Inconsistency has come to encapsulate this year’s version of the Miami Marlins.
After playing spirited baseball in taking 3 of 4 from the then-first-place New York Mets, the temporarily emotionally spirited Fish rolled into Colorado. The results the first two nights? Well, you read this piece’s opening line.
Friday saw the Marlins’ pitching give Colorado two touchdowns to play in a 14-2 loss, with Sandy Alcantara turning in the worst performance of his career allowing 10 runs in 4 innings of work. In Friday’s loss, Alcantara’s season WAR, according to baseball-reference, fell from 2.5 to 1.6 (-0.9). Saturday would mark the second appearance of recently acquired Jesús Luzardo, only to see him allow 7 earned runs over 4.2 innings in Miami’s 7-4 loss.
And with Sunday’s series finale being a scheduled bullpen day, David Hess, the 17th pitcher to start a game for the Marlins this season, was tasked with the role of tone-setter. Unfortunately for Hess, 7 runs in an inning-plus of work wasn’t exactly the kind of tone he or the club wished to set in what would turn out to be a 13-8 loss for Miami.
Hess’ nightmare outing saw him serve up three long balls, most notably to first baseman C.J. Cron, himself two days removed from a two-home run, four-RBI night on Friday.
C.J. Cron - Colorado Rockies (17) 3-run. pic.twitter.com/04nMPqpVt9— MLB HR Tracker (@hr_mlb) August 8, 2021
Cron would later add a grand slam in the 4th, breaking the lead open to 11-1, giving the Colorado first baseman 13 RBI over the weekend series.
C.J. Cron has 7 RBI through 4 innings. pic.twitter.com/TyPqJcCVoh— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2021
The Marlins didn’t go without a fight Sunday, though, as the team strung together 6 extra-base hits in the Mile High city. Catcher Alex Jackson and first baseman Jesús Aguilar each hit home runs, with the latter being the second time in his career in which he has hit 20 or more in a season.
Jesús Aguilar homers in the 9th for his 3rd hit and 3rd RBI of the day!— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) August 8, 2021
His 20th HR and 78th RBI of the season‼️@Marlins | #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/PuRUfyVqTn
Easily the most encouraging narrative amidst another string of helpless play by the team is the offensive surge courtesy of Lewis Brinson.
“Lou is a guy who can impact the baseball...and I expect that, but right now, I’m incredibly happy with where he’s at,” said interim manager James Rowson.
According to Aram Leighton of Locked On Marlins, Brinson owns a .400/.423/.680 slash line over his last 7 games. In Sunday’s loss, the outfielder went 2-4, doubling in a pair of runs off of Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland.
Lewis Brinson is one of the hottest hitters in the league.— jeremy taché (@jeremytache) August 8, 2021
This is such a fun stretch he’s put together. pic.twitter.com/r92fpoUvrJ
Beyond the bullpen game - something that has become more of a sport-wide universal - Sunday’s loss featured a few quirks visible by a glance at the box score.
With shortstop Miguel Rojas being ejected for arguing balls and strikes and with the team playing with a short bench, third baseman Brian Anderson was moved to shortstop - a position he had never played in his professional career. The prior-mentioned Alex Jackson would make his first career appearance in the outfield, replacing Bryan De La Cruz in the bottom of the 8th.
Jorge Alfaro would also leave the game due to shortness of breath. Alfaro, primarily a catcher, was making his 4th career start in left field Sunday before being replaced by Magnerius Sierra.
With Miami leaving Colorado having surrendered 11 home runs and now having dropped six consecutive meetings at Coors Field, things don’t get any easier Monday as they head to San Diego where they’ll begin a three-game series against the Padres. First pitch for Monday’s game is set for 10:10 Eastern.