Miami ends up over .500; will face Cubs
September 27, 2020
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) Miami heads to its first postseason appearance since the Marlins’ 2003 World Series title with its first winning record in more than a decade.
Rookie Jazz Chisholm had a home run and three RBIs on Sunday in a 5-0 win over the New York Yankees.
Miami (31-29) finished third in the NL East and earned the NL’s sixth seed and a matchup at the Chicago Cubs in the first round.
”We’ll be rested,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”We’ll be ready. I think they’re going to expect to play well. I think our guys will be loose, I think we’ll be fine.”
Miami lost an NL-worst 105 games last year and had 18 players sidelined with COVID-19 early on, forcing the Marlins to use 61 players and make 174 transactions. The Marlins had not finished with a winning record since going 87-75 in 2009.”
”This group has been a solid group, a great group actually, trustworthy from the standpoint they’ll be ready to play,” Mattingly said. ”Anything that’s come their way, they’ve dealt with, so really proud of these games and happy to have a winning record.
Chisholm hit a two-run double in Miami’s three-run second off rookie Clarke Schmidt (0-1), who made his first big league start, and homered off Nick Nelson in the eighth. Brian Anderson homered against Jonathan Holder, and Corey Dickerson hit an RBI single for Miami.
”As a kid you always want to play in Yankee Stadium,” said Chisholm, who had two extra-base hits in his first 19 games before Sunday. ”It was really cool to be able to perform like this today.”
Daniel Castano (1-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings for his first career win. Schmidt allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.
The Marlins lost outfielder Starling Marte and right-hander Jose Urena to injuries in the first three innings. Marte left with a bruised left ear after being hit by Schmidt’s 94 mph fastball in the second. Urena, a candidate for Miami’s bullpen in the postseason, was hit on the right arm by DJ LeMahieu’s liner in the third.
X-rays revealed Urena has a broken forearm, according to reports.
”Kind of your biggest fear on a day like today,” Mattingly said. ”You hate to be playing your guys, almost.”
Streaky New York (33-27) finished seven games back of Tampa Bay and hung on for the AL’s fifth seed when third-place Toronto (32-28) lost to Baltimore. The Yankees will play at Cleveland in the first round after a season in which they started 16-6, lost 15 of 20, won 10 in a row and lost six of their last eight.
”We haven’t in my opinion played up to our ability recently, but I think that for the most part we got the majority of our guys healthy and on the field and got some guys back in the lineup at the right time and hopefully starting Tuesday going on a roll,” Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said.
LeMahieu had two hits to finish with a .364 batting average and became the first player to win undisputed batting titles in both the American and National Leagues. LeMahieu won the NL batting title with a .348 average for Colorado in 2016. His average was the highest for an AL batting champion since Minnesota’s Joe Mauer hit .365 in 2009.
”It’s pretty cool. I don’t think it’s really sank in yet, but it’s really cool,” said LeMahieu, who missed summer camp recovering from COVID-19 and 10 games with a sprained left thumb last month. ”I wish it were over 162 games. I wish there were fans in the stands, but it is what it is. I’m definitely proud of it.”
Ed Delahanty hit .410 for the Philadelphia Phillies to win the NL championship in 1899. He is credited by some researchers with the 1902 AL championship at .376, while others accept Nap Lajoie as winning that title at .378 despite lacking the plate appearances required in more modern times.
LeMahieu became the first Yankee to win the batting crown since Bernie Williams in 1998. He became just the fourth Yankees player to lead the majors in batting average after Lou Gehrig in 1934, Joe DiMaggio in 1939 and Mickey Mantle and 1956.
Luke Voit finished with 22 homers, joining Babe Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Alex Rodriguez as Yankees to lead the majors in home runs.
”Not only did he hit a bunch of homers but he hit some huge homers for us and really carried us this year,” LeMahieu said.
LeMahieu and Voit became the first set of teammates to lead the majors in batting average and homers since Hank Aaron (.365) and Eddie Matthews (46 homers) for the 1959 Milwaukee Braves.
”They’ve been the pillars in our lineup, the rocks in our lineup and Luke just put together an amazing season,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. ”I think both guys are worthy of MVP consideration.”
Yankees: LHP James Paxton (left forearm) threw on flat ground.
Marlins: Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and rookie Sixto Sanchez likely will be the three first-round starters.
Yankees: Gerrit Cole will start Game 1 followed by Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ or rookie Deivi Garcia.
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