One big series leading to the trade deadline down, two huge ones to go.
The Florida Marlins put the finishing touches on a three out of four series win over the Colorado Rockies in walk-off fashion yesterday afternoon.
Emilio Bonafacio's lead off pinch hit triple in the bottom of the ninth set the stage for the second walk-off victory in four days. Following intentional walks to Cody Ross and Mike Stanton, Ronny Paulino hit a clean single into center field to score Bonafacio with the winning run.
This win also included a Josh Johnson gem in which he struck out 11 batters over 6 1/3 innings.
So after taking three out of four from the Rockies where do the Marlins stand? They are now nine games off the National League leading pace of the Braves in the division. Daunting, yes, but the Braves are coming to South Florida for a three game series beginning tonight. Can they pull closer?
More realistically let's look at the Wild Card standings.
The Marlins still sit in seventh place (which is where they were when the Rockies' series began), but they picked up some ground in a tightening race. They're now 5 1/2 behind the front running Giants, but gained considerable ground on the Mets and Phillies (they're 1 1/2 behind the Mets, and 2 behind the Phillies). The Mets and Dodgers are playing a four game series at Dodger Stadium this weekend (LA won game one last night) so a win over the Braves and the Marlins will gain on someone.
Will the ball continue to bounce the Marlins' way? Stay tuned.
To answer the question about what to do at the trade deadline still remains to be seen. Following this weekend series with the Braves, the Marlins head to San Francisco for a four game set with those Wild Card leading (at least for now) Giants.
If they continue to pick up ground and if the bullpen continues to shine (let's just chalk up what happened on Tuesday to "one of those nights") there will be no need to throw in the towel on the 2010 season.
Don't put up the For Sale sign outside Sun Life Stadium quite yet. In fact let's brace for a trip to the Trade Deadline Mall to shop for an accent or two.