Certainly a lot of eyeballs on the two-game series as the Marlins headed into Fenway in the first game of a two-game set with the Red Sox. Additionally, this was the first game back for José Ureña after his suspension. Late August baseball in Boston? Yes, the Marlins are long out of it, but definitely an intriguing match up.
Boston jumped on the Marlins in the second with a single from Ian Kinsler which scored Xander Bogaerts to put Boston up 1-0.
In the top of the third, the Fish broke through as Isaac Galloway launched a hanging curve ball from starter Brian Johnson over the green monster in left-center field for his second career homer to tie the game at one.
MUST SEE: @Marlins OF Isaac Galloway launches a solo homer in the 3rd inning to tie the game 1-1 against the Boston Red Sox!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 28, 2018
Watch Game 1 LIVE now on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Go! #MLB #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/dJZOSIbZyS
The Red Sox scored two in the bottom of the inning principally on the strengths of a run-scoring double to center by Andrew Benintendi and a sac fly from Bogaerts. The Sox added another run, seemingly for insurance, in the 6th off an Eduardo Nunez homer.
After six, Ureña was done for the night, giving up four runs on six hits, whlie walking three and fanning two batters. Basically a “replacement level start” for a pitcher who entered the game with an fWAR of -0.1.
The Sox cruised through seven, but the Marlins brought out their boom sticks in the top of the eighth; a two-run shot from Realmuto, a solo shot from Starlin Castro and a two-RBI single from Rafael Ortega gave the Fish a five spot and a 6-4 lead in front of a stunned Fenway Park. This was the third 3+ homer game of the season for the Marlins, all on the road. Still question whether Marlins Park is pitcher friendly?
HOME RUN: @Marlins INF Starlin Castro hits a solo home run, after J.T. Realmuto’s 2-run homer, to tie the game 4-4 in the 8th inning against the Boston Red Sox!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 29, 2018
Watch Game 1 LIVE now on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Go! #MLB #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/gG5jyODeuB
Flame-thrower Tayron Guerrero came in the bottom of the eighth. Unfortunately he fell behind in the count consistently and threw his 100 mph fastballs right down the heart of the plate, thereby coughing up three runs in the inning to put the Fish behind 7-6. Guerrero is incredibly talented and has an electric arm, but is still inconsistent and does not have an adequate secondary pitch yet, just a very flat slider that hitters can largely ignore. Major league hitters that are in put in a position where they can sit on his heater can certainly turn on it and make hard contact, as was the case tonight.
What was even worse was that the winning run was scored on a wild pitch from Guerrero: an air mailed fast ball over Mookie Betts’ head to scalmycore Kinsler from third. Hard to watch. Red Sox up, 7-6.
Top of the ninth, Kimbrel in. Game over? Nope. Following back-to-back walks to lead off the inning, Magneuris Sierra (?) with single to left to tie the game off of Greg Kimbrel to tie the game. Now the game was officially a wild one.
Unfortunately the night would end in heart break. After one out, the Sox had back to back singles, but the Fish were seemingly out of the inning as Eduardo Nunez hit a tailor made double play grounder to JT Riddle. Riddle calmly stepped on second and then threw the ball to first to complete the double play - only he threw the ball around 20 feet short of his target. The ball bounced away and into the stands, scoring J.D. Martinez to stop Boston’s three game skid.
A sloppy, heartbreaking ending, but a relatively fun game with big hits from unexpected sources. The beauty of baseball: back at it tomorrow night as Trevor Richards faces David Price as the Marlins look for the split.
King Fish: Sierra with a clutch, game-tying hit in the ninth
Flounder: Guerrero’s awful eigth
Turning Point: Tayron Guerrero entering the game