The art of meeting an unknown foe can be a scary challenge for most competitors. They immediately have a mental advantage over you because they regularly have the time to scout your strengths and weaknesses before the battle begins. Alfredo Figaro was that unknown foe for both Marlins fans and the team themselves as we went into Wednesday night's game.
Before tonight, the 28-year-old Figaro was just recently inserted into the Brewers starting rotation after some solid work in the bullpen and because of a general need for starting pitching. That move appeared to turn against the Brewers after Figaro struggled mightily in his first two starts, but that was before he met the Marlins.
Jonathan Lucroy and the Brewers tried and succeeded to make their own mark on the game before most of the Miami fans settled down in their seats. With Kevin Slowey on the mound, the Braun-less Brewers worked the bases against the veteran starter before Lucroy cleared them with a slow and methodical triple that worked it's way past the Marlins outfield. That play gave Figaro a nice and comfortable 3-0 lead before taking the mound.
In the end, Figaro didn't really need any sort of run support as he put on an absolute clinic against the struggling Marlins offense. A majorrity of his pitches were hittable for the Marlins but Figaro was still able to combine his high 90's fastball and his mid 80's curveball to keep Miami's offense from zoning in. The only real Marlins batter to have success against Figaro was 31 year old rookie Ed Lucas (hit 2 for 4 tonight) who continues to be extremely solid from the plate.
On the other side, Kevin Slowey was not able to handle Milwaukee's top of the offense and Alfredo Figaro. Perhaps it was the fact that 52 of Slowey's 68 pitches were in the strike zone which gave the team a lot of good opportunities to hit the ball away from Miami's defense. Unlike on Tuesday's game where a majority of Milwaukee's offense came on outs, the Brewers were able to make solid contact with the ball for the entire game which lead to multiple triples (Gomez and Lucroy) and a Jean Segura solo blast.
Overall, this game was an embarrassment on both sides for the Miami Marlins. While it's hard to judge a team's effort when you're planted on a chair, it kind of did look like the team threw in the towel after Milwaukee's initial barrage. They're going to have the opportunity to regroup during tomorrow's off day before a weekend series against the great St.Louis Cardinals.