After what the Miami Heat did last season, pairing an 11-30 start with a 30-11 finish, it’s fair to ask if the Miami Marlins might be capable of finding an utterly unexpected second wind, too.
Of course, so much depends on what happens with the team’s potential sale and the payroll dump that might precede it. Here, though, is what manager Don Mattingly had to say when asked during an All-Star Game media session what to expect from his team.
“Well, we’ll see,” said Mattingly, whose Marlins got to the All-Star break at 41-46. “You want your team to keep playing and then you ask them to take a mental break for four days and be ready to go when you get back, because the second half is what really makes you.
“Last year we were probably six or seven games over .500 at the break and we played OK the first few series and then we kind of faded and weren’t able to sustain. Hopefully, those lessons kind of carry us into the second half this year, knowing there’s so much baseball to be played.
“We talked about trying to pick up a game a week and just kind of keep winning series. You’re not going to make it all up in a week but you can do it over time. Hopefully in there somewhere we catch a streak where we win 8-of-10 or 9-of-11 where you really throw some games together. It does feel good going to the break knowing that your team played well right to the end.”
Last year Miami was 47-41 at the All-Star break and just six games out of first place in the NL East. Nothing much happened after that, with a 32-41 finish making the Marlins totally irrelevant at 15.5 games back.
Right now they are 10.5 back of the Nationals and in real danger of dropping off the face of the map again. Pair that with a decent 6-4 record in the last 10 games and it’s a real mixed bag. Lots of season left. Lots of ground to make up.
I’m not feeling it, but then I wasn’t with the Heat either.