The baseball calendar has the Marlins returning home at the end of next week to face the Brewers.
Hurricane Irma could dictate otherwise.
Some players are bracing for the possibility their road trip to Atlanta and Philadelphia could be extended, depending on the damage caused by the massive storm in South Florida.
Although Marlins Park was built to withstand hurricane-force winds, damage to the surrounding infrastructure might make it difficult — if not impossible — to play games there.
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“I’ve got a suitcase and I’ve got my baseball stuff, and wherever they tell me to go, that’s where I’m going to go,” first baseman Justin Bour said. “But that’s obviously a possibility.”
The Marlins have only 10 home games remaining, the first of those scheduled for Sept. 15 against the Brewers. But if Irma causes enough destruction to make those games impossible, there’s a chance Major League Baseball could have the Marlins play those games elsewhere, perhaps in Milwaukee.
So far, the Marlins have not discussed any contingencies with the league.
“Yeah, there’s probably going to be some effects to us on our schedule and the way our season concludes,” veteran catcher A.J. Ellis said. “But that pales in light of the years and years of recovery that are going to be made by the good people in South Florida.”
Ellis said any inconveniences a scheduling change might cause are nothing compared to what South Floridians are experiencing in dealing with the storm.
“The most important thing is what’s going on with the people in Miami and the fans of the Marlins and the inevitable devastation that’s approaching,” Ellis said. “We’ll adjust and adapt when that decision’s made. Until that point, we’re thinking of those people.”
Ellis acknowledged that Hurricane Irma has been a distraction.
“It’s dominating a lot of conversation around our clubhouse, dominating a lot of conversation with our family,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a clubhouse where, throughout the entire place, the Weather Channel is the most popular station on the television. It’s definitely on the forefront of our minds.”
Ichiro on verge
Ichiro Suzuki is closing in on a major-league record, though it’s one he never imagined.
Suzuki collected his 26th pinch hit Thursday, leaving him two shy of John Vander Wal’s single-season mark set in 1995.
“I don’t think you ever get used to a role like this,” Suzuki said. “But you’re kind of getting used to the fact that you’re not used to it. Does that make sense?”
Suzuki has gone from one of the greatest full-time playing stars to one of its best role players through no fault of his own.
The Marlins’ productive outfield trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich is arguably the best in the majors and impossible to crack. As a result, Suzuki — the Marlins’ fourth outfielder — has started only 17 games this season, and none since Aug. 9.
Instead, Suzuki has been manager Don Mattingly’s go-to pinch hitter.
On Thursday, he was sent in to pinch hit in the eighth and delivered the go-ahead run with a bloop single to left. It was Suzuki’s 95th pinch-hitting plate appearance of the season, breaking Rusty Staub’s major-league mark set in 1983.
“Obviously, that’s the one chance I get,” Suzuki said. “So the approach hasn’t changed. I’m doing the same things that I have always been doing.”
Alas, the Braves ended up winning in the ninth on Kurt Suzuki’s walk-off single off Brad Ziegler.
▪ Bour was activated from the disabled list Friday. Bour last played July 24 before sustaining an oblique injury.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (6-7, 5.09 ERA) at Atlanta Braves LHP Max Fried (1-0, 3.86), 7:10 p.m., SunTrust Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3, 3.57) at Braves RHP R.A. Dickey (9-9, 4.14), 1:35 p.m., SunTrust Park.