In game 161 of the 2021 season, the Marlins outlasted the Phillies, 3-1, tying the final series of the year at one game apiece.
Jesús Luzardo, pitching in his 12th and final game as a Marlin in 2021, was as dominant as the Marlins have seen him so far. He kept a potent Phillies lineup at bay all outing long, holding them to one run through 5.1 IP.
The first runs of the game came in the bottom of the third. Luzardo walked to lead off the frame, and Miguel Rojas followed with a sharply hit single up the middle. Jazz Chisholm then smacked his 18th homer of the year, giving the Marlins an early 3-0 lead. The ball traveled 393 feet and left his bat at 107.8 MPH according to Statcast.
Luzardo continued to coast, holding the Phillies scoreless through 4, but ran into a bit of trouble in the 5th. He gave up a pair of hard hit singles, and then Matt Vierling made him pay with an RBI single to left, cutting the lead to 3-1. Also in the 5th, Luzardo got Andrew Knapp swinging for his 9th K of the game, setting a new career high, and then struck out Alec Bohm, also swinging, for K #10.
In the sixth, after Luzardo struck Bryce Harper out, Don Mattingly decided to go to the bullpen.
Luzardo’s sparkling final line was 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 11 K, 0 BB. Definitely his best start of the season, and quite possibly of his career. The difference for Luzardo on Saturday night was getting ahead of batters, which he has had trouble with in his previous starts. He threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 21 Phillie batters he faced—that 85.7% rate was way up compared to his 54.7% average from his previous Marlins starts.
Jesús Luzardo's final start of 2021 ends on a high note with his second K of NL MVP candidate Bryce Harper.— Christina De Nicola (@CDeNicola13) October 3, 2021
5 1/3 IP, 6 H, ER, 11 K (87 pitches, 62 strikes)
Velo range: 81.3-98.3 mph
-- Career high for K
-- No walks!
-- Pitched into sixth in four of final seven starts#Marlins pic.twitter.com/EEs88i0g3g
The Marlins improved to 66-95, while the Phillies dropped to 82-79. Jesús Luzardo can go into the off-season on a high note, and hopefully Pablo López will be able to do the same on Sunday. Game 162 will be played at loanDepot park at 3:10, with all Major League teams playing simultaneously.