What is right is right: Humberto Mejía is just not fully prepared to become a full-time MLB starter in a five or six-man rotation. On Sunday afternoon, in game four of a five-game series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Mejía allowed a season-high four runs on seven hits in 3 2⁄3 innings of work, resulting in a whopping 9-3 Miami defeat, dropping the Marlins back to the .500 mark through 22 games (11-11).
Mejía should bow down to Lewis Brinson for saving two runs in the opening inning. Facing Juan Soto with a runner on first and one away, Soto blasted a 395-foot fly out, in which Brinson had to fully extend his body to make a leaping grab over the center field wall.
The home run robbery was reminiscent of another catch he made at Marlins Park in 2018.
2018 Brinson | 2020 Brinson— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 23, 2020
Who did it better? pic.twitter.com/91ugIbXlMH
A batter later, however, Howie Kendrick produced an RBI double to score Trea Turner, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 advantage.
Corey Dickerson, who homered last night in game two of a day-night doubleheader, belted a leadoff home run in the second off former Marlin Aníbal Sánchez. The veteran right-hander brushed off that mistake and picked up the victory Sunday after pitching seven masterful innings of one-run ball.
The Nationals poured it on from there, busting the contest open with a five-run fifth against rookie Sterling Sharp, which featured a two-run triple from leadoff hitter Trea Turner. Four of those were earned runs charged to Sharp, who’s now saddled with a 10.13 ERA.
There were some positives to take away from Sunday’s blowout loss. Left-hander Brandon Leibrandt made his Major League Baseball debut and threw four scoreless frames, giving up a hit, a walk and striking out one, too. It was a great achievement for the former Phillies farmhand and a debut unlike any other in Marlins history. Catcher Brian Navarreto also debuted and collected two hits (both singles).
Jesús Sánchez, Miami’s fifth-ranked prospect, smacked his first career hit in the ninth to cut the deficit to six. Coming into today, Sánchez was 0-for-7 with four punchouts.
With all hope of winning already gone, Dickerson had an awkward collision with the left field wall in foul territory and was removed from the game. Fortunately, he was diagnosed with a simple left shoulder bruise. Speaking postgame, he hoped to be back in the lineup tomorrow.
The four-day, five-game series will conclude tomorrow night, as right-hander Pablo López will take the mound for the fifth time in 2020. In his last start vs. the New York Mets at Marlins Park Aug. 19, López took a no-decision, striking out five hitters in 6 1⁄3 innings.
Marlins vs. Nationals box score