With no All-Star Weekend in 2020, the Miami Marlins made their series against the Atlanta Braves their own All-Star series, heavily siding the flying fish.
With 35 hits, 22 runs, and 18 strikeouts, the Marlins were hitting on all fronts, scorching the Braves in Atlanta for the first time since 2016.
Game 1: Marlins 5, Braves 4
After battling with COVID-19, Miami’s Jose Urena made his 2020 debut, but he didn’t come back with vengeance. The former ace let go three runs, four hits and had a light two strikeouts through five innings.
Miami’s batting would pick up for Urena’s slack, especially shortstop Miguel Rojas, who had an astonishing outing, going 4-5 with two RBI’s. The Marlins held a 4-3 lead from the fifth through eighth innings, but the Braves’ Adam Duvall made it harder for the Marlins.
Duvall tied the game in the ninth inning with a solo home run that was a nuke to center going for 449 feet. In the end, it would be the Marlins prevailing with Rojas’ go-ahead RBI double to send the fish dancing with a final score of 5-4.
Game 2: Marlins 8, Braves 0
The second game of the series would become an all-around effort by both sides for the Marlins. Garrett Cooper, Matt Joyce and Jorge Alfaro all produced homers, securing the first four runs of the game. Miami’s offense didn’t stop there, as the hits kept on coming, mostly from Corey Dickerson, Aguilar and Brian Anderson.
Even with all of that offense, the pitching crew was equally outstanding. Sixto Sanchez got the start for Miami, throwing for six innings, securing six strikeouts and not allowing any runs off of three hits. Ryne Stanek closed the game and got the confirmed shut out and series win with a final score of 8-0.
The win clinched the first series win in Atlanta for the first time since 2016.
Game 3: Marlins 9, Braves 29
After losing the series, it seemed like the Braves have had enough of the Marlins’ party. With second Baseman Ozzie Albies back in the lineup, Atlanta unloaded against Miami.
Marlins starter Pablo Lopez recorded one of the worst performances by a pitcher in franchise history. In just 1 2/3 innings, Lopez gave up seven runs off of four hits, had two strikeouts and walked four batters.
Reliever Jordan Yamamoto was even worse, letting go 13 runs off of 11 hits with only three strikeouts and two walks.
Despite the poor pitching, Miami’s hitters were efficient on Wednesday. Rookie prospect Jazz Chisholm was outstanding, as he registered his first career triple and home run.
Aguilar also batted well, garnering three hits in four at-bats with an RBI. Nonetheless, the Braves gave fans a preview of the NFL season with a final score of 29-9.
Offensive Player of the Series: Jesus Aguilar-
Going 6-13 and posting four RBI’s, Aguilar was the centerpiece of Miami’s hitting showcase. He was able to burst out of his hitting slump and show off what the Marlins can truly do with their power advantage.
Defensive Player of the Series: Sixto Sanchez
Sanchez has been spectacular in his first four starts, with a 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 25 strikeouts. Sanchez threw multiple 100 MPH fastballs against the Braves on Tuesday, and was able to beat numerous Braves hitters, including Ronald Acuña Jr.
Sanchez and the Marlins will head back home to face the Philadelphia Phillies in a seven-game series. It’ll be the first time Sanchez matches up against his former club.