Hero of the Game (Largest WPA): There were no heroes on this day.
Goat of the Game (Lowest WPA): Anibal Sanchez (3.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 3 SO, -0.283 WPA)
Play of the Game: Jose Bautista singled to right, scoring Brett Lawrie (0.089 WPA for the Blue Jays)
The Marlins returned home bruised and battered after a tough series against the Red Sox, only to find Miami no more hospitable than Boston. The Blue Jays opened up the game early, scoring six runs in the first four innings. The Marlins threatened to compete by scoring a pair of runs, but the game turned into a complete blowout when Ryan Webb threw the worst inning of his major league career.Sanchez Can't Survive the Fourth
It was a terrible night for Anibal Sanchez, who continues to struggle mightily in the month of June. Sanchez hasn't had a truly effective outing since facing the Nationals on May 29th. Sanchez has struggled with control, allowing more base-runners than he should. At the very least, he has pitched through six innings in each of his previous June starts. Tonight, Sanchez couldn't survive the fourth, issuing a bases loaded walk to Jose Bautista.
Sanchez struggled to locate his pitches, walking four batters on the evening. All of his off-speed pitches were particularly problematic. Of 21 sliders Sanchez threw, only 12 were thrown for strikes.
As bad as Sanchez's problems sound, he didn't appear awful at the beginning. He allowed a lead-off triple to Brett Lawrie in the first inning, but then proceeded to retire the next five batters in a row. It wasn't until the third inning that Sanchez seemed to truly struggle. He allowed three more singles and walk, which eventually resulted in two additional runs.
Everything fell apart in the fourth inning, beginning with a single by pitcher Ricky Romero. Brett Lawrie once again reached base on a single. Then Sanchez did the unthinkable and issued two consecutive walks. That was the final straw for manager Ozzie Guillen, who replaced Sanchez with Chad Gaudin. Gaudin performed his innings eater role admirably, pitching an inning and two-thirds of scoreless baseball. Then he was replaced with Ryan Web.
Ryan Webb Crashes, Burns
Ryan Webb has been a steady presence in an otherwise struggling Marlins bullpen. He has a solid 119 ERA+ in 31.1 innings so far this year. Webb is not much of a strikeout pitcher, but he minimizes walks enough to be an effective bullpen arm. He wasn't the same pitcher tonight, however. Webb dashed the team's chances at getting back into the game when he allowed five runs in the sixth inning.
Webb began the inning by walking Brett Lawrie, who is apparently unstoppable. Colby Rasmus did Webb a huge favor by flying out on the first pitch, but Jose Bautista was more patient and drew another walk. Webb then hit Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch, loading the bases. The runners were all driven in on a Kelly Johnson single, a Yunel Escobar sacrifice fly, a Rajai Davis single, and a J.P. Arencibia. Not exactly Murderers' Row.
Marlins Score Not Enough Runs
This home game against the Blue Jays had a remarkably similar tone to the Boston series. While the pitching staff has imploded on the mound, the offense has looked remarkably alive. Giancarlo Stanton, Omar Infante, and Gaby Sanchez each hit home runs tonight, helping to continue the streak of five run games. I am hopeful that the offense will carry this success moving forward. If the bats can maintain some level of consistency and the pitching returns to where it has been, the Marlins move forward in a positive direction.
It's still only June.