Hero of the Game: No one
Goat of the Game: Alex Sanabia (-0.159 WPA)
Play of the Game: Brandon Phillips doubled to left in the top of the first inning, scoring Shin-Soo Choo.
The last time Alex Sanabia faced the Cincinnati Reds, he hit outfielder Shin-Soo Choo twice. Perhaps it was cosmic destinty that Choo would come back to Miami and homer off Sanabia twice.
To be fair to Sanabia, the Cincinatti Reds have a frighteningly good offense. They have scored the second most runs in the National League, and carry sluggers on their roster such as Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips, in addition to the man-machine hybrid Choo.
Even if the odds were stacked against Sanabia, this was not an unwinnable game for the Marlins. They faced the Reds' fifth starter, Mike Leake, and came away with no runs. Leake pitched effectively, striking out six and walking just one in six and two-thirds innings pitched.
But the Marlins reached base almost as much as the Reds, tallying up eleven hits this evening. Unfortunately, they just couldn't produce with runners in scoring position. Double plays at critical moments ruined multiple opportunities to score.
Amidst the darkness, there were a few rays of hope for Marlins fans. Derek Dietrich batted his way to a third consecutive multi-hit game that included a near-home run. He faced down the formidable Aroldis Chapman, fouling off multiple triple-digit velocity fastballs. Dietrich was eventually called out on strikes after a ten-pitch battle, but it was an impressive showing for a young player, who just two weeks ago was playing in Double-A.
The Marlins will barely have time to lick their wounds before going out to face the heinous criminal mastermind Mat Latos tomorrow. Jose Fernandez will take the mound, fighting for justice on behalf of the city of Miami.