The Miami Marlins (47-53) won the first game of a four game set against the Cincinnati Reds (41-61). The baseball Gods usually dictate that after a team destroys another team like the Marlins did to the Rangers Wednesday night (22-10), they themselves will have little to no offense the next day.
This has been the case for Miami in the past but tonight was a bit different. The Marlins were able to hold onto their momentum and make it past the Reds.
The Fish went into today facing Robert Stephenson, who had previously pitched against the fish last week, allowing five earned runs and eight hits. Tonight would be no different as Stephenson gave up three earned runs and an abysmal seven walks.
On the Miami side, Chris O’Grady was looking to turn around his misfortunes and try to pitch a strong game. Tonight was the night for Mr. O’Grady, who worked seven strong innings of scoreless ball, scattering five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. When O’Grady got into some trouble he was able to work himself out each and every time which is exactly what the Marlins needed.
The game started out on an amusing note as there was a pop up hit by Billy Hamilton that Tyler Moore was tracking down near the fans. As he reached over into the crowd, his glove hit a fan who was also trying to catch the ball. While yes, the fan did not reach into the field of play and technically did nothing wrong, he could have definitely tried to move and let Moore do his job.
Dee Gordon than proceeded to chirp angrily at the fan (who turned out to be a Reds fan) before cracking open his patent smile saying that he was just messing with the fan. While this started the game on a great note, the next four innings made me think this was going to be a long game with a whole lot of nothing going on.
Derek Dietrich started the scoring with a solo shot off Stephenson in the fourth. In the next inning, O’Grady got the first two outs and than proceeded to hit Joey Votto with a pitch. Adam Duvall then doubled into the corner, but Marcell Ozuna picked up the ball cleanly and delivered a rocket throw to Miguel Rojas. Rojas then delivered a one-hopper down the line to J.T. Realmuto who cleanly caught it and tagged Votto on a close play at the plate, keeping the Miami lead at 1-0.
In the bottom of the fifth the fish were ready to strike. Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich walked and Realmuto reached on an infield single with one out to load the bases.
Stephenson exited the game and Drew Storen entered with Dietrich at the plate again. He looked again ready to do major damage....well not exactly, but he did draw a walk to double the Miami lead. Moore then followed that up with a sac fly to extend the lead to 3-0.
O’Grady pitched into the seventh inning with no issues at all, and in the bottom of the frame Yelich singled and stole second. Dietrich would then come up again with a runner in scoring position and single to left, driving in Yelich and adding to the lead.
Junichi Tazawa entered in the eight, but was replaced by AJ Ramos (who was looking for a four-out save) with two outs and two men on after already giving up a run.
Ramos escaped the jam but in the ninth allowed Adam Duvall to come to the plate as the tying run. Any Miami Marlin fan knows how this goes — the fish always make it an interesting game at the end, sadly to the detriment of all our hearts — but this time it was different. Duvall proceeded to weakly fly out to second, giving the Marlins yet another win and their 1,000th home win in franchise history.