With José Ureña already penciled in as the Opening Day starter, Dan Straily made a strong case for himself as the No. 2 man in this young rotation. The right-hander threw two complete innings of shutout baseball, and allowed no hits while striking out three batters.
Straily said that he wanted to work on his changeup since it wasn’t effective earlier in the week during practice. However, he decided to improvise in the heat of competition:
“I was coming out there with a goal, and to throw changeups. But the competitor in me was like, ‘Okay, [Carlos] Correa is 3-2. [I’m gonna throw] a slider.’ The competitor just takes over sometimes.”
Straily talking about attacking the zone today pic.twitter.com/C40AdGYCMT— Alex Krutchik (@AlexKrutchikFS) February 26, 2019
Through the first three games of the spring, the Marlins’ bullpen had amassed a 6.11 ERA in 28 IP. Tuesday was a much-needed change of pace.
Sergio Romo, who was signed by the Fish two weeks ago, made his Miami debut and pitched a perfect inning. He struck out the side on 13 pitches in the third inning.
Despite being the most experienced pitcher on the 40-man roster and a veteran of three World Series runs with the Giants, Romo took this assignment seriously. As explained afterward in the clubhouse, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way (h/t Andre Fernandez, The Athletic):
“I’m not afraid of being nervous. Being nervous, to me, is a good thing. It means I still care. I still have fire, I still have passion. I still have the utmost want to do well—to go compete and just play my game.
“I’m not telling you I’m nervous because I’m afraid or I’m scared, or I’m gonna go in there timid or unsure. No. I’m nervous...because I really, really care. I wanna do well. I wanna help out, I wanna contribute, I wanna be a good example. And at the end of the day, I wanna get those dudes out! That’s what I’m asked to be here for.”
Through six innings, the Marlins offense was also quiet. The only starter to record a hit was Neil Walker. They finally broke through with the first run of the game in the seventh, when Harold Ramírez singled to drive home Isaac Galloway. The Marlins would put up two more runs in the inning.
R.J. Alvarez rebounded from his horrendous spring debut last Saturday to finish this game for the Marlins. He allowed two hits, but gets credited with the save.
The Marlins play again tomorrow against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie at 1:05 p.m. Wei-Yin Chen will be on the hill, and we will find out if the “Road Chen” meme will carry over into 2019. Fans can watch live on MLB Network.
Injury News: After exiting Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, Victor Victor Mesa was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain. He has been reassigned to Minor League rehab. More details from John Butterworth.