The Marlins head to Hollywood needing a series win to guarantee a non-losing road trip, thanks to an abysmal effort by beleaguered closer Steve Cishek. Thanks to a snow-filled Saturday in Denver, that feat has gotten substantially more difficult. How so? Who will win? That’s why they write the Three Strikes columns. Er, ummm, that’s why the play the games rather.
Why Miami Wins The Series
- Strike 1- Defense. Miami sees a fellow top ten defensive squad for the first time in quite awhile, but still gets to claim the advantage. Sunday’s soul sucking loss saw two Web Gem worthy efforts from the Fish in a season where they’ve been piling them up, and they continue to make genius and guru Perry Hill proud by making defense the one constant positive in a bumpy season.
- Strike 2- Steely resolve. Since that 3-11 start that put their skipper in the crosshairs, this is a team that has shown a knack for responding to gut punches. Whether it’s taking the next game after a heartbreaking loss, or rallying back to at least provide a chance to make it a contest, the club has made strides. The series means more to them really, and you should look for them to show it.
- Strike 3- Death by Dan-Dee. The despite the entertaining and sincere practicality of this clip (need something to cheer you up after this afternoon), I’m on record as being a believer in athletes bringing their A game against the team that recently cut or traded them. Look for Dan Haren to deliver a Casey McGehee type haymaker in the series, and for Dee Gordon to…well, he’s pretty much been awesome all year anyway. The ex-Dodgers will be even more amped up then the rest of the roster- see strike 2- to make an impact.
Why The Dodgers Win The Series
- Strike 1- Offense. The Dodgers have been crushing the ball of late- they lead the lead in dingers- and trail only the Padres in NL run production. Giancarlo Stanton has been slumping spectacularly, which takes some of the shine off of his sterling splits vs Los Angeles., and Christian Yelich is the anti-Stanton when it comes to West Coast production. The Marlins have gotten by with middling production from the middle of the order these last couple weeks, but against a high powered offense, they really need a top to bottom effort; they haven’t had many of those.
- Strike 2- Pitching. This was going to be in Miami’s column. But then Mother Nature intervened and pushed Zach Greinke out of the Rockies series, and into Monday’s opener against Tom “Please Don’t Make Me Pitch The Fourth” Koehler. That brings Miami’s run of consecutive All-Star pitchers faced on this road trip to eight, as they tackle their third Cy Young Winner in three series. Throw in Miami’s seven blown saves, and the fact that the Fish are trotting out the three men on their staff that have been most apt to serve up homers against a team that has hit more homers than any other this season, and you have a solid recipe for misery.
- Strike 3- Adrian Gonzalez. With the season Gonzalez is having, he’s pushed me to having to take a full second to be thankful Miami traded him at the 2003 trade deadline. He’s kinda like Dee Gordon, seeing as how he has the third highest batting average in baseball at a terrifying .377. Course he’s also like Stanton, with the pair of them tied for the MLB lead in RBIs. Throw in the nine home runs and the sixth highest WAR among position players, and you’ll probably reach the conclusion that facing him might not be a warm fuzzies moment for Fish and fans alike.