The Marlins may have looked the part of a great team on Sunday, but they didn’t show it in between the lines. The Fish are barely clinging to their NL East lead by percentage points after losing to the Braves, 4-0. It’s the first time in 2020 that Miami’s lineup has been shut out.
- Robbie Erlin: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (68 pitches)
- Elieser Hernandez: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K (81 pitches)
The Marlins were in position to clinch a series victory over Atlanta, which they haven’t done since 2017. Elieser Hernandez did everything in his power to give them a chance—his nine strikeouts were the most by any Marlins starter this season.
Elieser Hernandez was outstanding today with 9 K's— FOX Sports Marlins (@FOXMarlins) August 16, 2020
Watch the @Marlins on FOX Sports Florida | https://t.co/MIvXY4S18m#JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/BXmDSqDMy6
Relying almost exclusively on his four-seam fastball and slider, Hernandez had extremely sharp command. So much so, the sight of a pedestrian three-ball count in the top of the fifth inning sent Don Mattingly over the edge. He was ejected by home plate umpire James Hoyesfor for arguing balls and strikes. He did not take the decision quietly, storming out of the Marlins dugout and berating Hoye at the plate for several minutes.
Here’s what that scene looked and sounded like:
Here's the full Don Mattingly ejection. Includes him getting tossed, the profanity laced argument, and the ball/strike call that set him off.— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) August 16, 2020
I have attempted to reduce the crowd noise a bit to get even clearer audio. Truly a landmark moment for f-bombs on live television. pic.twitter.com/Ah9VZRyrGF
Bench coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson took over as acting manager for the rest of the game (his first opportunity in that role).
Nick Markakis broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning with the go-ahead bloop single against Nick Vincent, scoring Dansby Swanson.
Then, the Braves added insurance in the seventh off of Brian Moran. The soft-tossing lefty walked old friend Marcell Ozuna with the bases loaded, extending the lead to 2-0. Markakis followed with a two-run double.
On the bright side, Marlins pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte racked up four of those, marking his second-highest total in any major league appearance.
Pat Venditte—the right-handed version—mows down Tyler Flowers on 3 sliders pic.twitter.com/xKG9QLkVRh— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 16, 2020
On the brighter side, the club announced postgame that all 18 players who were caught up in the COVID-19 outbreak last month have been approved for reinstatement. They worked out together at the alternate training site in Jupiter on Sunday.
Right-hander Sandy Alcantara and shortstop Miguel Rojas are particularly close to returning to the active roster, per Craig Mish.
Alcantara is nearing a return. Bullpen today. Sim game next. Could start next weekend. Rojas also on the field. Nearing return.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) August 16, 2020
The homestand continues Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET with the opener of a four-game series against the Mets. Probable starters are Robert Gsellman and Jordan Yamamoto.
Marlins vs. Braves box score
- Monte Harrison (Marlins)