To call the Marlins’ bats anemic over the last handful of games would be among the more generous adjectives to throw around about their offensive production. Since May 25th, the team has hit a collective .213/.312/.258, scoring just 10 runs in the stretch while striking out in 27.3-percent of their plate appearances. It, too, should come as no surprise that the team is 1-4 in the span, dropping to 5 games under .500 at 24-29.
So, when the team responded with a season-best 4 home runs in Wednesday’s victory over the Blue Jays, one would’ve thought the recent 4 game losing streak was bound to be put to bed.
Hold off on that thought.
Of the 4 long balls - courtesy of Corey Dickerson, Jazz Chisholm, Jesús Aguilar, and Starling Marté - Aguilar’s would prove the most significant, as his 3rd inning solo shot would prove, for the majority of the night, the deciding blow in this game. Aguilar’s home run was also his first since May 12th, a stretch where the first baseman had hit just .183 (11-60).
Entering the bottom of the 9th with a 5-3 lead, Mattingly turned to closer Yimi García in what was his first appearance in 6 days.
Singles to Reese McGuire and AL Player of the Month Marcus Semien set the stage for Bo Bichette, having already struck out 3 times earlier in the night. Bichette’s bases-clearing triple would tie the game at 5, giving García his second blown save in 11 opportunities.
Intentional walks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernández were calculated risks that followed in an attempt to set up a force-play at home, which Miami would successfully pull off against Randal Grichuk for the first out.
However, a Joe Panik fly ball, which the center fielder Marté dropped in almost casual fashion, would send Toronto home victorious, handing the Marlins their 5th consecutive loss in a 6-5 final.
Miami is now 24-30, marking the second time this season they’ve fallen 6 games under .500, and the first since their 1-7 start. The loss also continues the narrative of the Marlins’ inability to win one-run games, as the team is now 4-11 in such contests this season.
As for a bright spot on the mound, Pablo López set a new career-high with 9 strikeouts, but only lasted 4 innings after throwing 90 pitches and allowing 2 runs, both coming via solo home runs off the bat of Grichuk.
In relief of Lopez, Anthony Bender, Richard Bleier, Anthony Bass, and Dylan Floro would patch together 4 innings of 6 strikeout ball, allowing 1 unearned run at the hands of a ball that coraled off of Chisholm’s glove in the 7th.
The Fish will look to hit the reset button on Thursday as they head to Pittsburgh to begin a four-game series against the Pirates, a team 14 games under .500. As of now, Elieser Hernández is tentatively scheduled to make his return to the rotation in Thursday’s opener. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since April 3rd when he left with biceps inflammation.