Fish Bytes

Marlins pull off rare escape act. Now what?

The surging Marlins celebrate Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep over the Phillies.
The surging Marlins celebrate Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep over the Phillies. AP

The Marlins have dug themselves out of a deep hole to get back to .500.

They were 13 games below .500 at their lowest point, but with Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep of the Phillies, they were back at .500 with a 62-62 record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only 12 teams this century, including the 2006 Marlins, have pulled off an escape act of such magnitude.

But only one of those lucky dozen, the 2005 Houston Astros, managed to sustain their drive and reach the postseason. That Astros team even got to the World Series, where they lost to the Chicago White Sox.

At the moment, the Marlins are given about a 10- to 12-percent chance of winning a Wild Card playoff spot. They began the day Wednesday 5 1/2 games behind in the National League Wild Card race.

But their postseason odds continue to improve, the majority of their remaining opponents have losing records, and they’re on a roll.

Even if they fall short in reaching the postseason for the first time since their 2003 World Series title, they still stand a good chance of finishing with their first winning record since 2009.

Of the 11 other teams since 2000 to recover from at least 13 games below .500 to get back to .500, five finished with winning records. The 2012 Phillies finished at exactly .500.

The ‘06 Marlins sputtered out in the end, finishing 78-84. But they also became the first team in Major League history to recover from a deficit of 20 games below .500 at 11-31 to poke their head above water, albeit only temporarily.