Offishial news, 9/28/23: Final Four

Today’s Marlins news roundup also updates the latest NL Wild Card race developments.

Wednesday’s Games

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  • After a very uninspiring effort in the afternoon game, the Marlins eked out the nightcap against the Mets to split Wednesday’s doubleheader. Johnny Cueto did a serviceable job going two times through New York’s lineup, then the Tanner Scott-less bullpen threw up zeroes the rest of the way (though Pete Alonso came this close to a go-ahead home run in the eighth). A small-ball rally of singles, stolen bases and a Brett Baty error put Miami ahead for good. Matt Moore earned his first win as a Marlin and Andrew Nardi converted his third save.
  • Speaking of Scott, congrats to he and his wife, Maddie, on the birth of their son, Bo.
  • Jon Berti is in the midst of an uncharacteristic power surge. After homering only thrice in his first 124 games of the season, he’s done so four times in the last five. That has raised his 2023 slugging percentage by 50 points!
  • Luis Arraez (left ankle sprain) was absent from the doubleheader. Jorge Soler felt “discomfort” at the end of the first game and didn’t play in the second. Josh Bell was hit by a pitch on the right leg that clearly affected his running. He’s hopeful about playing today.
  • The Marlins will finish a full-length season with a winning record for the first time since 2009. Skip Schumaker joins Jim Leyland (1997) and Jack McKeon (2003) as the only managers in history to be above the .500 mark in their first season with the Marlins.
  • NL Wild Card race updates: the Diamondbacks won, while the Cubs and Reds lost. The Cubs held leads entering the bottom of the eighth, ninth and 10th innings, but the Braves are inevitable. Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 70th stolen base set up the winning run. The Marlins hold the third Wild Card spot thanks to having the tiebreaker over Chicago.
  • Elsewhere around the majors, Gerrit Cole (Yankees) threw a shutout against the Blue Jays, capping off a surefire AL Cy Young-winning campaign. Old friend Pablo López (Twins) racked up 234 strikeouts, even more than Cole and a 60-K increase from his final Marlins season. The Padres are still technically mathematically alive for a postseason berth, but they need to win out and get a lot of help.
  • Next up, the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Cubs conclude their series in New York, Chicago and Atlanta, respectively.
  • Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald spoke to Marlins farm director Hector Crespo about why the organization emphasizes winning seemingly meaningless games in the minor leagues. (I suppose it doesn’t fit the Herald’s narrative, but the organization-wide MiLB winning percentage was only .485 this season.)
  • Dane Myers has signed on to play for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM). The Gigantes are managed by Marlins bullpen coach Wellington Cepeda.
  • On this day 15 years ago, the Marlins eliminated the Mets from postseason contention, spoiling the final game in Shea Stadium history.

Photo courtesy of Miami Marlins

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