The same day in which the Marlins agreed to a trade that saw center fielder Starling Marte - the team’s most valuable position player in terms of WAR - headed to the Oakland Athletics for the local boy Jesús Luzardo, the Miami bats continued their recent surge that commenced near the tail-end of the series against the Padres.
Come the bottom of the 4th inning and the now Marte-less Fish had gotten out to a 7-5 lead, aided by Jesús Aguilar’s 18th home run of the season. Aguilar’s 3 RBI Wednesday night extended his NL-leading RBI total to 75.
Jesus Aguilar - Miami Marlins (18) pic.twitter.com/5RPNDnPeoX— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) July 28, 2021
But while 7 runs continue the needle upward for the Marlins’ bats, it was the routinely commendable pitching that proved the crux to securing a series sweep in Baltimore. The result? An 8-7 loss following a walk-off walk by Ryan McKenna.
Ryan McKenna walk off walk— Awesemo Odds (@AwesemoOdds) July 29, 2021
Orioles (-128) were down 5-0 early in the game but come back and get the win pic.twitter.com/7kBVN94V3U
Of note was the 9 walks surrendered by Marlins’ pitching, marking the 2nd time they’ve allowed that many free passes in a single game this past week. Ironically, Miami’s last 9 walk game also resulted in a one-run loss, 3-2 against the Padres on July 22nd. With the loss, the Fish now fall to 10-22 in one-run games this season.
Wednesday’s starter Jordan Holloway, who entered play averaging 5.9 BB9 in 33 2⁄3 innings pitched this season, walked 4 in his 2.1 innings before leaving having allowed 5 runs. Baltimore catcher Pedro Severino and designated hitter Trey Mancini tagged Holloway for home runs in the 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
As for Steven Okert, who'd been to a sub-2 ERA in 10 appearances before Wednesday, the same command issues that have clinically plagued Holloway reared their head to his misfortune, as the right-hander walked 4 in the bottom of the 9th to set up Baltimore’s win.
After the 4th inning, Baltimore pitching held Miami scoreless for the next 5 innings, despite a first-and-second no-out situation in the top of the 9th. A failed bunt attempt by Lewis Brinson and fielder’s choice by Magneuris Sierra—who manager Don Mattingly noted will likely get the first look at the center fielder’s job in the wake of the Marte trade—made for commonplace considering the team left 12 men on base in this game.
By the time Miami takes to the field on Friday night at loanDepot Park to begin a weekend series against Mattingly’s old employer, the New York Yankees, the Marlins roster may look considerably different. Beyond the news of the Marte-Luzardo swap, Miami also traded their closer, Yimi García, to the Houston Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Bryan De La Cruz.
- Jordan Holloway