It was not Max Meyer on the mound for Miami at loanDepot Park on Tuesday. Rather, right-hander Cody Poteet made his first start of the season against the lowly Washington Nationals. So far in 2022, Poteet had thrown 16.1 innings out of the bullpen, and allowed just one earned run. He went up against Joan Adon in the second game of the series.
The Marlins beat the Nats by a score of 5-1, and have now won their first 5 contests against Washington. It’s been more than a decade since the last streak like that in Miami’s favor.
Before the game, Marlins manager Don Mattingly hinted at Poteet being pretty stretched out already, having gone multiple innings in most of his appearances, including 4 shutout innings pitched on May 10th in Arizona. In his first start of the season and the 8th of his career, Poteet excelled once again. He threw 4 2⁄3 innings, during which he surrendered one 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs, and struck out 4.
Poteet was surprisingly pulled at 54 pitches, resulting in a final line unlike anything we’ve ever seen from a Marlins starter. Postgame, Donnie said Poteet was dealing with a thumbnail issue, and that’s why he had to leave the game a little early.
With one man on base for the Nats, Anthony Bender came into the game and got the final out of the 5th, stranding his inherited runner and preserving the scoreless tie. During the pitching change, the fire alarm at loanDepot Park went off, causing a small delay in the action.
We pause the game to bring you this important message from your local fire alarm. pic.twitter.com/HK1nyvPYYH— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) May 18, 2022
Perhaps the alarm was a warning for what would happen in the bottom of the fifth, as Miguel Rojas led off the inning with a blast to left, giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The ball left his bat at 102.7 mph and traveled 394 feet.
After Jesús Aguilar smacked a single with two outs, it was the Nationals’ turn to go to the bullpen. Former Marlin Steve Cishek came into the game to finish the fifth, retiring Garrett Cooper and completing Joan Adon’s line.
After entering the game for an injured Bryan De La Cruz (right forearm contusion), Jesús Sánchez blasted a home run to right-center in the bottom of the sixth, extending Miami’s lead to 2-0. The homer was particularly welcome since Sanchez had been in the midst of a major slump, slashing .095/.111/.285 in his last 19 games.
For the third inning in a row, Miami scored again in the 7th. After Rojas led the inning off with a ringing double, Erik González reached on an E1 trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Then, both baserunners scored on multiple throwing errors by the Nationals, extending Miami’s lead to 4-0.
The Nationals were able to manufacture a run in the top of the eighth, but Tanner Scott mitigated the damage, keeping the score 4-1.
Catcher Jacob Stallings got that run right back for the Marlins, adding an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th.
Scott came back out in the top of the 9th and struck out Yadiel Hernández, but after walking Keibert Ruiz, Scott was pulled in favor of Cole Sulser. He finished the game for the Marlins, as they won 5-1. Miami improved to 17-19 on the season, and 5-0 against the Nationals, who fell to 12-26. Anthony Bender was the winning pitcher, Joan Adon the loser.
Coming into the 2022 season, the Marlins hadn’t swept the Nationals since 2015. They now look to sweep them for the second time this season on Wednesday night, with Pablo Lopez on the bump.