Critical pitching mistakes early and late cost the Marlins on Saturday afternoon in a thrilling-yet-frustrating 5-4 loss. Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski made amends for his over-aggressive baserunning with a go-ahead single in the eighth inning.
- Tyson Ross: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 7 K (83 pitches)
- Dan Straily: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (87 pitches)
Straily was getting hit hard from the start, with one line drive in particular causing concern. Eric Hosmer’s scorching single—109.9 mph exit velocity, per Statcast—struck the right-hander near his ribs. It took him a few minutes to compose himself before assuring Don Mattingly he could remain in the game.
But Straily never really looked comfortable after that. Three of the four runs charged to him scored in that opening inning. It took 50 pitches just for him to go once through San Diego’s lineup, and he departed after the opposing pitcher Ross singled during their second matchup.
However, the Fish battled back. Derek Dietrich drove in their first run with a single in the third inning. Then, his solo homer off Ross in the sixth ignited a busy half-inning. The two-out game-tying hit from Miguel Rojas was more lucky than good, but hey, that’s baseball sometimes. Rojas may have been due for a crazy hop in the midst of an extended slump.
Turning to his bullpen early left Mattingly without an obvious “formula” heading into the eighth with the scored still 4-4. He opted for recent minor league call-up Drew Rucinski, who retired the first two batters before the Padres’ unlikely rally. Setting up Jankowski to be the hero, the bottom of their lineup reached on a double, intentional walk and unintentional walk, respectively. The decision to put journeyman catcher Raffy Lopez on base (.611 career OPS entering the day) just to avoid the platoon disadvantage was cringeworthy.
After productive Saturday performances from Dietrich, Justin Bour and Brian Anderson, they all join J.T. Realmuto with an .800-plus OPS for this season. The 2018 Marlins have just as many regulars above that mark (four) as the “competitive” 2017 Marlins had.
Perhaps more notable than anything that happened on the field, the Marlins and FOX Sports Florida jointly announced that longtime broadcaster Tommy Hutton is returning. We grew accustomed to seeing Hutton as the analyst on game broadcasts for nearly two decades, but Todd Hollandsworth will remain in that role. Instead, Hutton is joining the pre-and-postgame studio shows. His season debut will be on Monday night.
Most of you support this programming decision.
Are you happy to have Tommy Hutton back in your life?— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) June 9, 2018
In Sunday’s 25th Anniversary Weekend finale, the probable starters will be Clayton Richard and José Ureña. Ureña has fared much better with Realmuto behind the plate than when paired with one of the backups, so expect to see him in the lineup for the 1:10pm first pitch.
Kingfish: Matt Szczur (.143 WPA)
Flounder: Straily (-.254)
Play of the game: Jankowski’s go-ahead hit (.234)
Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season!
6/9/18 Probable Starters
|SAN DIEGO PADRES||MIAMI MARLINS|
|Travis Jankowski - LF||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||Derek Dietrich - LF|
|Jose Pirela - 2B||J.T. Realmuto - C|
|Franmil Reyes - RF||Justin Bour - 1B|
|Cory Spangenberg - 3B||Brian Anderson - RF|
|Freddy Galvis - SS||JT Riddle - SS|
|Manuel Margot - CF||Miguel Rojas - 3B|
|Raffy Lopez - C||J.B. Shuck - CF|
|Tyson Ross - RHP||Dan Straily - RHP|
The teal did the trick! Marlins batters tied a season high with nine walks on Friday night, KKKKKaleb Smith cruised into the middle innings, and the bullpen quieted down San Diego’s offense from there in the shutout victory.
And looked good doing it:
The Padres still lead the season series 3-2, so the Fish will need to sweep the weekend to finish on top. Beyond that, these teams won’t meet for the rest of 2018.
With minor league starters knocking on the door, Dan Straily could use a convincing outing on Saturday. He’s averaged barely five innings per start since returning from the disabled list. The veteran right-hander is recording fewer strikeouts (17.3 K%) and issuing more walks (14.1 BB%) than ever, a brutal combination.
Overall, the Padres have produced a weak .299 on-base percentage this season. However, they’ve challenged Straily by stacking Travis Jankowski (.375 OBP) and Eric Hosmer (.373 OBP) at the top of their order.
First pitch approximately 4:10pm (special Anniversary Weekend-related pregame ceremony beforehand).
Thread Question: What’s your first impression of Marlins top draft pick Connor Scott? For those who didn’t hear his full interview with FOX Sports Florida, here’s a small excerpt of it.