It had been a tale of two starts for Jesús Luzardo in a Marlins uniform. After a solid start against the Mets in his team debut, Jesús struggled his second time out, this time against the Rockies. He gave up 7 earned runs in 4 and ⅔ innings while only striking out two. He looked to right the ship under the Friday night lights at loanDepot Park against a depleted Cubs team, with Marlins skipper Don Mattingly back in the dugout after a COVID-19 hiatus.
Things didn’t start off well for Luzardo—he walked the first man he faced, then surrendered a two-run home run to David Bote in the top of the first. The Marlins came back with a run of their own in the bottom half, as Miguel Rojas scored on a Jesús Aguilar groundout.
Luzardo continued to struggle with his command in the second, walking two more and allowing a ton of hard contact. He labored through two with 60 pitches and 4 ER allowed. Luckily for him, the Marlins were able to give him a bit of run support.
Adbert Alzolay was on the mound for the Cubs tonight, but he didn’t last long. To begin the second, he loaded the bases thanks to a couple of singles by Brian Anderson and Jorge Alfaro, followed by a walk to Alex Jackson. Newly acquired Bryan De La Cruz, fresh off his first career home run on Wednesday in San Diego, drilled a full count grand slam to give the Marlins the lead. It was the first grand slam hit by a Marlin rookie since Lewis Brinson hit one in Atlanta in 2018.
The Marlins were far from finished in the inning. They loaded the bases yet again and this time, it was Lewis Brinson doing the damage. He stayed hot with a line drive double to the left-center field gap to drive in a couple more. After two more batters, Alzolay was taken out due to left hamstring tightness. He is considered day-to-day.
To cap off the inning, Marlins catcher Alex Jackson hit a 3-run home run into the AutoNation Alley off of Dan Winkler.
Alex JACKED it outta here!!!— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 14, 2021
11-run inning for the Marlins pic.twitter.com/0CSC3fJlgH
The 11-run frame tied a franchise record, matching the mark set in the fifth inning of their June 4, 2019 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Winkler’s final line was 0.0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 0 K.
In the third, the Marlins scored two runs as Aguilar homered with Isan Díaz on base.
While Jesús Luzardo secured his second win as a Marlin, it didn’t go smoothly. He gave up 5 ER over 5 IP, while walking 4. Although he struck out 6, lack of command and home runs continue to plague the left-hander, as he gave up two more tonight. That pushes his total to 15 on the year, giving him 2.4 HR/9.
After two scoreless innings from the Marlins bullpen, the Cubs offense came to life in the top of the 8th. In his 3rd inning of work, Shawn Morimando surrendered a two-run home run to Frank Schwindel. After Morimando allowed another extra-base hit, Mattingly went to David Hess, who promptly gave up the second two-run homer of the inning, making it 14-9. The Cubs scored again in the top of the ninth off Anthony Bender, making the final score 14-10.
The Cubs out-hit the Marlins, 18-12. Ironically, that set a new season high for them despite having recently traded away many of their most impactful offensive players.
The Marlins go into Saturday’s contest 11 GB of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. Zach Thompson will make the start for the Marlins, while the Cubs will send Zach Davies to the hill, attempting to snap the club’s major league-worst nine-game losing streak.
Don Mattingly is back!
Marlins manager Don Mattingly made his return to the team on Friday night and met with the media during batting practice. Donnie was out due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Mattingly was asked to describe his symptoms:
“It was probably mild symptoms for sure. Just felt something in the Friday night game against the Yankees. Wouldn’t have thought anything of it besides someone else testing the day before. Woke up the next day and felt a little funny, took my temperature and I didn’t like that. But the symptoms were pretty mild. A couple of days of mild fever, then after that it was just being stuck at home.”
On Jesús Luzardo: “I haven’t met him yet. But just watching him, it’s the calmness of him. He seems calm. If I was guessing, I would say he’s probably a quiet kid, but you see his stuff, obviously you want to let him experience the big leagues.”
Mattingly also described that he was pretty hands-off during James Rowson’s time managing. “He was trying to keep me in the loop, but he didn’t need to.”
When asked about Jorge Alfaro, Mattingly raved about how well he has swung the bat the last few weeks. “You know, if a guy has two or three good days you’re like okay, but with him it’s turned into a month. And it looks good. You can see his confidence growing.”
- Right-Handed Batter