There are very few things looking good for the Miami Marlins right now. They have now lost 12 of their last 15 games, including getting swept at home by St. Louis, and they continue to hunt for the NL East cellar. The offense, despite a load of injuries on the left side of the infield, is doing all it can to keep the Marlins in games, but the bullpen continues to be a Hollywood bust of epic proportions.
— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) May 7, 2017
The rotation also has had injuries. With Wei-Yin Chen and Edinson Volquez on the DL, Jose Ureña has returned to the rotation. After one start, there is plenty of excitement for the former Dominican prospect.
After two mediocre seasons while splitting time in both the rotation and the bullpen, Ureña had the game of his life on May 8. In just 63 pitches, he shut out the Mets while giving up just one hit in six innings. Today, there likely would have been heavy criticism for turning to the bullpen early because of the relievers’ gargantuan issues at home, but 63 pitches was an acceptable total for a pitcher who had not yet had such a workload in 2017.
Ureña only struck out two batters, but he was able to use the Citi Field dimensions to his advantage. He had 11 fly ball outs in 21 batters faced, and his ERA, which was a modest 2.35 in the bullpen, dipped to 1.69 by the end of his outing. It would look a lot nicer if his win was not the last time Miami came out victorious.
There were plenty of other distractions to overshadow Ureña’s outstanding start. The Mets had another crucial injury the night before when Asdrubal Cabrera had to leave the game early with a thumb injury, although he has not needed a DL stint at the moment.
Of course, that story was nothing compared to the debacle that was Matt Harvey’s three-game suspension for not showing up to the ballpark on May 7. He was supposed to start against Ureña, but he likely would have had no shot at winning, anyway. Still, the combination of the flying rumors, such as a migraine from golfing and his anger from seeing his ex-girlfriend with Julian Edelman, with the giant market of New York turned Queens into a outlandish frenzy that Ureña could not distract.
The Miami Marlins have needed to collect wins badly to no avail, and this weekend could be the beginning of must-win scenarios. Ureña is the projected starter for Friday’s tilt with the Atlanta Braves, which have managed to do worse than Miami to begin the season. He was able to shut down a New York offense that has been excellent to begin May, and a similar performance against a weaker Atlanta team could mark the beginning of a huge breakout in the MLB.
The Marlins need to at least win the series, if not sweep, this weekend if they want any chances at making a realistic comeback. Being nearly 10 games below .500 this early in the season is a great way to be considered for the top pick of the 2018 MLB draft, and that would be a massive disappointment for a team that is hoping for a playoff spot. Even if the season goes awry, however, it would be encouraging to see a new ace emerge from the decimated Marlins pitching staff.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Miami Marlins article is published, fill out our email notification form.