The Marlins found themselves on the wrong end of an 11-inning pitchers’ duel on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Starting pitcher Trevor Richards bounced back after a dreadful start against Pittsburgh last week, in which he gave up five runs and eleven hits in five innings. This time around, he went 5 2⁄3 innings and gave up one run. He also had eight strikeouts, with four of them coming from his changeup.
Richards cruised through the first five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. With two out and runners at the corner, his pitch count was over 100. Don Mattingly went out for a mound visit, and in a rare moment for the skipper, let his pitcher try to finish the inning instead of pulling the hook right away.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Dexter Fowler singled softly to left field to drive home Harrison Bader to notch the first run of the game for either team.
With two out in the eighth, the Marlins were running out of chances, but a Miguel Rojas RBI single tied the game, and forced extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Cards seemed to have the game in the bag. Austin Brice allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach base. Sergio Romo came in and immediately intentionally walked his first batter to load the bases before striking out Bader. The Marlins deployed a five-man infield, which included center fielder JT Riddle. Romo induced a ground ball to Riddle, who was able to start a rare 8-4-3 double play to get out of the inning.
Unfortunately, that play would only delay the inevitable. Adam Conley would give up the game-winning home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the very next inning, handing the Marlins their third loss in four games.
Conley has given up eight earned runs in his last five appearances. His earned run average is bloated at 8.00; by contrast, he owned a stellar 1.46 ERA on this date a year ago.
The Marlins finish off this four-game series—their final meeting with the Cards in 2019—on Thursday at 7:15 p.m ET. It will also be the long-awaited debut of Zac Gallen. Gallen was part of the trade that sent Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals. He sported a 1.77 ERA in 91 1⁄3 IP in Triple-A New Orleans this season. The move comes in the wake of Pablo López being sent to the 10-day IL with a right shoulder strain (the team is expected to explain more about the extent of the injury prior to first pitch).
Marlins vs. Cardinals box score (Baseball Theater)
Marlins are 0-1 in the César Puello era. Fresh start on Thursday, tho, kicking off the Zac Gallen era.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) June 20, 2019
Fish Picks answer key