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MIA 1, TOR 5; Guerrero and Ray squish Fish in series opener

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The Marlins had a front-row seat to see Vlad Jr. in AL MVP form.

A general view of Sahlen Field in the seventh inning of a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Miami Marlin Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday’s matchup between one of baseball’s hardest throwers and one of baseball’s hardest hitters was extremely lopsided in the Marlins’ 5-1 loss to the “Buffalo” Blue Jays. The result dropped the Fish to five games below the .500 mark, matching their low point of the 2021 season.

  • Sandy Alcantara—6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 29.2 CSW% (89 pitches)
  • Robbie Ray—6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 35.4 CSW% (96 pitches)

Sandy Alcantara had his usual elite velocity—averaging 97 miles per hour on his fastball and maxing out at 99.9 mph—and he trusted his secondary pitches. It still wasn’t enough to culminate in a quality start against a deep, powerful Blue Jays lineup.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was a one-man wrecking crew, demonstrating why he’s among the early American League MVP frontrunners. Guerrero’s tape-measure three-run dinger to break the scoreless tie was the first home run at Sahlen Field in 2021 (prior to this series, the Blue Jays had been hosting their opponents in Dunedin, Florida).

Guerrero joined Arizona’s Asdrúbal Cabrera as the only players this year to rack up four hits in a game vs. the Marlins. Three of those came against Alcantara.

Ray relied almost entirely on four-seam fastballs and sharp sliders, throwing 46 apiece. Ray seldom allowed hard contact and improved to a 2.20 earned run average in his 45 career innings pitched facing Marlins batters.

He endured 825 career minor league games and had been waiting four excruciating days since his call-up, but Luis Marte finally made his MLB debut as Miami’s starting second baseman. He became the 40th player to take the field for the Marlins this season. He struck out meekly against Ray in the top of the third inning, but then drew a walk in the fifth and came around to score on Starling Marte’s double.

Perfectly encapsulating what I mentioned in Tuesday’s Eduardo Escobar trade proposal article and reiterated on Wednesday’s podcast, the Marlins ran out of competent hitters to use. Luis Marte was due up with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth, and Don Mattingly’s choice for a pinch-hitter was...neophyte José Devers?! It is unrealistic to expect satisfactory offensive production from this team unless the front office finds another bonafide major league infielder to fill the Miguel Rojas/Brian Anderson void.

There’s another attractive pitching matchup on deck for Wednesday’s series finale, with Pablo López facing off against Blue Jays top prospect Alek Manoah. First pitch at 7:07 p.m. ET.


Win Probability Chart - Marlins @ Blue Jays Baseball Savant

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Push
  2. Over
  3. Over
  4. Yes
  5. Blue Jays