Bullet points because I’m rushing to get this out:
- With a final line of two earned runs off of four hits, no walks and 14(!) strikeouts, Dan Straily easily put up the best start by a Marlins pitcher this season. Yes, they were playing the Padres, but whenever you strike out 14 batters, your game is on point. In the post-game script, Padres manager Andy Green praised the “bite” of Straily’s slider and said that his batters were having difficulty differentiating between that offering and Straily’s fastball. Elite movement is what made Straily so effective last season and it’s what he’ll need consistently to keep him effective moving forward.
- Under normal circumstances, that kind of performance would’ve kept the heat off of the Marlins pen, but unfortunately the game had been tied at two all game and the Fish were forced to utilize a couple extra relief arms. Kyle Barraclough held his own through the eighth and ninth, and reliable Brad Ziegler did his thing in the 10th, but then the 11th saw Junichi Tazawa up on the mound. Oh, Junichi, what are we to do with you? Tazawa’s short leash was in evidence as he was allowed to face only two batters, one of which singled (Wil Myers, forgivable), the other walking (Yangervis Solarte), all while Myers had advanced to third on indifference and a wild pitch. Don Mattingly had the hook ready and brought in his closer. AJ Ramos delivered a patented Ramos shaky save to seal the Marlins victory. A definitive pecking order has emerged in the bullpen hierarchy after some early questions. Ziegler and Barraclough are the set-up guys, Ramos remains the closer, and the rest is dependent upon availability.
- We used to say that Giancarlo Stanton loves hitting in Dodger Stadium for his noted bombs there. I think we should amend the statement to “Giancarlo Stanton loves hitting in Southern California.” Between his success in last season’s home run derby, the WBC early this season and now a couple of regular season games, it’s pretty clear that Stanton is quite comfortable hitting at Petco. He homered twice last night, once in the second inning off of a tasty 84 MPH offering from Jered Weaver, and again in the pivotal 11th inning with Christian Yelich on board. The big man would end up accounting for half of Miami’s run support.
- Prior to Stanton’s second bomb, a bizarre sequence initiated the Marlins’ scoring. Justin Bour pinch-hit for Brad Ziegler and singled. Dee Gordon then attempted to bunt his way aboard and the pitcher Jose Torres threw the ball away. Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe had much difficulty retrieving the ball, and while Bour scoring from first was surprising enough, Gordon himself ended up scoring on the play.
- It should be noted that Martin Prado was integral in last night’s victory, homering in the sixth to tie the game and coming up with two consecutive defensive gems with the Padres threatening in the 10th inning to preserve said tie.
Koehler vs. Perdomo in the series finale today.