We knew there would be a surprise or two in this 60-game MLB season, but the Miami Marlins being part of the postseason field is a *heck* of a surprise.
The Marlins beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in the 10th inning on Friday night to clinch a spot in the 2020 postseason, which will feature eight teams in each league.
WE DON'T NEED HELMETS WHERE WE'RE GOING. pic.twitter.com/X1BNtX4KSC
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 26, 2020
It’s the first time the Marlins have made the postseason since 2003, when they won the World Series as a Wild Card team. They also won the World Series in their only other trip to the postseason in 1997.
The Marlins are 30-28, after having an NL-worst record of 57-105 in 2019. FanGraphs projected the Marlins to have the NL’s worst record again this season, and gave Miami only a 9.2% chance to make the playoffs (and yes- that’s even updated with the playoff format change to eight teams; FanGraphs gave the Marlins only a 2.5% chance in the original format).
And keep in mind that the Marlins had the league’s first COVID outbreak, which led to significant scheduling changes and players missing time.
18 Marlins players missed a month due to Covid-19. It was an incredible effort. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter kept his promise when he took over the team, and delivered a winner.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) September 26, 2020
This team had a COVID outbreak and were forced to take a 2-week break mid-season. They were basically picking up players at the local grocery store to suit up for double-headers.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) September 26, 2020
So, even in an expanded format, the Marlins finding a way to get into the playoffs is an incredible story. And with a very talented young starting rotation, don’t be shocked if Don Mattingly’s squad finds a way to win their three-game Wild Card series too.