MIAMI – The best part about this series is that it is over.
The Marlins blew out the Braves, 16-2, on Sunday to sweep Atlanta – something Miami hadn’t done in almost eight full years. The finale was the Braves’ worst loss of the season.
Five observations from the weekend:
1. On Wednesday, the Braves celebrated a sixth consecutive division title by popping champagne and smoking cigars. They took the good vibes into Thursday’s off day here in Miami.
On Friday, they were back to reality.
Can it be difficult to refocus and come out with the same intensity after such an emotional series?
“It’s possible,” Travis d’Arnaud said. “I think with any emotional series, it’s a common thing. Kind of like what happened with the Dodgers (series). The next two games (against the Cardinals), we didn’t play very well. Yeah, it’s definitely possible for that to happen. Yeah, that was a very emotional series in Philly.”
The Braves ran into a team that needs to win most of its remaining games to play in October. The Marlins are still fighting for a postseason berth.
The Braves know this. They are not a lazy or entitled team.
But this was ugly.
“I don’t know,” Charlie Morton said of it all. “Are we just coming off of a season here where we played really, really well, went into Philly and clinched, and come down to Miami, and it’s just running into a team that’s really hot coming off a series where we clinched? I don’t know. But they were certainly playing well. They’re certainly swinging the bats well. Speculating, maybe it was just a combination of both.”
On Friday and Saturday, the bullpen crumbled.
On Sunday, the Braves were only in the game for two and a half innings.
“God, I don’t know,” manager Brian Snitker said of what happened Sunday.
2. If you were thinking you had not seen the Marlins dominate the Braves like this in quite some time, then you were correct.
Miami last swept Atlanta from Sept. 25-27 in 2015. That Marlins club fielded current Brave Marcell Ozuna, current Yankee Giancarlo Stanton and current Phillie J.T. Realmuto.
This Marlins team seems much better than years past.
“I think I saw something different, even when they were losing,” Morton said. “Last year, I thought they did a really good job. Tough division and I think they did a good job. This year, it just seems like there’s more fight. In close games, (or) if they’re behind a little bit, they’re not really packing it in. It’s just a sense about the team that I think maybe they can just feel it a little bit more that they’re close or that they’re there to being the team that they want to be.”
The Braves entered this weekend 11-0-1 in series play versus National League East teams. They were swept by a division foe for the first time since the opening series of 2021, when they lost all three games in Philadelphia.
Before Sunday, the Braves hadn’t lost a game by more than eight runs.
3. Morton began his outing with two scoreless innings as he looked to provide the Braves with a pleasant end to their road trip.
In the third, he unraveled.
He allowed four straight singles, one of them an infield hit, to begin the inning. One run scored.
The fifth batter, Jazz Chisholm Jr., blasted his second grand slam in as many days to become the first player in Marlins history to hit a grand slam in consecutive games.
Miami led, 5-0.
Morton made it all the way to the fifth inning, when he got two quick outs before walking four straight batters to let in a sixth run.
After Morton departed, Dereck Rodriguez, recalled on Sunday, surrendered eight earned runs over two innings.
4. Did Snitker see the fight he wanted from his players?
“I thought it was there,” he said. “They came out swinging, they came out fighting. It didn’t happen. We had some innings that got away from us, couldn’t get that third strike on a few guys. But I thought the guys, they were getting after it really well. Up until today, we scored enough runs to take the series. Just kind of got away from us today.”
5. A reality check: A series like this looks so bad because the Braves have been so good. That’s why these three games were foreign to fans. This doesn’t happen often.
The Braves were swept in a three-game series for only the third time this season. The others: Houston at home in April, and Toronto on the road in May.
“We’ve had a good season,” Snitker said. “It happens. You can’t explain it. We’ve been through kind of this little glitch two or three times this year. We always kind of seem to get out of it and guys kind of get squared away, and then we can get on one of the runs of our own.”
“We just didn’t play well, they played well,” d’Arnaud said. “You’ve just got to move forward.”
Stat to know
36 - The Marlins scored 36 runs in this series, which tied a franchise record for the most runs in a three-game span.
“I’m not going to start worrying about the three-game set we had here against a team that’s been playing really good baseball.”-Morton
Kyle Wright will face Zack Wheeler and the Phillies on Monday at Truist Park. First pitch is at 7:20 p.m.