Hero of the Game: Jose Fernandez (0.395 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Mike Dunn (-0.291 WPA)
Play of the Game: Cody Ross homered in the eighth inning. Josh Wilson and Didi Gregorius scored. (-0.295 WPA)
The Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks had a game-long pitching duel, but it was not between the two original contestants. Jose Fernandez stuck around for 7 1/3 innings and was very good until eighth inning, but Trevor Cahill left the game after the first inning with a hip injury. That left the Diamondbacks to go to Josh Collmenter to battle the Marlins' current and future ace.
Well, the battle was a good one. Fernandez struck out four batters and walked none through seven innings, and he did so using only 85 pitches to do so. He also induced 10 whiffs in 103 pitches total before being pulled after two walks allowed in the eighth inning. While the start was not loaded with strikeouts, the fact that he performed well in getting strikes and keeping the Diamondbacks to just three hits, the Marlins have to be happy with Fernandez's continued success.
Unfortunately for the Marlins' offense, Collmenter was doing a Fernandez impersonation. He struck out seven Marlins in his six innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit along the way. He was fantastic in relief of Cahill, whose injury was unexpected and without particular reasoning.
The Marlins had to pull Fernandez with two runners on in the eighth inning and just one out, and that was the critical at-bat in the game. D'backs manager Kirk Gibson showed the Fish Eric Hinske, prompting Mike Redmond to bring out the lefty Mike Dunn. Gibson countered with the right-hander and known lefty killer Cody Ross, and Redmond chose to stick to Dunn despite Ross's heavy splits. The former Marlins outfielder responded with a three-run home run.
The Fish still had a chance in the ninth inning against another former Marlin, the infamous Heath Bell. Justin Ruggiano, who got the spot start today in place of Juan Pierre, led the ninth inning off with his ninth home run of the year. It was one of two hits in four plate appearances for Ruggiano.
The Marlins then proceeded to get their next two hitters on with no one out, as Bell allowed a single and a walk. But rookies Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich both popped out meekly and pinch-hitter Logan Morrison got caught looking, allowing Bell and the Diamondbacks to escape with a 3-1 win.