This was not a pretty baseball game. Every at-bat seemed to go deep in the count, usually resulting in an out for the Marlins. Despite six hits, the Marlins accumulated only one run off of a Giancarlo Stanton double. Overall, the Marlins just looked lethargic as they have now lost six of their last seven games.
Edinson Volquez got through 4 1⁄3 innings before being pulled with a blister on his pitching thumb. While he struck out nine batters, he also walked a career-high eight. Eight walks in a game also ties him with Carlos Martinez for the most in the MLB. Volquez threw just 42 of his 91 pitches for strikes. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Volquez is the first pitcher in the modern era to fan nine and walk eight in fewer than five innings. That is one record that we were not anticipating this month. Volquez is still looking for his first win of the season as he currently sits at 0-4 and a 4.71 ERA. As for the thumb, Volquez said, "This is really bad right now. I had it before, but not this bad. I've never missed a start. We'll see the next couple of days if I can go." He is currently listed as day-to-day with a blister that is reportedly larger than a pencil eraser.
Alex Cobb also had his fair share of blister issues early in the game. Martin Prado doubled off of hanging curveball and advanced to third after a Christian Yelich groundout. Stanton watched a 93 mph fastball to end the inning. For some reason, the Blister Gods were kind to Cobb as we didn’t have a runner in scoring position again until the 5th inning. Miguel Rojas singled to center field, followed by an interesting choice by Don Mattingly. Pitcher Dustin McGowan hit a slow-rolling sacrifice bunt to advance Rojas, but being down by three runs in the 5th seemed like an inopportune time to call for it. The Rays would have no further issues as Prado knocked a fly ball directly to Steven Souza, Jr and Yelich would groundout to Cobb.
Marcell Ozuna did continue an impressive streak of 19 consecutive games with a 6th inning hit against the Rays. It is even more considerable considering Ozuna has only played 19 games against the Rays in his entire career. It is the longest hitting streak against Tampa since Derek Jeter had a 20 game streak in 2004-05.
The Marlins bats continued to disappoint throughout the rest of game until Stanton blasted an 8th inning double to center that pushed in Martin Prado. That would be the lone run for the Marlins on the night.
McGowan gave up a run on a Tim Beckham sac fly (accompanied by a bat flip) and Brad Miller scored on a Derek Norris single to Yelich. McGowan’s control and pitch location would improve, closing out the 5th and pitching a scoreless 6th. The Rays scoring attempts were rebuffed after that by solid outings from Jose Urena in the 7th and 8th and A.J. Ramos in the 9th, compiling a combined 5 strikeouts. Interestingly, Colby Rasmus made his Rays debut, coming off of the DL following his recovery from hip surgery. He was walked as a pinch hitter.
The Rays muscled up to 14-14, and improved to 5-10 on the road. The Marlins dropped to 11-14 and have combined for three runs and 10 hits in the first two games of the Citrus Series.
Adam Conley (1-2, 6.86) is slated to start Wednesday for the Marlins against LHP Blake Snell (0-2, 3.42) when the four-game home-and-home series moves to St. Pete. Conley is hoping to improve off of his career-worst showing at the Pirates last week where he posted 1.2 IP, 5 H, 9 ER, 3 BB.
Meanwhile, yesterday was The Rock’s birthday. Here is a picture of two human beings that are considerably stronger than you are.