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Heroes And Zeroes: Marlins 4, Braves 1

Starting pitching is normally an unexpected source of Heroes for the Marlins, with the exception of Jose Fernandez. Brad Hand helped himself on the mound and at the plate with what may have been the best game of his career to this point.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Heroes and Zeroes is a series where I use the Wins Probability Added (WPA) metric over at www.fangraphs.com (source here) to rank each participant in Marlins' games. Players are ordered from the most positive impact on the outcome of the ballgame to the most negative. The top three are your Heroes, the bottom three, Zeroes.

Heroes

Brad Hand (MIA) .346

Hand earned just his seventh career major league victory in convincing fashion. Hard to believe that he is currently the second longest tenured player on the active roster (behind Mike Dunn), and, including the IR, one of just three on the active roster to have worn a "Florida Marlins" jersey (along with Giancarlo Stanton). He pitched seven strong innings, allowing two walks, a double, and a solo home run while striking out three (two of them were Nick Markakis). At the plate, he executed two perfect RBI sacrifice bunts. He's the first major league pitcher to have pulled off that particular feat since the 1974 season, and the first Marlin ever to turn the trick. He left the game with a 3-1 lead.

Dee Gordon (MIA) .080

Gordon, as always, batted leadoff for the Marlins. He started off the game as the first of two consecutive strikeout victims of Shelby Miller (-2.1%). In the second, he hit a two-out RBI-single to right field, scoring Adeiny Hechavarria (+10.1%). He hit an infield single with two out and a man on first in the fourth (+0.8%) and took second on a Miller error (+0.9%). He hit into a fielder's choice with two on and one out in the sixth (-1.2%), then grounded out to second base to open the ninth (-0.5%).

Andrelton Simmons (ATL) .079

Simmons, batting eighth for the Braves, flew out to right for the second out of the third inning (-1.6%). He drew a two-out walk with a runner on third in the fifth (+2.0%) and a leadoff walk in the eighth (+7.4%).

Almost Heroes

Bryan Morris (MIA) .069

Morris probably owes Ichiro a sandwich after the 41-year-old made a running grab for the third out of the eighth. The shot would likely have been a two-RBI double with a less able right fielder.

Jace Peterson (ATL) .066

Peterson collected one of just three hits for the Braves on the night, with one out and a man on first in the eighth.

Cole Gillespie (MIA) .065

One of three Marlins with multiple hits, Gillespie also stole a base and snared three fly ball outs.

Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) .046

Hechavarria scored the third of Miami's four runs, going one-of-four from the plate along with a walk.

Jacob Brigham (ATL) .032

Brigham pitched two strong innings, collecting a strikeout and allowing a single base runner.

Ross Detwiler (ATL) .030

Detwiler got the final two outs of the sixth for Atlanta.

AJ Ramos (MIA) .029

Ramos looked like his old self, nailing down his 18th save with a 1-2-3 ninth. He struck out Jonny Gomez and induced a groundout and a deep fly out to center field.

Minimal Impact

Nick Swisher (ATL) .024

Swisher went 0-for-4 at the plate, but reached first and second on a Martin Prado error in the fifth.

Jonny Gomes (ATL) .018

Gomes accounted for Atlanta's only run of the night, with a solo home run in the seventh. It was his only hit, and he also struck out for the second to last out of the game.

Christian Yelich (MIA) .010

Yelich had the best game (for a hitter) from a purely statistical standpoint, going three-for-five with an RBI and two stolen bases. He was caught trying to steal third in the ninth inning.

David Aardsma (ATL) .008

Aardsma faced two batters in the ninth, walking one and striking out the other.

Miguel Rojas (MIA) -.004

Rojas struck out in his eighth-inning pinch hit appearance.

Ichiro Suzuki (MIA) -.019

Suzuki walked in the second and hit a triple in the ninth, later scoring Miami's fourth run.

Casey McGehee (MIA) -.022

McGehee went 0-for-3, but drew two walks.

JT Realmuto (MIA) -.033

Realmuto went one-for-four and scored the third run for the Marlins in the sixth inning.

Almost Zeroes

Matt Marksberry (ATL) -.036

Marksberry faced four batters and allowed two hits and a walk, along with an earned run in the ninth inning.

Shelby Miller (ATL) -.041

Miller struck out four in five innings, but allowed two earned runs on three walks and five hits.

Micheal Bourn (ATL) -.062

Bourn flew out to center in his pinch hit appearance in the eighth.

Eury Perez (ATL) -.064

Perez grounded out in his pinch hit appearance in the fifth, ending the inning with runners on the corners.

Martin Prado (MIA) -.065

Prado went 0-for-four with a walk.

Adonis Garcia (ATL) -.079

Garcia grounded out twice and flew out once.

Cameron Maybin (ATL) -.087

Maybin drew a walk, but otherwise went 0-for-four with two strikeouts.

Zeroes

Ryan Kelly (ATL) -.093

Kelly entered the game to pitch the sixth for Atlanta, trailing by a 2-0 score. After he struck out Cole Gillespie (+1.3%), he allowed consecutive singles to JT Realmuto (-1.5%) and Adeiny Hechavarria (-4.5%). The last batter he faced was Brad Hand, who he allowed the second of two RBI sacrifice bunts (-4.5%). He was lifted for Ross Detwiler after having only gained the one out.

AJ Pierzynski (ATL) -.120

Pierzynski entered the game on a 13-game hitting streak batting cleanup for the Braves. He flew out to left to lead off the second (-2.3%), erased a rare Atlanta baserunner by grounding into a double play to end the fourth (-5.9%), grounded out to second to lead off the seventh (-2.1%) and grounded out on a high chopper to AJ Ramos to lead off the ninth (-1.7%).

Nick Markakis (ATL) -.174

My favorite Oriole has somehow become my least favorite Brave, and that's saying something. The right fielder would bat third for Atlanta, and try unsuccessfully to extend his 15-game hitting streak. He started out with an infield fly to end the first (-0.9%). He struck out swinging for the second out of the fourth with a runner on first (-4.4%), struck out swinging again to end the sixth (-0.7%), and flew out to right with two runners in scoring position to end the eighth (-11.4%).

Best and Worst

Atlanta's worst plate appearance of the night was Markakis' flyout to end the eighth (-11.4%). Their best was Jace Peterson's one-out single to right with a runner on first in the eighth inning (+10.9%).

Miami's most negative at bat was when Martin Prado reached on a fielder's choice with one out in the second, erasing a runner (-4.1%). Their most positive impact was gained when Dee Gordon singled in Adeiny Hechavarria with two outs in the second (+10.1%).

The Marlins take a break tomorrow, then host the Boston Red Sox for a two game series in Marlins Park starting Tuesday.