From the very first inning on Friday night, you should’ve realized that the Marlins were shit out of luck—their key rookie outfielder, Bryan De La Cruz, got ejected for arguing balls and strikes, while his Tampa Bay counterpart, Randy Arozarena, cleared the bases with a double. The Fish never seriously threatened the Rays at any point en route to an 8-0 loss.
- Edward Cabrera—3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 30.3 CSW% (76 pitches)
- Ryan Yarbrough—6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 25.0 CSW% (80 pitches)
Despite their intimidating record, the Rays are in full-on experimentation mode having already clinched a 2021 postseason berth. They “started” David Robertson, who was pitching in that role for the first time in his 13 major league seasons.
Robertson issued a leadoff walk to Miguel Rojas, but immediately rectified that by picking him off first base. That marked the 21st time a Marlins baserunner has been picked off in 2021, unfortunately establishing a new single-season franchise record.
Robertson, Ryan Yarbrough and Dietrich Enns combined for the shutout. It was the 12th by Tampa Bay’s pitching staff this year and the 13th for Miami’s offense. Jesús Sánchez doubled against his old organization in the fourth inning—no other Marlins player reached base safely after that.
Cabrera needed 40 pitches to escape the opening frame. His fastball velocity dipped from the high-90s to the mid-90s in his subsequent innings. Overall, I was mildly encouraged by his effort, actually. Most of his strikeouts came on well-located heaters. An opponent with less lineup depth than the Rays—which includes most MLB teams—would not have sent him to the showers so soon.
Edward Cabrera welcomes Wander Franco back from the injured list pic.twitter.com/e7irZJDh6f— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 24, 2021
Lefty Sean Guenther surrendered four runs (all earned), elevating his ERA to 7.78. He’s increasingly likely to be outrighted off the 40-man roster over the winter.
Fresh off a hamstring injury, the ultra-talented Wander Franco extended his on-base streak to 40 games with a walk against Zach Thompson. He also made a tasteless move later in the contest, taking third base on defensive indifference when the Rays already had an insurmountable lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Sandy León took the mound for the fifth time during this demoralizing campaign. Keep in mind, no other Marlins position player had ever pitched more than twice in the same season prior to him. Impressively, he stranded Franco in scoring position and made Nelson Cruz his second strikeout victim of 2021.
Sandy Alcantara and Shane McClanahan are the probable starters for Saturday’s game at 6:10 p.m. ET.