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Richards Sends Dodgers to La La Land, Marlins win 8-6

Marlins get their first series win of the season

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Before I write anything else, just observe the greatness of Trevor Richards’s performance from last night.

This is the kind of success that we should really value from this season. Coming off of a lackluster start in Milwaukee, Richards was facing the 2017 National League champs. His adversary on the mound was none other than one of the greatest pitchers of this era: Clayton Kershaw. For someone that was a substitute teacher a matter of months ago and a seemingly lost in Indy Ball a few years prior, this seemed like the ultimate mismatch. Just one of those dishearteningly difficult games to watch where young players get discouraged and fans say overly mean things on Twitter. But no! Not last night! The Marlins were fun to watch last night.

The Richards made mincemeat of the weak Dodgers offense on Wednesday through his 4⅔ innings. The 24-year-old righty sat down 10 and only walked three in his outing, and the only hit against him came off the bat of Kershaw, a pointless single in the third. Richards was pulled one out away from his first Major League win after crossing the 100 pitch threshold with two men on base in the 5th. But again, just feast your eyes on another example of his excellent control, placement, and location from last night. Hopefully, he can hold onto this for his next start.

J.T. Realmuto homered twice and Miguel Rojas went deep to help Miami capitalize on an wild night by Kershaw (1-4). The lefty tied a career high with six walks, somehting he hasn’t done since 2010. He had previously only allowed three walks all season. Kershaw left, visibly frustrated, after allowing three runs in five innings.

Relievers Merandy González and Brad Ziegler were hit around a bit late but held on for Miami. Gonzalez gave up five hits over three innings of work. He walked one and gave up a home run to Matt Kemp in the 8th. Gonzalez (1-0) earned his first career win.

Junichi Tazawa came in to close up the eighth. He struck out Chase Utley on three pitches.

38-year-old Ziegler, gave up three hits and three runs in the 9th inning. Yasmani Grandal drove in Corey Seager off of a home run to bring the score to 8-6. Cody Bellinger would drop a grounder to Ziegler in the next at bat to end the game.

Kingfish: Miguel Rojas (.442 WPA)

Flounder: Clayton Kershaw (-.114)

Attendance: 39,004

Please leave any Itcthy picks in the comments below (Rules on how the game works)

Pitching Matchup

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Caleb Smith Marlins 21.2 5.82 4.70 13.29 0.1
Chad Bettis Rockies 30.0 2.40 4.45 6.00 0.3

Today's Lineups

Derek Dietrich - LF Chris Taylor - CF
J.T. Realmuto - C Corey Seager - SS
Starlin Castro - 2B Yasmani Grandal - C
Brian Anderson - 3B Cody Bellinger - 1B
Justin Bour - 1B Matt Kemp - RF
Cameron Maybin - RF Joc Pederson - LF
Miguel Rojas - SS Chase Utley - 2B
Lewis Brinson - CF Enrique Hernandez - 3B
Trevor Richards - RHP Clayton Kershaw - LHP

Matchup Summary

Trevor Richards struggled with walks in his last outing, a loss to Milwaukee. The rookie had five walks in his first three starts but six at Miller Park. He went 104 pitches in 3 23 innings. Meanwhile, Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young winner, is coming off a loss to Max Scherzer and the Nationals. He gave up nine hits, more than he’s given up since early last season.

Thread Question

What upcoming series do you expect the Marlins to have the most success with?