta Braves in a battle between the last two pennant winners, as well as a rematch of last year's NLDS, which saw the Phils shock the world and take down the then-defending champions in four games. As for the Marlins, they should be proud of this season. They exceeded expectations and reached the postseason when everyone had them only finishing higher than the Washington Nationals in the NL East. If they do some adding during this offseason, chances are the postseason appearances could become a regular thing in South Florida.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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