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MIA 4, PHI 2: Late Game Heroics Push Fish to Victory

Berti and Devers’ 8th inning singles helped Miami to victory amidst another strong performance by the pitching staff.

Miami Marlins relief pitcher Yimi Garcia (93) celebrates with catcher Jorge Alfaro (38) after winning the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at loanDepot Park.  Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

A night after being shut out by Vince Velasquez and co., the Marlins’ bats had their work cut out for them with the task of facing Aaron Nola.

The 2018 All-Star has been among the sport’s more underappreciated arms, boasting the 2nd highest rWAR (17.4) among all pitchers since the start of 2018.

Nola would be as advertised over his 6 innings of work, striking out 6 against just 2 hits, walking 3 and limiting the Fish to 1 run.

Miami would counter with Nick Neidert, himself making his return to the Major Leagues. Neidert - who had 6.75 ERA over 12 innings pitched with Miami this season - had recently been selected from AAA Jacksonville, where he fared much better to the tune of a 1.13 ERA.

The crux to Neidert thus far, though, has been the lack of command, as the rookie right-hander had a worrisome 8.3 BB9 to this point in the 2021 season.

Consistently sitting 91-93 with his fastball, Neidert limited the Phillies to 1 run over 4 innings, though he did walk 2 while striking out 3.

“I felt like he mixed good tonight...He got his change up over, got his breaking ball in, which made for a decent mix of everything,” said manager Don Mattingly.

The Phillies, who won Tuesday’s game despite etching out just 2 runs on 2 hits off of Sandy Alcantara over 8 innings, were again, held to a two-spot on Wednesday.

First baseman Rhys Hoskins, who delivered the eventual game-deciding home run in Tuesday’s loss, drove in Jean Segura for the Phillies’ second run with a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning, giving them a 2-1 lead they would carry into the bottom of the 8th.

A two-run single off the bat of Jon Berti would give the Fish a 3-2 lead. Prior to the hit, Berti, who made an error attempting to backhand a ball in what would lead to the Hoskins’ sac-fly, fouled off 5 pitches registerted 98-mph+ off of Sam Coonrod.

Jon Berti v. Sam Coonrod, 26 May 2021

Berti stole second on the first pitch of José Devers’ at-bat, and the rookie made it matter with an RBI-single, giving Miami a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish. Devers became the youngest Marlins position player to record a multi-hit game since Giancarlo Stanton (2011). Ironically, the franchise acquired Devers from the Yankees as part of the compensation for Stanton in their December 2017 blockbuster trade.

With news of the injury to third baseman Brian Anderson, who will reportedly miss several weeks following a left-shoulder subluxation—similar to the injury that cost Fernando Tatís Jr. time the previous month—Berti is expected to see a bulk of the playing time at third in Anderson’s absence.

Another candidate on the active roster who could, and already has seen time at the position in the wake of Anderson’s injury, is Isan Díaz, who, himself, was reinstated to coincide with Anderson being placed on the Injured List.

Díaz moved over to third from his usual second base in the 8th inning, even making a strong, accurate throw on the run to end the inning. At the plate, the former Brewers’ prospect would go 0-2 with 2 walks, having a home run taken away from him at the hands of center fielder Odúbel Herrera that would have tied the game in the 6th.

Closer Yimi García would bounce back from a leadoff hit-by-pitch to retire the side in order, striking out Matt Joyce and Andrew McCuthcen to earn his 9th save of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.31. Garcīa’s scoreless 9th would highlight 5 innings of 1 run ball pitched by the bullpen on Wednesday, though the one run charged to Anthony Bender would be unearned due to the aforementioned Berti error.

The Marlins are now 24-28 in games ending in 2-runs or less since 2020, per Bally Sports Network.

Miami will conclude the four-game series Thursday, hoping to reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 17th. Pablo López gets the ball against rookie Spencer Howard in what is slated to be a 12:10 Eastern start.

Miami Marlins (4), Philadelphia Phillies (2), Win Probability Chart, 26 May 2021

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