An all-too-familiar script in 2019, the Marlins found themselves in a close, low-scoring game entering the later innings and couldn’t make the critical plays to secure the win. The Giants beat them on Sunday, 2-1, with rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski scoring the decisive run on a Ryne Stanek wild pitch while the Fish were held without an extra-base hit the entire afternoon.
- Elieser Hernandez: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (85 pitches)
- Johnny Cueto: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (71 pitches)
It was the fourth straight outing that Hernandez fell short of “quality start” requirements, but the young right-hander really impressed regardless. He set a new career high with nine strikeouts, including eight of those via his fastball.
Hernandez’s critical mistake was a lousy slider to Mauricio Dubon in the bottom of the third inning. Dubon lined it over the left field fence for a solo home run (the third of his major league career).
The exit velocity of this ball off his bat was only 92.9 miles per hour, atypically low for a homer, especially at cavernous Oracle Park.
Miami’s starting pitchers in this series—Hernandez combined with Sandy Alcantara and Robert Dugger—allowed only four total runs to the Giants. It was a refreshing string of performances for a team that’s had so few silver linings to the season outside of the starting rotation.
Recently returned to the active roster following Tommy John surgery, Cueto lacked his sharpest stuff. The Dominican veteran allowed six “hard hit” balls as defined by Statcast compared to only two allowed by Hernandez. However, he kept the Marlins off balance with unpredictable pitch selection.
In the seventh, the Marlins manufactured their lone run with speed. Magneuris Sierra bunted for a single and wound up all the way at third after an errant throw. Jon Berti singled him home from there.
Jarlin García ultimately got charged with a loss for putting two runners on base in the eighth. Rather than trusting his best reliever to wiggle out of the jam, Don Mattingly called upon Stanek. A wild pitch, a walk and another wild pitch made a hero out of Yastrzemski.
The Marlins won back-to-back games in Miami against the Diamondbacks seven full weeks ago...and haven’t done it again since. Conveniently, guess who’s up next on this road trip? Pablo López and Robbie Ray are probable starters in the desert on Monday night (first pitch 9:40 p.m. ET).
Marlins vs. Giants box score (Baseball Theater)
Fish Picks answer key