For the first time since 2003, the Marlins are headed to the postseason.
Miami earned its first postseason trip since 2003 by beating the New York Yankees in Yankee stadium on Friday night. It’s the same franchise Marlins GM Derek Jeter and Manager Don Mattingly once led as players.
Few expected Miami to contented this year. Not only were they coming off a 100-loss season, but they were forced off the field when 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 following the season-opening series in Philadelphia.
Miami returned after a week-long layoff, using the trade market and the waiver wire to replace the players on the injured list.
They won their first five games and haven’t looked back since.
The Marlins are the only franchise out of the four major North American professional sports to have never lost a playoff series. In both their previous playoff appearances (1997 & 2003), they came away as champions.
Looks like they’ll be putting that accolade to the test.
Anniversary of Jose Fernandez’s death
Friday also marked the four-year anniversary of the death of Jose Fernandez, who died in a 2016 boat crash that shocked the world.
It was a bittersweet moment for Don Mattingly, who was understandably emotional after the game.
Rest in peace, Jose Fernandez. You’re gone but not forgotten.
Wild Card Series
Miami will face a struggling Chicago Cubs team that is suddenly looking very beatable. Chicago’s offense has been struggling all year, and I don’t expect that to change.
Those are difficult, high-caliber opponents, and Miami would be heavy underdogs against any of those teams.
But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.