I’m going to keep this brief because it’s late and this wasn’t my assignment to begin with, but a game like this just doesn’t deserve to be passed over in the night.
My brain automatically associates Marcell Ozuna with really good, early season offensive baseball, particularly in April, but that actually has only been true in one season, 2014.
In 110 plate appearances in April of 2014 (and the last day in March, to be fair), Ozuna mustered 31(!) hits, hit four bombs and drove in 16 runs, slashing .310/.364/.480 with a robust 139 wRC+. It was the beginning of his first full season as a major league regular, a season that would ultimately be his best to date, putting up almost four wins above replacement.
Ozuna is slashing .423/.467/.769 after his two homer, career-best six RBI performance last night. Cartoon-y, early season numbers aside, it’s clear he’s seeing the ball very well right now out of the gate. Yelich and Bour contributed the other two ribbies.
Dan Straily was better in his second go-round, making it through five innings, giving up only two earned runs on three hits, two walks and five strikeouts, allowing a solo shot to Nick Markakis in the fourth. That’s the standard formula for the Marlins staff in general, right there. Get through five, give up 0-3 runs, hand it over to the pen to lock it down.
In that regard, Brad Ziegler struggled a little, giving up an additional run, but the lockdown trio from last year (David Phelps, Kyle Barraclough and AJ Ramos) did their thing to perfection, combining to give up only one walk, two hits and racking up seven K’s between them.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up everyone’s favorite new rally cat, who we’ll probably never see again.
Backstory: At the start of the sixth inning the game was delayed when a gray cat appeared in the outfield. Christian Yelich approached the cat as an official attempted to pick it up (never a good idea), and naturally the cat raced out of arm’s reach. One would suspect he might keep running alongside the track. But that’s what rats do. Not cats.
Ultimately, he surprised everyone and scaled the shit out of that screen-wall.
The Marlins had some fun with it and began to solicit names for the feline intruder:
I do believe there is still time to vote if you’re so inclined.
Marlins move to 4-3. Koehler and Garcia in game two
tomorrow today, time for bed!
Swordfish: Meowcell Ozuna (.164)
Flounder: Bartolo Colon (-.314)
Play of the game:
Rally cat scales wall Ozuna three run jack (.080)