Hero of the Game: Rob Brantly (0.242 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Henderson Alvarez (-0.338 WPA)
Play of the Game: Rob Brantly homered in the second inning. Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna scored. (+0.306 WPA)
The Miami Marlins were able to stay close for a good deal of this game, even with a difficult outing by Henderson Alvarez putting pressure on the Fish. Alvarez faced the lefty-heavy Atlanta Braves for the second time in a row to start his Major League season, and it has proven to be a difficult matchup for him. For a pitcher who depends so heavily on sinkers, the pitches he threw were simply ineffective, in part because of the lack of control he displayed tonight. Alvarez walked four batters and, while he had five strikeouts on eight swings and misses, it was the lack of strikes overall (47 of 100 pitches went for strikes not in play) that gave the Braves baserunners.
The Braves knew what to do with them in a back-and-forth game that eventually tipped their way. The Braves scored runs in five different innings, primarily against Alvarez, who went six innings and gave up four of those runs. Atlanta built extended rallies that scored runs in the second and third innings, the latter of which was worth only two runs despite a number of Marlins errors. Aside from two walks delivered, Alvarez allowed a wild pitch to advance a runner to third to eventually score on a sacrifice fly.
The Marlins took the lead in the frame before that one, when Rob Brantly finally connected on a three-run home run to deep right field. This was Brantly's first home run of the season, and it came with two outs in the inning and the team barely able to bring a run home. It did not help that the Marlins made another baserunning gaffe, as Logan Morrison was picked off for the second time in two weeks, this time at second base with no one out.
The only other major opportunity to score came in the third inning, when Ed Lucas and Giancarlo Stanton found their way on base and Morrison singled home Lucas with one out. Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich could not capitalize, as they hit consecutive grounders to the right side of the infield that led to outs.
The Marlins never mounted another rally as Alvarez and Ryan Webb (who allowed a solo homer to Justin Upton) finished off the Fish for their fifth straight loss.