The Miami Marlins fell down early again against the San Diego Padres, and for most of today's contest, it appeared as though San Diego would get the best of Miami in another blowout. Henderson Alvarez became the latest Marlins starter to falter against Padres hitters, as the entire team took part in demolishing the ground baller. Alvarez walked three batters while striking out just two and allowing seven hits in four innings, including a miserably long 42-pitch fourth inning which saw San Diego extend their lead to 5-0. Alvarez could not catch a break that inning, walking two of his three batters in the frame and barely escaping with the pitcher as the third out. He also allowed a home run to leadoff hitter Will Venable to start the game, which turned out to be foreshadowing for a struggle of an outing.
The Marlins early on were looking hapless in front of Padres starter Robbie Erlin as well. Erlin dominated through 6 1/3 innings, notching seven strikeouts without a walk and only giving up five scattered hits along the way. Miami did not look like it was mounting any offense versus a Padres staff very dependent on Petco Park for success. The Fish did not come close to a run until Erlin left the game.
But the eighth inning began a rally for Miami that came as a surprise. The inning started with a seemingly harmless home run from Christian Yelich against the wind and out to deep right-center field against Dale Thayer. The Marlins put Reed Johnson and Giancarlo Stanton aboard on singles. After a Casey McGehee fly-out, Jeff Baker lined a ball to right field off of Joaquin Benoit that scooted past a diving Chris Denorfia. The ball rolled to the wall and went for a triple that made it a 5-3 game. Miami got an additional run on an Adeiny Hechavarria ground out to pull it to 5-4.
In the ninth inning, Miami mounted a threat as well. After a leadoff single by Marcell Ozuna, Huston Street recorded two outs. But consecutive walks by Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee loaded the bases for Baker, who was looking to turn into the hero again. But he grounded softly to shortstop to end the game and seal a 3-1 series loss for the Marlins.
Hero of the Game: Marcell Ozuna (0.115 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Henderson Alvarez (-0.254 WPA)
Play of the Game: Jeff Baker reached on fielder's choice in the ninth inning. Casey McGehee out at second base to end the game (-0.221 WPA)