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MIA 2, LAA 6; Marlins let go of the rope early

This one was not worth staying up late for.

Jesus Sanchez #7 of the Miami Marlins runs after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

No Mike Trout, no problem for the Angels on Monday. Fellow outfielders Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell combined to drive in all six of their runs. The Marlins began their 2022 regular season with back-to-back-to-back closely contested games, but this one broke the streak.

I had been unfamiliar with umpire Nick Mahrley entering Monday night. He made his presence felt in the very first inning.

Even with Trout scratched from the starting lineup due to an upset stomach, Elieser Hernandez was laboring early. The right-hander thought he had tiptoed out of trouble in the bottom of the first after freezing Max Stassi on a 3-2 fastball that caught plenty of the plate. But Mahrley saw it differently and awarded Stassi a free base.

On the next pitch—another fastball—Marsh smacked a three-run homer out to center field.

Leading off the following inning, Adell padded the lead to 4-0 with a long ball of his own.

Since the start of 2021, Hernandez has allowed a slugging percentage of nearly .700 on plate appearances ending with his heater. According to Baseball Savant, that’s the worst mark in the National League (min. 100 PA).

It was difficult to set expectations for Michael Lorenzen. Dating back to 2016, he had started more major league games as an outfielder than a pitcher (the Reds preferred him as a reliever).

In his Angels debut, the Southern California native delivered one of the best outings of his career. Lorenzen retired 18 of the 20 Marlins batters he faced.

Sunday’s game in San Francisco was frustrating because the Marlins wasted 11 hits with poor execution in “clutch” situations and their inability to clear the fence. This series opener saw them wind up with the same run production output, but for different reasons. With the exception of a Joey Wendle double, Jesús Sánchez received zero help from his teammates.

Sánchez put Miami on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Lorenzen intended to throw him a cutter on the inside corner. Instead, it stayed near the middle of the zone, and the 24-year-old barreled it.

Again, Sánchez capitalized on a missed location in the ninth. He deposited Raisel Iglesias’ fastball over the high right-center field wall at Angel Stadium to make the margin of defeat a teency bit more respectable.

Remember last season when Sánchez had a long COVID-related absence? In 44 total games since returning from that, he has 13 homers. Whatever you may think about his fielding or his overall plate approach, that is an All-Star-caliber pace.

Some other miscellaneous notes from Monday’s game:

  • Mahrley ejected Don Mattingly in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Mattingly has been tossed at least once in each of his 12 seasons as a big league manager.
  • Cody Poteet made his first appearance of 2022 in relief of Hernandez. His fastball velocity averaged 94 miles per hour and he utilized the slider as his go-to secondary pitch. Poteet was the only Marlins pitcher who was able to get Marsh out.
  • Garrett Cooper stayed in the whole game at designated hitter after suffering a left wrist contusion the day before.

Left-handers Jesús Luzardo and Patrick Sandoval are the probable starters for Tuesday’s Marlins road trip finale at 7:07 p.m. ET. Mattingly hinted that he might stay away from using Avisaíl García (back tenderness) until the team arrives home.

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Comments

Win Probability Chart - Marlins @ Angels - 2022-04-11 Baseball Savant