Boy, sometimes the Miami Marlins can really hit the baseball.
They proved that well tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers by blasting four separate solo home runs en route to a 7-5 victory over them. The Fish got off to a hot start right away against Brewers starter Chase Anderson, and "right away" could not be more accurate. Derek Dietrich was installed as the team's leadoff man with Dee Gordon suspended, and he made a great first impression by taking Anderson's first pitch and launching it for his second home run of the 2016 season. Dietrich also threw in a walk as part of a very strong night at the leadoff spot.
Dietrich was not the only man who got on board with the home run parade. Adeiny Hechavarria stepped up to the plate in the second inning after an overall disappointing first in which the Marlins loaded the bags after Dietrich but could not muster another run. Hechavarria took a pitch dead center and launched it over the left field fence into the bullpen for his second home run of the year. The Fish then loaded the bases again in the second inning after Dietrich and Christian Yelich walked and Martin Prado singled. However, Giancarlo Stanton struck out and Justin Bour could not do anything with it, leaving the bases juiced and potential runs on the bases.
It was OK, however, since Miami later delivered on the runs. Marcell Ozuna singled and scored on a J.T. Realmuto double in the third inning, and Dietrich later drove in a run on a grounder to put Miami up 4-1. Then in the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton took an errant Anderson fastball that hovered back on the outer half of the plate and launched it 462 feet off of the television ad on the large scoreboard at Miller Park.
The Marlins also delivered runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including a solo shot by Marcell Ozuna going the opposite way, leaving the Brewers in the dust down 7-1.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Wei-Yin Chen had a passable, Justin Nicolino-like outing. He went seven innings and walked two batters and gave up four hits with only four strikeouts, but benefited from some fortunate dying deep fly balls and good defense to hold the Brewers to just three runs.
However, the bullpen made things more interesting, just as they did a few nights ago. Craig Breslow came on and allowed two inherited runners from Chen to score, then allowed a two-run blast to deep center field off the bat of Hernan Perez to put four runs on in the seventh inning. That made what appeared to be a blowout for Chen and the Marlins into a two-run contest.
Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps came in and, despite some difficulty in the later innings. The Fish could not add on despite yet another bases-loaded opportunity, and the team escaped another drastic late-innings comeback. For Phelps, this was his first save of the 2016 season and only the second save of his career. The Fish have now won seven straight games and finish out the month of April 12-11, with their record over the .500 mark for the first time since August of 2014!
Hero of the Game: Wei-Yin Chen (+0.130 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Craig Breslow (-0.130 WPA)
Play of the Game: J.T. Realmuto doubled in the third inning. Marcell Ozuna scored. (+0.115 WPA)