In the 2nd inning, Charlie Culberson launched a 2-run home run to start what would be a rough night for the Marlins’ pitching staff. Ronald Acuña Jr. didn’t get the chance to continue his home run streak last week against the Fish, so he took his frustration out in the 3rd inning with a 432-foot solo home run. And he made sure to take his sweet time admiring it.
With Elieser Hernandez on a 60-pitch limit tonight, his night was done after only 3 innings. Jarlin Garcia came in relief. However, he ran into much of the same problems as Hernandez, giving up a solo home run to Ender Inciarte in the 5th. Jarlin’s night got a lot worse later in the inning when a Nick Markakis line drive shot off his shin and bounced all the way to foul territory, forcing him to exit the game. Fortunately, his X-Ray came up negative. It’s still unclear how much time he might miss. Drew Rucinski came in to replace him and allowed an inherited runner to score from 2nd base.
Just when it seemed like last week was behind us, Javy Guerra threw an inside 0-2 pitch to Acuña Jr. that hit him on the arm. Acuña Jr. immediately threw his helmet down and paced around home plate, but was able to walk to first base and remain in the game. This time, benches didn’t clear, but Brian Anderson was hit in the following inning, prompting a warning from umpire Chris Conroy. Guerra maintains that it was a mistake.
Meanwhile, the Marlins’ offense couldn’t do anything against Sean Newcomb and the rest of the Braves’ pitching staff. They were getting no-hit through 4 innings until Austin Dean hit a double to open the 5th. The biggest opportunity the Marlins had to climb back was in the 6th inning with the bases loaded. But once again, the Fish couldn’t capitalize with runners in scoring position. The Marlins are 23-for-108 (.213) with the bases loaded this year. That’s 50 points lower than league average (.263).
The Marlins play the Braves again tomorrow at 7:10 pm. Dan Straily will pitch for Miami, while Mike Foltynewicz will go for Atlanta.
Kingfish: Rafael Ortega (.031 WPA)
Flounder: Elieser Hernandez (-.174)
Moment of the Game: Charlie Culberson’s home run in the 2nd inning to give the Braves the lead.
|Ronald Acuna - LF||Rafael Ortega - RF|
|Ender Inciarte - CF||J.T. Realmuto - C|
|Freddie Freeman - 1B||Brian Anderson - 3B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Johan Camargo - 3B||Austin Dean - LF|
|Ozzie Albies - 2B||Miguel Rojas - 1B|
|Charlie Culberson - SS||JT Riddle - SS|
|Tyler Flowers - C||Isaac Galloway - CF|
|Sean Newcomb - LHP||E. Hernandez - RHP|
Benches clear in Marlins-Braves after José Ureña hits Ronald Acuña Jr. in 1st inning.— MLB (@MLB) August 16, 2018
Acuña Jr. (5 straight games with HR, 3 straight with leadoff HR) exits in 2nd inning. pic.twitter.com/V2aSu97YEX
After throwing a complete game last week while appealing his suspension, José Ureña began a six-game suspension last Tuesday. With the Braves leading the NL East by 2 1⁄2 games, it’s unlikely we would see any retaliation from them either way.
Speaking of Ureña, Elieser Hernandez will be on the mound for the Fish tonight. Hernandez entered the game on August 15 after Ureña hit Ronald Acuña Jr. Hernandez did a solid job in relief, going 3 IP and giving up 0 runs. Hernandez is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA as a starter, but hasn’t made a start since June 26. Watch for him to have a low pitch limit today, as he has an opponent batting average of .333 and a slugging pct. of .595 after throwing 50 pitches.
Left fielder Austin Dean is already making himself know in this Marlin lineup. After starting 1-for-12, he’s now 6-for-15 with 3 RBI in his last three games.
Don Mattingly, on what impresses him most about Austin Dean: "He's short to the ball." Said that with the velocity that MLB pitchers throw, "you've got the be able to get on the fastball. He seems to be able to do that"— Alex Krutchik (@AlexKrutchikFS) August 23, 2018
On the mound for the Braves will be Sean Newcomb. Although he’s having a solid year (10-6, 3.73 ERA), his last two starts have been brutal. In 9 1⁄3 IP, he’s given up 12 runs on 23 hits.
Game Thread Question: What do you think should the punishment have been for Ureña?