To call the 2021 Miami Marlins a walking dichotomy thus far would undersell the term itself.
On one hand, the team’s starting pitching boasts a 3.31 ERA, good enough for 7th in all of baseball. On the other, the team’s injured list contains enough names on performance and potential to field a formidable starting rotation in any organization.
Sixto Sánchez is yet to contribute this season due to ongoing shoulder issues and the recently returned Elieser Hernández is already back on the 60-day IL after suffering a right quad strain in his first start since early April.
On Wednesday night, it was Braxton Garrett’s turn to make an impression on the coaching staff. Over 4 innings, the soft-tossing left-hander, whose fastball seldomly reached 91 mph, allowed 2 runs against 5 hits, walking 3.
Colorado would strike first, though, thanks to an RBI-single off the bat of Charlie Blackmon in the top of the 1st. The Rockies would eke out another run off the 25-year old Garrett, this time coming a Yonathan Daza single in the 3rd. The Rockies would eventually carry a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 5th.
Austin Gomber, the big return in the Nolan Arenado trade with St. Louis, allowed 1 run over his 5 innings of work, punching out 5 to earn his 5th win of the season.
Miami inched closer when Adam Duvall took former Marlin Tyler Kinley deep for a two-run home run in the bottom of the 6th, cutting the Rockies’ lead to 1 in what was now a 4-3 ballgame. Kinley, a 16th round draft pick by Miami out of Barry University in 2013, pitched for the team over parts of two seasons from 2018-19, posting a 4.11 ERA (104 ERA+) across 57 innings, respectively.
Unfortunately, the crux to the Marlins’ season thus far has been their offense, as noted by a team OPS+ of 87. In an age where managers bat a blind eye to strikeouts more than ever before, much of this can be offset by the increased propensity of the home run. But for a Marlins team previously characterized by its dichotomous nature, their now 600 strikeouts in 61 games - a mark which ranks last in the National League - fails to be justified given the team ranks 13th in home runs, 55, respectively, across the senior circuit.
While the Duvall longball provided a spark of hope, the Fish would fail to capitalize on that momentum, dropping the matchup 4-3, giving them a 4-13 record this season in one-run games. The Marlins have now gone 17 days without winning consecutive games, having last done so on May 24th when they won their third consecutive game, securing a series victory against the rival New York Mets.
The team would suffer at the hands of a botch instant replay call that should have landed Jazz Chisholm on first base in the 7th, and first baseman Jesús Aguilar’s struggles in loanDepot Park persisted thanks to a dose of bad luck on a line drive that nearly went over the head of right fielder Blackmon, a career liability in the outfield. as evidenced by his -62 DRS (defensive runs saved).
Fast forward to the home half of the 9th, and even a bases-loaded opportunity for Corey Dickerson, who, himself, was thrown out on a botched hit-and-run in the bottom of the 8th, grounded to third to seal the victory for his former team.
Trevor Rogers is slated to start the series finale Thursday against Delray Beach’s own Chi Chi González, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 Eastern. In 4 home starts this season, Rogers owns a 1.71 ERA, limiting hitters to a .173 batting average over 21 innings.