The Miami Marlins will conclude the regular season with a three-game series at home against the American League Central champions and reigning American League champion Detroit Tigers. Miami recently took two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies in a series that saw Marlins’ closer Steve Cishek break the club record by converting his 28th straight save.
The Marlins enter the series with a 59-100 record and are assured to have the worst record in the National League this season. Detroit on the other hand, will come to south Florida with a 93-66 record which is the third best in the American League.
Marlins’ fans will see a number of familiar faces in the Detroit dugout including infielder Omar Infante, pitcher Anibal Sanchez, manager Jim Leyland and of course, Miguel Cabrera. Leyland managed the then Florida Marlins to a world championship in 1997 as the Marlins topped the Cleveland Indians in seven games. Cabrera was a rookie and one of the World Series heroes for the Marlins’ 2003 championship team that defeated the New York Yankees.
Since, Cabrera has blossomed into arguably the best player in baseball. Last season, Cabrera became the first player to win the Triple Crown in 35 years leading the American League in home runs, batting average and RBIs. Cabrera won’t win it again this season, but he will likely win his third straight batting title. Cabrera also enters the series tied with Baltimore’s Chris Davis for the American League lead in RBIs with 137.
Cabrera however, is not the only Tiger at or near the top of major statistical categories. Prince Fielder is third in the American League with 106 RBIs while pitcher Max Scherzer leads baseball with 21 wins. Former Marlin, Anibal Sanchez, is also tied for the A.L. lead with a 2.64 ERA. Miami is scheduled to face Sanchez on Saturday night.
The player acquired by the Marlins in the trade for Sanchez and Infante, Jacob Turner, has had a decent year for Miami, but will likely not pitch in the series against his former team. Turner will finish the season 3-8 with a respectable 3.74 ERA for the Marlins.
The three-game set begins on Friday and will conclude the regular season on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 P.M. EST on Friday and Saturday and for 1:10 P.M. on Sunday. The meeting between the Marlins and Tigers is the first between the teams since 2004.
Friday – Rick Porcello (DET) 13-8, 4.38 ERA vs. Tom Koehler (MIA) 4-10, 4.45 ERA
Saturday – Anibal Sanchez (DET) 14-8, 2.64 ERA vs. Nate Eovaldi (MIA) 4-6, 3.50 ERA
Sunday – Justin Verlander (DET) 13-12, 3.56 ERA vs. Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 4-6, 3.94 ERA