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Marlins vs. Rangers to feature upside-down pitching showdowns

Not counting the All-Star break, the Marlins are enjoying their first non-travel off day at home since June 30. When they return Tuesday to face the Texas Rangers, the series will involve a pair of backward pitching matchups, with the Marlins sending out a couple of Texas natives in Jarred Cosart and Nathan Eovaldi and the Rangers countering with two hurlers hailing from South Florida in Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez.

(Check out my story on Cosart by clicking here.)

At any rate...

Mikolas went to Jupiter High before attending Nova Southeastern University while Martinez was born in Miami and attended Belen Jesuit. In other words, expect a fair amount of cheering for the two homegrown South Florida pitchers when they're on the mound for the Rangers.

Cosart and Eovaldi were both raised south of Houston and played for rival high schools, Clear Creek (Cosart) and Alvin (Eovaldi).

....Meanwhile, Giancarlo Stanton's MVP fan club is beginning to form. Here's a piece from Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com on why he feels Stanton deserves the award as well as this one from the Miami Herald's own Greg Cote.

In the meantime, for your off-day viewing pleasure, check out these two videos that involve Martinez and Mikolas. In the first, when Martinez played for Fordham following his Belen Jesuit days, he was in the on-deck circle (and you'll catch a brief glimpse of him) on one of the best plays at the plate you'll ever see. Of course, if this play took place in a major league game, there would be a six minute video review and the runner would have been safe one way or the other because the catcher was blocking the plate. Without further ado.....

Next up is this video of Mikolas when he was with the San Diego Padres and consumed a lizard. Warning: this video contains some foul language at the end….