Somebody was at risk of taking their first “L” of 2019 in Tuesday’s matchup between undefeated starters Caleb Smith and Charlie Morton. That pitcher turned out to be Smith, whose Marlins were shut out by Morton and the Rays, 4-0.
Originally scheduled to pitch the finale of a three-game set against the New York Mets this past Mother’s Day, Smith was working on two extra days’ rest due to the postponement. He got off to a superb start, punching out two of his eight hitters in the first inning.
However, he committed one costly blemish in the top of the second. Avisail Garcia launched a towering home run that ended up on the concourse level in center field:
Smith provided 5 1⁄3 innings of quality work with 18 swinging strikes along the way.
Face of the Franchise right there. Caleb Smith joins A.J. Burnett as only Marlins with 8+ strikeouts in 5 straight starts.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) May 15, 2019
KKKKKKKKaleb is the first Marlin ever to do 5 straight in the same season. pic.twitter.com/EK3sihEhjU
Unfortunately, his pitch count swelled to 106 and that forced Don Mattingly to utilize his inconsistent bullpen. Nick Anderson allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth, then Sergio Romo and Tyler Kinley were charged with one run apiece to account for the final score.
Meanwhile, the right-handed veteran Morton dialed in six shutout innings, coughing up just three hits and did not allow a walk, striking out five Marlin batters.
The Marlins’ offense—as it has been for a majority of the regular season—was extremely quiet, blanked on the scoreboard for the eighth time in this young season. Miami also becomes the first team in the league to eclipse 30 losses, dropping their overall record to 10-30. They pace Major League Baseball with 16 home losses, too.
José Ureña will look to turn this mess around Wednesday night and end the losing slide. Ryne Stanek gets the “opener” assignment for Tampa Bay. First pitch is set for 7:10 ET.
FINAL-— Brandon Liguori (@BrandonRLiguori) May 15, 2019
I need to write. Marlins are the first team in majors to hit 30 losses. An accomplishment?
W: Charlie Morton (4-0)
L: Caleb Smith (3-1)
Tampa Bay (25-15): 4 | 8 | 0
Miami (10-30): 0 | 6 | 0@fishstripes
Rays vs. Marlins box score (MLB.com)
Fish Picks answer key