The 2020 Major League Baseball playoffs are well underway by this point, with many teams already advancing to the next round. As many of you are aware, the two National League East representatives, the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, have both advanced.
Alright, alright, alright. First off, I know I’ve disparaged the Marlins all season long. Over the course of the season, I repeatedly wrote that Miami was due to fall to the bottom of the East. Then, once they didn’t, I wrote that the Cubs would end the run for the Fish in the playoffs.
Now, a few days removed from that writing, I was wrong — again. Miami took down the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago by counts of 5-1 and 2-0. I hypothesized that the Marlins would ultimately be undone because of poor pitching performance, that Chicago’s bats would prevail in a battle between two teams that, let’s face it, haven’t been that great this year.
In Game 1 of the series, Sandy Alcantara led the charge for the Marlins, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing only three hits and one run. The bullpen finished the job off, going 2.1 innings, giving up nothing aside from a hit in the ninth.
In Game 2, Sixto Sanchez pitched five strong innings, allowing four hits and striking out six.
Again, the bullpen finished off the job, allowing a hit in the ninth and nothing more.
The Cubs amassed nine hits over two games, with a grand total of one run. As such, the Marlins’ magical season continues as they press on.
For their hard work and dedication to their craft, they’ve been handed a five-game series with a familiar divisional foe, the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves and Reds’ series was another one that didn’t see much offense from the opposition.
In Game 1, Cincinnati was able to accumulate 11 hits but that didn’t translate to any runs.
Trevor Bauer did good work for the Redlegs, but Atlanta found a way to stave off any offensive threats from the Reds’ offense, and eventually went on to win on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Game 2 saw more of the same. The Reds only had two hits, while the Braves totaled nine to contribute to their five runs, four of which came in the eighth.
All this to say that by the end of the National League Division Series, the road will have come to an end for one of the NL East’s entrants. At the risk of guessing incorrectly again, and with the full support of Marlins fans everywhere — seeing as how I can’t seem to accurately predict anything they do — Atlanta will ultimately overcome whatever Miami throws at them, for many of the reasons outlined here. But hey, baseball’s a finicky thing to predict. For all I, or anyone else knows, the Marlins might well end up being World Series champions.