Through the first four innings, I was prepared to write about how we’ve seen this kind of game a lot this year, the type of game where the Marlins go down big early and even though they have a very capable offense at times, they collectively scuffle along toward the finish line, not really ever appearing in it.
Not to mention that I’ve penned something like six straight recap losses and they’ve started to blur together a little bit. The Marlins did come through with a big inning against a starting pitcher in Adam Wainwright who has been traditionally very stingy against them, so I got to hand it to them there. They gave me the hope spot that I was looking for. In a lost season where you’re perpetually nine, ten games back, you want a few things: Your superstar players to play like superstars (check, mostly), your vaunted prospects to mature (pass), and your team to look competitive from time to time.
Jeff Locke did his best to quash any hope of winning this ball game right out of the gate, issuing four runs in the first. After somehow getting through the second, he was roughed up again in the third inning to the tune of seven runs. The final, ghastly line for Locke: 11 earned runs on 11 hits, four walks and two punch-outs.
Connor has my favorite Marlins-related quips.
This is a Locke for worst start of the season.— FishStripes (@fishstripes) July 4, 2017
This is why he gets to run the twitter account.
Adam Wainwright, meanwhile was having his way with the Marlins’ hitters the way that he typically does. Rich and Todd brought up the last time he faced the Marlins, around this time last year where he threw a complete game, three-hit shutout. It definitely felt like it was heading that way, and with the score a lopsided 11-0 through four, conversation in the booth turned toward the marvelous way the grass was being tended at Busch Stadium.
Then, in that wonderful fifth, the wheels fell off for Wainwright, and it was wonderful to behold.
- Martin Prado singled to right center.
- JT Realmuto singled to left, Prado to second.
- JT Riddle singled to center, Prado to third, Realmuto to second.
- Tyler Moore hit for Junichi Tazawa.
- Moore singled to left, Prado and Realmuto scored, Riddle to second, 11-2.
- Dee Gordon flied out to center.
- Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging.
- Christian Yelich walked, Riddle to third, Moore to second.
- Marcell Ozuna doubled to right, Riddle, Moore and Yelich scored, 11-4.
- Justin Bour hit a ground rule double to deep center, Ozuna scored, 11-6.
- Prado grounded out to shortstop.
Voila, hope spot. Thanks Marlins.
Of course, the amount of hope one could procure from that is debatable. FishStriper gustavopim chimed in during the game thread with an astute observation.
I still don't see how the Marlins would come back
Marlins have EIGHT pitchers this year with ERA over 6.30 - Locke, Koehler, Worley, Tazawa, Ziegler, Ellington, Conley, and Despaigne.
Indeed, the bullpen would supply the Cardinals with three more runs while the Marlins would be kept off the board despite having five runners on base during the final three frames.
Junichi Tazawa and Dustin McGowan both did their jobs, pitching a combined four innings of shut-out ball in relief of Locke. Nick Wittgren and Jarlin Garcia were not so great in this one, however, as they gave up one and two runs, respectively, to bring our final score to 14-6.
At nine under, the 2017 season is on life support for the Marlins. If they limp into the All-Star break at seven games below or worse, there can be no question that we’ll start seeing parts shipped off.
Jose Urena vs Lance Lynn for a 2:15 pm ET 4th of July start.
Kingfish: Tommy Pham (.159)
Flounder: Jeff Locke (-.381)(!)
Play of the game: Pham triple in the first inning, Carpenter scores (.146)