The Marlins' final road game of the year would look to see them play the spoiler character the remainder of their season has anointed them.
While they would ultimately outlast the Brewers 4-3 in 12 innings, the victory would be anything but a cakewalk in the 4 hours and 12 minutes it took to complete. With the loss, Milwaukee’s magic number to eliminated from playoff contention is down to 1.
In his final start of the season, Pablo López was the villain the Brewers’ bats couldn’t get a read on.
Shutting down Milwaukee - a team currently in the thick of the NL Wild Card race with the Philadelphia Phillies - over the course of 7 scoreless innings, López crossed the 180-inning threshold for the first time in his career. The Marlins right-hander punched out 7 while limiting the damage to the tune of 2 hits and 3 walks.
Some hugs for Pablo López after exiting his final start of the season @Marlins | #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/aHV7LUroW4— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) October 2, 2022
Like Miami though, the Brewers' proclivity for struggling to score runs is juxtaposed by great pitching acumen. Freddy Peralta held the Marlins scoreless in his 4 innings of work, striking out 4. He would be followed by 1.1 shutout frames from Hoby Miler before Justin Topa closed out the 6th.
With the scoreboard consisting of goose eggs in the top of the 7th, an old friend of American Family Field, Avisaíl García, doubled leading off the inning. Following a Bryan De La Cruz single that hit off the foot of Topa, manager Craig Counsel made the call for Taylor Rogers.
Pinch-hitting for the recently recalled Jesús Sánchez, Peyton Burdick would put Miami on the board with an RBI single.
The Fish would extend their lead to 2-0 later in the inning with Jacob Stallings sacrifice fly.
Scratching out a run in the 8th off of Richard Bleier, Mattingly would turn to Dylan Floro for a potential four-out save.
Milwaukee’s penchant for late-inning heroics has been a key contributing factor in how they’ve sustained contention this late into the 2022 season.
Entering the bottom of the 9th, an inning where the Brewers entered play Sunday with a .873 OPS, the best of any individual inning for them this year, one-out doubles from Hunter Renfore and Kolten Wong would force extras, ultimately saddling López with a no-decision for his efforts.
Even a Joey Wendle go-ahead RBI single and throw home to get the would-be tying run in Luis Urías in the 10th weren’t enough to put Milwaukee away, as they’d again even the score thanks to Willy Adames’s 97th RBI of the season.
It’d take until the 12th inning and a single off the bat of Miguel Rojas that would prove the game-winning hit before Tanner Scott held the Brewers’ bats at bay in bottom half to collect his 20th save of the season.
Heading home, Miami begins its last series of the season and last under the leadership of skipper Don Mattingly Monday where they’ll take on the Atlanta Braves. Jesús Luzardo (3-7, 3.53 ERA) enters his final start of the season 5.2 innings shy of his first 100-inning season in the Majors. Atlanta has yet to announce their starter ahead of Monday’s 6:40 E opener.
- López finishes the 2022 season having completed at least 7 innings in 8 of his 32 starts. The right-hander wraps up with exactly 180 innings pitched. His 32 starts along with teammate Sandy Alcantara make for the first time since 2014 where Miami has had two or more pitchers make 32-plus starts.
- López became the 17th different Marlins pitcher and 24th individual season to finish the year with at least 180 innings pitched and an ERA no higher than 3.75.
- Should they win out the rest of the season, Miami will clinch their first 70-win season since 2017. The team concluded the year 35-46 in road games.