Not exactly how the Marlins hoped this short two-game series with the Tigers would end, as Miami drops both games by a combined score of 17-8. As opposed to the big inning last night, the Tigers spread out their runs over five today. With most of the damage coming early and often as Tom Koehler struggled all day to miss bats. He finished with a line of 3 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 5 ER, and 2 Ks. The most worrisome statistic from the start would have to be both the eight hits surrendered over three innings of work, along with the total of 90 pitches it took to labor through his sixth day game of the year.
Coming into this start, Koehler had been a very consistent pitcher, as mentioned in the game preview, yet this mark on his game log going forward will surely stand out. At the moment, it looks like he will start on the 4th of July in Citi Field, against the division rival New York Mets, a much needed bounce back start against a currently struggling Mets lineup.
If you're looking for any positive from the Koehler outing, I would say that most of the hits that lead to runs weren't the hardest contact allowed in the game. Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton both took balls up the middle for RBI base hits that weren't rockets, while Victor Martinez's 2-run knock just snuck under the glove of Chris Johnson. The issue was that in 3 of the 4 run scoring hits, Koehler was behind in the count, something that almost inevitably will lead to runs especially with runners on.
After Koehler was pulled, the Marlin's bullpen went to work, hoping to keep stagnant the 3 run lead the Tigers had going into the fourth inning. Unfortunately the Detroit bats had other plans, as they beat up Dustin McGowan and recently called up arm Jo-Jo Reyes. McGowan surrendered three long balls, one each off the bats of Miguel Cabrera, Steven Moya, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (back-to-back) over his two innings of work. The disconcerting thing is that McGowan had actually been very good in his 12.1 innings in the month of June prior to today. This is also the first game all year he allowed more than one home run and more than two earned.
Jo-Jo Reyes made his 2016 debut today, after meandering through AAA New Orleans with a 4.17 ERA and a 17% strikeout rate. He surrendered two more runs on a Cameron Maybin double and a Miguel Cabrera single before recording an out in the 8th inning. This pushed the lead to 10-3, which would eventually turn into the final score. Reyes's 7th inning of work looked decent, despite two well hit fly balls and a double, but the Tiger's adjusted to his stuff well for his second inning of work.
Daniel Norris faced off against Koehler and faired a lot better. He finished with a line of 5 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, and 8 Ks over 100 pitches. With 61% of his pitches thrown for strikes on the day, Norris was able to mix all of his offerings pretty well, and continued his profound ability to strand runners throughout the day (Norris stranded all the runners that got on in his last outing as well). It seemed like he was very comfortable from the stretch all game, as only two of the nine baserunners he surrendered came around to score. Oddly enough, five of Norris's eight punch outs came on called third strikes, as his mid-90s fastball seemed to be his put away pitch for most of the day.
To start with a positive, the Marlins had 14 hits on the day. Four of those came from Martin Prado and two more from Ichiro Suzuki, as he inches closer to 3,000 hits.
Now moving to the negatives, the Marlins 3-4-5 hitters, as the box score will show you, did not fair so well.
- Christian Yelich: 2-for-5 with 3 Ks and 5 runners left on base
- Marcell Ozuna: 1-for-5 with 2 Ks and 3 runners left on base
- Giancarlo Stanton: 0-for-5 with 1 K and 5 runners left on base
Hero of the Game: Adeiny Hechavarria (+.058 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Tom Koehler (-.326 WPA)
Play of the Game: Victor Martinez's 2 RBI single in the first inning (+.115 WPA)