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Marlins 6, Rockies 2: J.T. Realmuto for All-Star/NL MVP/President

Quality start by Trevor Richards and seventh-inning rally even the series for the Fish.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Realmuto doesn’t like being benched and the Marlins don’t like having him out. Nice compromise! Starting at first base on Saturday afternoon, his grand slam in the seventh inning sealed the 6-2 victory. It was the team’s 30th win of the season.

Trevor Richards: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (86 pitches)

Tyler Anderson: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (95 pitches)

A surprise addition to the lineup, Derek Dietrich typically takes a seat with an opposing left-hander on the mound. Barely 20 percent of his plate appearances in 2018 have come at a platoon disadvantage.

But with Miguel Rojas scratched from his starting spot (hand soreness), Dietrich stepped in to provide the first run of the game with his solo homer in the fourth inning.

Richards quickly allowed the Rockies to respond. Carlos González broke up his no-hitter, then came around to score on a Gerardo Parra sacrifice fly.

The rookie right-hander really settled down from there. Throwing his signature changeup even more effectively than usual, he racked up eight strikeouts, his second-highest total in a major league start.

Richards faced a lineup that featured many of the same hitters who combined to score 11 runs on Friday, but you wouldn’t know it from these swings.

To keep Realmuto on the field following a night game, Don Mattingly utilized him at first base, relegating Justin Bour to the bench. The slugger finally got his opportunity to contribute in the seventh with two teammates on base and nobody out (score still tied 1-1).

Bour worked into a favorable count against Anderson, then ripped a go-ahead single to center.

As mentioned pre-game, he’s had a very underwhelming history at Coors Field. On the other hand, he thrives in a pinch-hitting role. Bour now has a lifetime .255/.369/.545 batting line in those situations.

Finally, that forced the Rockies to hand the game to their enigmatic bullpen, and the most enigmatic of all the pitchers in there is Bryan Shaw. A revered setup man prior to signing a $27 million free-agent deal last offseason, he’s been a trainwreck with his new team, particularly in June.

Realmuto took advantage. No lead is totally safe at Coors, but with red-hot relievers in their own ‘pen, the Fish didn’t have much doubt after the grand slam made it 6-1.

I’m running out of superlatives for the soon-to-be NL All-Star. Realmuto returned from the disabled list in mid-April and immediately caught fire...and the fire department hasn’t arrived yet. Batting .308/.365/.548 this season with equally impressive defense, the Marlins have the most valuable catcher in baseball and a sleeper candidate in the wide-open NL MVP race.

Speaking of hot players, Brian Anderson extended his career-best on-base streak to 20 games (.372 OBP for the year). Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider have not allowed a run in their past 18 and 15 appearances, respectively.

The rubber match of this series on Sunday features probable starters Caleb Smith and German Márquez. First pitch approximately 3:10pm ET.

Attendance: 39,032

Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season!

Today's Lineups

Starlin Castro - 2B DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Brian Anderson - 3B Charlie Blackmon - CF
J.T. Realmuto - 1B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Cameron Maybin - RF Carlos Gonzalez - RF
Derek Dietrich - LF Trevor Story - SS
Lewis Brinson - CF Gerardo Parra - LF
Yadiel Rivera - SS Ian Desmond - 1B
Bryan Holaday - C Tony Wolters - C
Trevor Richards - RHP Tyler Anderson - LHP

*Miguel Rojas was scratched from the original lineup. It’s unclear what his availability will be for this game.

6/23/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Trevor Richards Marlins 38.0 5.45 4.36 7.58 0.3
Tyler Anderson Rockies 79.2 4.52 4.78 7.79 0.5

Matchup Summary

Head to Head: The Marlins are 2-2 against the Rockies this season, including Friday night’s blowout loss. Colorado’s bats beat up on Wei-Yin Chen and the two Rule 5 draft picks on the pitching staff, Elieser Hernandez and Brett Graves. It was the highest run total allowed by the Fish since early May.

Chen was not helped by his defense (particularly Starlin Castro). That being said, it might be time to give more serious consideration to the idea of removing him from the starting rotation in favor of a prospect with more upside.

Silly Splits: You would expect somebody like Justin Bour to tee off at Coors Field, but in six career games, he’s batting only .105/.261/.105. If that’s going to change today, Bour will need to produce against lefty Tyler Anderson, or bide his time until the Marlins get into that shaky Rockies bullpen.

Thread Question #1: Do you prefer watching games played in a hitter’s paradise like Coors or low-scoring environments like Marlins Park?

Thread Question #2: Fish Stripes is now on Instagram! Do you use it too? If so, what do you want to see from our account?