Time to update the Wikipedia page
The Guggenheim Baseball Management group is listed as “owner(s)” of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but let’s be real: J.T. Realmuto is in charge. Through 21 career games vs. L.A., the Marlins catcher has hit safely in every matchup, including on Wednesday night when his go-ahead solo homer in the sixth inning proved to be the deciding run.
With that, the Fish clinch the season series against the reigning National League champions. Improbably, the two teams have identical 16-26 records this season.
Keep em’ coming @Marlins! @JTRealmuto hits a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th to make it a 6-5 game vs. the LA Dodgers! Catch the rest of Game 2 live now on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Go. #MLB #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/lSHAdPaBIT— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 17, 2018
If not for very questionable bullpen management by Don Mattingly, the game wouldn’t have been such a nail-biter. Elieser Hernández’s first MLB start went about as well as anybody could reasonably expect—five innings of attacking the strike zone and keeping the Dodgers off balance with his changeup.
But Junichi Tazawa continues to make a compelling case that he doesn’t belong on the active roster. On the bright side, Tazawa was followed by Drew Steckenrider, who despite coughing up the lead, settled down to tie a career high with four strikeouts and earn the win.
Minor league scoreboard
Double-A: Jacksonville 1 (16-23 record), Montgomery 3
High-A: Fort Myers 3, Jupiter 4 in Game 1; Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 3 (25-14) in Game 2
May 16 box scores courtesy of MiLB.com
It’s a good problem to have: five major league rotation spots for way more than five intriguing candidates.
For the time being, April sensation Jarlin García is shifting to the bullpen as the Marlins monitor his workload. Hernández may have earned himself another start, but in the not-too-distant future, this paves the way for more polished prospects from Triple-A New Orleans to show us what they got.
Cute or corny?
I’m personally not a fan of the whole “boyfriends who publicize their marriage proposals at sporting events” genre. Before the game Wednesday, Marlyn Sanchez threw out a (disastrous) ceremonial first pitch at Marlins Park...
...but little did she know, Ralph Cabrera had a surprise inside for her.
“The latest word around town is that Gary Denbo, the new VP of player development and scouting in Miami, has a lot of influence on this call,” ESPN’s Keith Law writes in his latest mock draft (Insider subscription required). Law projects the Marlins to select South Florida left-hander Shane McClanahan at No. 13 overall.
Baseball and brunch!
If memory serves, this is the first 12:10pm ET start time for the Marlins so far in 2018. A getaway day special, as the club packs for 15 of the next 18 games away from Miami.
The probable starters are Kenta Maeda and Caleb Smith, who’s a full week removed from his previous outing. The only other occasion that Smith pitched with so much rest was arguably his best performance of the season: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 K vs. the Rockies (April 29).
Here’s what lies ahead during that late May/early June road-heavy stretch.