Tonight was tough. Normally, we add in the Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs at the end of our articles, but I just need to preface this article for anyone that didn’t watch the game itself. Pay attention and you might be able to hear the cheers turn into groans.
Kicking the night off with a bizarre lineup with Dee Gordon batting the nine spot and already down Miguel Rojas and Martin Prado, the snake-bit Marlins started the night off by losing Adeiny Hechavarria prior to first pitch with an oblique strain. Christian Yelich and manager Don Mattingly were then both ejected in the first inning. It was Mattingly’s second ejection in a row as he jawed about the location of a curveball with home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Dan Straily had a strong performance both on the mound and at the plate. Despite having a slightly better history at bat than an actual marlin, he drove in Derek Dietrich to tie the game at one in the fifth inning with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze on a 3-2 pitch. On the other side of the ball, he pitched through a season-high seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits. With only one walk, he struck out five on 91 pitches.
Left-handed batters continued to score runs in the sixth inning with Derek Dietrich hitting a two-run double, Giancarlo Stanton scoring on of a Justin Bour single, and J.T. Riddle hitting a sacrifice fly that allowed Dietrich to score. With the game at 5-1, Straily quietly closed out the seventh inning and handed the ball over to Kyle Barraclough.
Barraclough kicked off the 8th by allowing a double to Tommy Pham. Pham scored on a single by Matt Adams, and he followed up with a four pitch walk for Kolton Wong. With the bases load, Barraclough hung a slider over the middle of the plate and Grichuk knocked a sacrifice fly to the warning track. The nail biting 8th continued as Barraclough was exchanged for Brad “Silver Fox” Ziegler, who promptly allowed a two-RBI from Jed Gyorko that tied the game.
Rosenthal was dealing for the Redbirds in the 8th as he quickly moved through Marcell Ozuna, Stanton, Dietrich and Bour.
A.J. Ramos entered the game in the 9th and immediately allowed Magneuris Sierra to reach second on a single and an error. With Sierra on second, Dexter Fowler singled to right and Stanton’s throw failed to beat Sierra to the plate, putting the Cardinals up 6-5.
With Seung-Hwan Oh pitching for St. Louis, Riddle led off in the bottom of the 9th with a ground out to second. Tomas Telis, who was recently called up from New Orleans, batted for Ramos as he flied out, and Dee Gordon ended the game on a fly ball to left.
Acting as the manager for Mattingly, bench coach Tim Wallach explained the rationale behind Straily’s bunt, Adeiny Hechavarria’s injury, and losing Mattingly and Yelich in the first.
The Marlins continue their homestretch on Wednesday night against the Cardinals at 7:10. They are now at 13-19 and 7.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East.
Swordfish of the Game: Dan Straily (.221 WPA)
Flounder of the Game: A.J. Ramos (-.305)