For the first time in more than four years, the Marlins took the series victory on the road from the division rival Washington Nationals. They made a national embarrassment out of it, too, overwhelming left-hander Gio González, piling on late against the bullpen and silencing the Nats’ bats during Sunday’s 12-1 final.
- José Ureña: 9.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (108 pitches)
- Gio González: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 5 K (88 pitches)
So many individual achievements for the Fish, beginning with Ureña. This was his first major league complete game, and the first for any Marlins pitcher since the Edinson Vólquez no-hitter. He induced 14 ground outs, averaging a season-best 97.2 mph on his two-seam fastball, making him difficult to square up.
The only decent threat that the Nats had—in the bottom of the third inning—was shut down by an excellent defensive play.
.@Marlins put defense on display:— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 19, 2018
Rafael Ortega (RF)➡J.T. Realmuto (1B)➡Brian Anderson (3B) to get Adam Eaton going for 3rd.
Watch all the Game 3 action LIVE now on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Go! #JustGettinStarted #MLB pic.twitter.com/RaXyGycjHC
On the other side, Brian Anderson was the only Marlins starting position player without a hit, and even he reached base against González. The club created serious separation in the top of the fifth. A Rafael Ortega two-run single pushed the advantage to 8-1 and forced a call to the bullpen.
Small sample size concerns apply, obviously, but unheralded call-ups Ortega and Isaac Galloway have quietly provided a boost to the once-slumping offense. They finished the game with a .378 and .407 on-base percentage, respectively.
JT Riddle also made the most of his opportunity this weekend. He recorded two more extra-base hits on Sunday and appears to have fully emerged from whatever ailed him throughout July and much of August. We can get used to this, especially with the Marlins’ lack of intriguing shortstop prospects at the high minor league levels.
JT Riddle swing & home run trot, Saturday pic.twitter.com/grqUWgtNyR— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 19, 2018
JT Riddle swing & home run trot, Sunday pic.twitter.com/dicNs0VeV7— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 19, 2018
If those weren’t enough positives for you, Galloway blasted his first MLB home run and Starlin Castro set a career high with five hits. Combining Ureña’s gem with the Monday off day, every Marlins reliever will have about 72 hours of rest by the time they’re needed for the Yankees series.
The probable starting pitchers for that Giancarlo Stanton homecoming will be rookie right-handers Pablo López and Trevor Richards. We’ll have every angle of it covered here on Fish Stripes.