Those of us who mocked the Marlins’ decision to start Lewis Brinson in the cleanup spot Monday night were pleasantly stunned to see him almost single-handedly steer the Fish to a series-opening victory over the Mets. Brinson drove in five of the team’s six runs and scored the sixth one himself.
- Tylor Megill—5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 30.9 CSW% (94 pitches)
- Jesús Luzardo—5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 28.6 CSW% (84 pitches)
Brinson stole some of the spotlight from Jesús Luzardo, who made his much-anticipated Marlins debut. The Peruvian-born left-hander was raised in South Florida and estimates that at least 100 of his friends and family members were among the 8,771 in attendance at LoanDepot Park.
Luzardo’s best weapon was his curveball. Half of all opponent swings against it resulted in whiffs and the breaker was put in play only once (a routine flyout off the bat of James McCann).
Overall, Luzardo had 17 swinging strikes, more than any other MLB pitcher in Monday’s games.
Brinson’s grand slam—an opposite-field line drive against Tylor Megill—proved to be sufficient run support for the Fish pitching staff. David Hess and Anthony Bender each contributed scoreless, hitless innings, and when Anthony Bass made a mess in the top of the eighth, Dylan Floro came to his rescue and recorded his third save of the season. Floro has not allowed an earned run since June 14, lowering his ERA from 3.86 to 2.51 during that span.
Credit to Alex Jackson for a solid defensive effort, though he was quiet in the batter’s box in his first career Marlins game (groundout, strikeout, strikeout and lineout in four plate appearances).
As mentioned on the latest Offishial Show episode, Brinson has been doing alright in 2021! It’s not ideal to have him in the heart of your lineup or starting on an everyday basis, but he’s playing at a career-best level at age 27 to merit a major league role (and it’s coinciding with uncharacteristic struggles by Christian Yelich, for whom he was notoriously traded for).
On Tuesday, the Mets will send slumping right-hander Taijuan Walker to the mound. He has allowed five-plus runs in each of his three starts since the All-Star beak. Miami is expected to recall Nick Neidert for his fifth major league stint of the season. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.