For the first time since 1997, the Miami Marlins enter a regular season matchup against the New York Yankees with a better record than them. Miami currently has a 60-56 record, which puts them in the third NL Wild Card spot, while the Yankees find themselves out of the AL Wild Card with a 59-56 record, five games back of the closest spot. The three-game set between them begins at LoanDepot Park on Friday.
Gametime: 6:40 p.m.
Pitching matchup: Randy Vásquez vs. Jesús Luzardo
The series opener may be the most favorable for the Marlins given that the Yankees are expected to recall an inexperienced rookie from the minors to start. In Luzardo’s last start, he went 5 1/3 innings, struck out eight, walked two, but gave up four runs on six hits and three home runs. His only career appearance against the Yankees came in 2021 as a reliever while he was still with the Oakland A’s—this time around, it is a different Luzardo who has grown and improved.
In three MLB starts this season, Vásquez has allowed only two total runs (1.17 ERA). He most recently pitched in Triple-A on August 2, striking out a season-high 11 batters in six innings.
Gametime: 4:10 p.m.
The last time Alcantara faced the Yankees, he went seven innings, struck out 10, walked one and didn’t allow a single run on two hits. To say that Alcantara has dominated this lineup before is an understatement. The 2022 NL Cy Young award winner is coming off a strange start against the red-hot Texas Rangers—he had good control and struck out seven batters, but he got burned by three home runs.
Hialeah native Nestor Cortes has yet to face the Marlins in his career, but when fully healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in the AL. This season, Cortes got off to a rocky start and missed all of June and July due to a left rotator cuff strain. Cortes made his return from the IL last week where he four innings, struck out eight, walked one, and only allowed one run, which was a home run. He didn’t allow a hit aside from that.
Gametime: 1:10 p.m.
Eury Pérez rejoined the Marlins rotation this past Monday against the Reds. Eury struck out seven, walked two and gave up four runs on five hits. For Pérez, it’ll be interesting how he handles the Yankees lineup and see what adjustments he makes to his pitch mix usage, which has changed from start to start.
Gerrit Cole has had himself a Cy Young-caliber season. In his last start, Cole went seven innings, struck out three, walked two, but gave up four runs on five hits. For Cole, this is a great opportunity to have a rebound start against a Miami lineup that has struggled at times, especially throughout the second half of the season.
Giancarlo Stanton returns to Miami (again)
One of the greatest players to ever wear a Miami Marlins jersey is back. This season, Stanton is slashing .204/.278/.463/.741 with 18 home runs, 44 RBIs and a 98 wRC+. These are Stanton’s worst stats as a New York Yankee, although he does have his best strikeout rate since the trade (24.4 K%).
A big issue for “Big G” has been his health. He can’t move like he used to and in fact, he has cautious about running with too much effort that could risk causing him to hurt himself once again.
Throughout his Marlins tenure, Stanton slashed .268/.360/.554/.914 with 267 home runs and 672 RBIs. Although there will be mixed emotions when it comes to Stanton’s return, it is worth mentioning how good he was as a Florida and Miami Marlin.
This weekend, the Marlins will be celebrating their 2003 World Series victory against the Yankees. The Marlins typically bring in two alumni for each Flashback Friday home game, but this time around, the organization decided to go bigger with a handful of ’03 alumni: Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, Jeff Conine, Derrek Lee, Mike Lowell, and Juan Pierre. There will be a pregame ceremony hosted by Bally Sports Florida’s own Tommy Hutton.
There will be a pregame picture and autograph section at the Marlins Museum beginning at 5:00 p.m. and then there will be a Q&A session which goes from 5:45-6:15 p.m.
Close to soldout crowds expected
Given the popularity of the Yankees, there will be crowds of up to 30,000 fans and maybe even more. To ensure that parking and the flow of traffic is as efficient as possible, there will be a Marlins transportation hub in Downtown Miami at the Government Center. Parking will be $15 and then the shuttle is free to and from the ballpark.
Gates for all three games will open two hours before first pitch, which means fans will be able to watch Marlins and Yankees batting practice, which is sure to be a home run derby with Stanton and Judge.
For the fans that are of age to drink, there will be a “Teal beer” that runs from when the gates open until the second inning at a special price of $3.
Make sure you follow @FishOnFirst on Twitter for all of your Marlins coverage throughout the entirety of the three game set and make sure to tune in to Fish On First LIVE one hour before the start of each series.