The Miami Marlins have quietly been one of MLB’s most improved teams this season, and now they’re in the postseason.
The Marlins clinched an NL wild-card berth with a 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, improving their record to 84-76 a year after finishing fourth in the NL East at 69-93. They will finish the season with either the second or third wild card, while the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds are still in the hunt.
The strange thing is that the Marlins have a lead over these teams with their rain-out game against the New York Mets still to come. If the Marlins still need a win for playoff berth after Sunday, MLB reportedly intends for them to finish their game starting Thursday with the Marlins up 2-1 by two heading into the ninth inning.
So the Marlins and Mets could return to New York on Monday to play an inning of baseball, after which the Marlins would head to their first playoff game on Tuesday. The Marlins will face either the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers or the top wild card Philadelphia Phillies in the wild card round.
Wherever they land, they will be making their second trip to the playoffs since their second World Series title in 2003, having previously made it through the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. They are in their first season under coach Skip Schumaker.
The Marlins’ win on Saturday resulted in Jazz Chisholm Jr. scoring the first two runs and scoring more in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. First baseman Josh Bell provided some huge insurance runs with a double in the seventh inning.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, they will be one of many teams in this season’s playoffs missing a key pitcher or two. In Miami’s case, they will have to do without reigning Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, who has been ruled out for the season with a forearm injury.