The Miami Marlins opened the second half of their 2019 schedule Friday night with a three-game series versus the New York Mets. Fans didn’t need to wait long for one of the more entertaining innings of the regular season.
Lefty Caleb Smith, who was making his first start at Marlins Park since May 14, cruised through two innings...before running into a hiccup in the third. After opposing pitcher Jason Vargas bunted his way into a crucial double play, Smith was unable to shut the door completely. He allowed a single and back-to-back walks, before Wilson Ramos smacked a two-run single to left, opening the scoring for New York.
Maybe Caleb's biggest flaw this season has been not getting enough ground balls, so of course, he gets one in a big bases-loaded spot and it finds a hole to score 2 runs ♂️— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) July 13, 2019
Miami, in the home half, responded quickly against Vargas, beginning with Jorge Alfaro’s leadoff single. Once stealing second base and moving to third on Smith’s single to right, Miguel Rojas drove home Alfaro on a sacrifice fly to center.
Curtis Granderson, the next hitter, sent his eighth homer into the seats, as the Marlins took a 3-2 advantage, Garrett Cooper then responded, blasting an 85 MPH four-seam fastball into left, adding to the Marlins’ lead.
That’s right: back-to-back home runs by the Marlins for only the fourth time in 2019. Granderson’s blast was also his first against a left-handed pitcher.
Miami ended the inning with four runs on four hits. Hopefully, we see this kind of combined offensive production more frequently down the stretch than we did prior to the All-Star break.