Hero of the Game: Austin Kearns (0.046 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Donovan Solano (-0.160 WPA)
Play of the Game: Ike Davis homers off of Nathan Eovaldi in the seventh inning. David Wright scores (-0.164 WPA)
There just is not a whole lot to say about this game that is not evident from the scoreboard. The Miami Marlins came into this game not expecting much in the way of offense, and R.A. Dickey delivered on those expectations. He tallied seven strikeouts versus just three walks and only allowed five hits. The Marlins did their part in failing to get baserunners home, as they had three situations with runners on first and second and failed to capitalize on all of them.
In the meantime, there were some positives and negatives about Nathan Eovaldi's start, and while on the surface his day looked decent, he still maintained the same struggles he has had so far as a Marlin.Eovaldi Better, But Not Improving
Nathan Eovaldi cruised through the first nine batters, going perfect through the order once and notching a strikeout along the way. And the fact that he got into the seventh inning before being pulled, and with only 84 pitches at that, was a good sign. He also did not walk many guys, only allowing one free pass. But despite all of that, it was still a typical Eovaldi poor start beneath the surface, just without the crooked run totals.
For starters, Eovaldi struggled to fool the lefty-laden Mets lineup. He only threw nine pitches that were specifically anti-lefty, two changeups and seven curveballs. One changeup was way outside, the other went for a strike. Meanwhile, the curveball was put into play four times, and one of those was Ike Davis's mammoth home run to the home run porch in right field. With the exception of a nice called strike on a first-pitch curve, Eovaldi's platoon offerings were disastrous. In general, he was also unable to induce swings and misses on his pitches as well. Batters missed on his pitches only four times, twice on good fastballs and twice on sliders.
Once again, Eovaldi has at least shown that he is capable of pounding the strike zone. He was in the zone in 61 percent of his pitches versus lefties and 60 percent of pitches to righties, so he has no issue hanging out around the strike zone. And clearly, from his lack of walks tonight, the balls to called strike ratios were decent, at 1.2 versus lefties and 1.4 versus righties. His issue is not control, but rather failing to put out hitters of whom he gets ahead because of his lack of swing and miss stuff, especially against lefties. Tonight, he was fortunate and good enough to get some weak fly balls and good defensive plays, but we have seen nights when that is not the case.
The Fish offense could not get anything going versus Dickey, who was not as good as he was in his last outing against us but somehow allowed no runs anyway. The Marlins looked off in the majority of their PA, but the few chances they did get, they were unable to capitalize. The Marlins had runners on first and second with one out or two outs three different times. In two cases, Jose Reyes failed to accomplish anything, striking out in the third inning to end the inning and grounding into a fielder's choice with one out in the eighth inning. The most backbreaking play, however, goes to Donovan Solano, who grounded into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch in the fourth inning that killed a potential rally; that play was worth -0.118 WPA.