Even a sports betting novice could’ve anticipated that the first-place Mets would be favored in Thursday’s series finale in Miami. The Marlins needed to call up Braxton Garrett to fill in for All-Star Trevor Rogers on the mound and they were determined to give leading run producer Jesús Aguilar his first full game off in weeks.
But thanks to good situational pitching and an eighth-inning rally, the Fish pulled off the upset.
- Rich Hill—5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 26.3 CSW% (80 pitches)
- Braxton Garrett—5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K, 30.9 CSW% (94 pitches)
On his 24th birthday, Garrett was constantly flirting with trouble, beginning in the top of the first by creating a bases-loaded, no-out jam. His back-to-back strikeouts of Dominic Smith and Javier Báez were critical to keeping the scoreless tie intact.
Clutch Braxton Garrett changeup K! Perfect location pic.twitter.com/77iGmEClzP— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 5, 2021
Even by Garrett’s modest standards, his average fastball velocity was underwhelming at 89 miles per hour. He survived that thanks to nasty movement on his sinker and a half-dozen swings-and-misses against his breaking balls.
Lefty-masher Miguel Rojas manufactured the go-ahead run off of Hill in the bottom of the third. He singled and advanced to second on an error, then stole third easily. Jazz Chisholm Jr. brought him home on a sacrifice fly (Chisholm also had two hits in the contest).
Former Marlin Jonathan Villar evened the score in the sixth. David Hess, the first man out of the bullpen, allowed a single to left that Lewis Brinson maybe could’ve played more efficiently to prevent a run.
The Marlins offense finally struck again in the eighth. Jorge Alfaro lined a single to right to make it 2-1, then Brinson redeemed himself with a two-run double. Rough day at the office for Jeurys Familia, who took the L for the Mets.
Anthony Bender recorded the save, but had to pitch around two errors in the ninth (contributing to one unearned run). The Marlins lead MLB with 81 errors in 2021. Making his return from an 80-game PED suspension, rookie Paul Campbell got four huge outs in the middle innings. Báez struck out in each of his five plate appearances, increasing his season total to a major league-high 141.
Today was the third time in club history Marlins pitchers have held an opposing player hitless and struck him out 5 times in a single game.— Marlins Communications (@MarlinsComms) August 5, 2021
Jeff Francoeur - August 28, 2007
Andruw Jones - July 12, 2008
Javy Baez - today
With two-thirds of the season complete, the Marlins have played like a .500 team at LoanDepot Park (27-27). It’s been a much different story away from home: 20-35 record and a minus-23 run differential.
The Fish are now flying out to Denver for a three-game series against the Rockies. Despite both teams’ overall mediocrity, Friday’s opening game features a spicy starting pitching matchup of Sandy Alcantara vs. German Márquez. First pitch at 8:40 p.m. ET.