A breakthrough moment in the early days of the Miami Marlins’ franchise came the same season the Atlanta Braves inaugurated Turner Field.
The Marlins secured their first National League pennant in 1997 at the stadium on their way to the franchise’s first World Series championship.
“The playoff games here where a great way to break in for us,” said Marlins great Jeff Conine, who is now a TV analyst for FOX Sports Florida. “I always enjoyed playing in Atlanta, but especially to win it in 1997 and against that team. They were stacked pitching wise and it was our rivalry at the time, so it was nice to win it here at Turner Field.”
For the better part of the next two decades, the Marlins’ outcomes at the Braves’ home stadium weren’t nearly as memorable.
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The Marlins entered Monday’s game with a 66-105 record (.386 winning percentage) all-time at Turner Field — their worst at any of their division foes’ current ballparks.
Including their games so far this season, the Marlins have gone 39-40 (.494) at Nationals Park, 32-42 (.432) against the Mets at Citi Field and 50-69 (.420) against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
That will change next season as the Braves move to brand-new SunTrust Park, located in the Cumberland area of Cobb County northwest of Atlanta.
The Marlins’ success rate at Turner Field hadn’t changed much heading into their Turner Field swan song, having lost four of their first six games there this season.
“These guys have been a lot to handle,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “They’ve been a very good offensive team the second half. Looking at their numbers they have a little more of an identity now. And we had trouble with them even before that.”
CAUTIOUS WITH CONLEY
Mattingly said Adam Conley (middle finger tendinitis) continues to make progress, but said it’s unclear whether he’d make another start this season.
Conley (8-6, 3.94 ERA) has not pitched since Aug. 13.
“We’re going to be careful with Conley as far as coming back to start,” Mattingly said. “It’s a work in progress. I don’t think we’re going to see him get back and start. If we get him back and he can establish himself that he’s healthy again, we’d get him out there a few times depending on where we’re at by then.”
▪ Mattingly said Giancarlo Stanton (groin strain) could be playing in the field possibly in one week’s time.
Stanton has gone 1 for 3 with a single and two strikeouts in three pinch-hit at-bats since being reactivated from disabled list this past Tuesday.
“Every day we’re getting closer,” Mattingly said. “We’re getting in range. If you watch him, he’s doing more and more out there. We’ll let our medical staff dictate that.”
▪ Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow strain) might also be days away from pitching again. Mattingly said Chen (5-4, 4.99 ERA), who hasn’t pitched since July 20, could start possibly Sunday or Monday the next time the Marlins have a need for a spot starter.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jake Esch (0-1, 4.82 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Matt Wisler (6-11, 4.76 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (14-8, 2.90 vs. Braves RHP Julio Teheran (5-9, 3.01), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.