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MIA 2, WSH 7; Campbell, short-handed lineup can’t keep up

The Marlins fall a bit deeper into the NL East cellar.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Nationals was, remarkably, the first time all season where it felt like the Marlins were totally out of the game in the middle innings. Paul Campbell was mediocre in his first MLB start and barely got any help from his defense or lineup.

Campbell faced seven batters in the first inning, surrendering one run. It could’ve been worse—with the bases loaded, he nearly plunked Nats center fielder Andrew Stevenson with a high fastball to force in another run. Stevenson struck out on the next pitch.

Campbell struggled to miss bats, but didn’t allow an extra-base hit until Yan Gomes launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Don Mattingly went to his bullpen later that inning rather than allowing the rookie to face the heart of Washington’s order for a third time.

The move backfired. Ross Detwiler had his worst appearance as a Marlin to date, loading the bases for Josh Bell, who cleared ‘em with a line drive double. That made it a 7-0 deficit which is all but insurmountable for the currently banged-up Fish roster regardless of the quality of pitching they’re facing.

And yet, there were bright spots.

Jesús Aguilar went yard for the sixth time on this road trip. The 400-foot no-doubter was his second-longest batted ball of the season, according to Statcast.


Who gets your vote for Marlin of the Month? (April 2021)

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Jesús Aguilar
    (17 votes)
  • 12%
    Jazz Chisholm Jr.
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    Pablo López
    (1 vote)
  • 48%
    Trevor Rogers
    (23 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

The non-Detwiler relievers—Adam Cimber, Jordan Holloway and John Curtiss—were nearly perfect in four total innings of work. Holloway still hasn’t allowed a run this season, while Curtiss continues to avoid free passes.

Chad Wallach has reached base safely five times in this series, raising his wRC+ to a sorta-respectable 83 wRC+. Defensively, though, opponents are now 10-for-11 on stolen base attempts when he is behind the plate.

Garrett Cooper had the hat trick (0-for-4 with 3 K). He’s had a few thrilling moments like Friday’s extra-inning go-ahead hit, but his season overall continues to be a massive disappointment.

Battling a groin issue, Corey Dickerson entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and grounded out.

Earlier on Saturday, the Marlins announced preliminary rosters for their full-season minor league affiliates. It was revealed that the organization has re-signed right-hander Josh A. Smith to a minor league deal (he’s currently with Triple-A Jacksonville). I think that is a name to watch in the coming weeks who could supplant Campbell on the 40-man and active roster.

Safe to assume that there will be fewer than 9 runs scored in the series finale on Sunday. Emerging star Trevor Rogers and living legend Max Scherzer are the probable starters. First pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Baseball Savant

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Corbin
  2. Under
  3. Over
  4. Yes
  5. Nationals