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MIA 2, SD 3: A Familiar Face, A Familiar Fate

Rogers is encouraging, Jazz remains smooth, but old friend Alfaro has the last laugh.

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

If Marlins’ starter Trevor Rogers does in fact turn around his season, May 8, 2022, may just be the date he remembers most from this calendar year.

On Mother’s Day Sunday, the 24-year-old entered play with a 6.14 ERA and league-leading 4 losses. Fast forward 93 pitches through 5 scoreless innings, and the potential Rogers turnaround may have just begun.

At the outset, though, it appeared more of the same for Rogers, with 4 of the first 5 hitters reaching 3 ball counts. 7 Padres hitters would see 3 ball counts on the day, albeit with just 3 hits and 2 walks to show for it.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Miami, as the Fish would lose a 3-2 heartbreaker. With the loss, the Marlins fall, again, to two-game under .500, and down to 3rd place in the NL East.

“It felt like everything went away until the last pitch of the game,” said a stunned-looking Don Mattingly.

Opposing Rogers, Joe Musgrove, who authored the franchise’s first no-hitter last season, authored 7 strong innings of his own, striking out a season-best 8, while also throwing a season-high 108 pitches.

A Garrett Cooper sacrifice fly and Jazz Chisholm solo home run would prove all Miami could muster offensively.

In relief of Rogers, Miami got scoreless outings from the two Anthony’s - Bender and Bass - as well as Steven Okert.

For the 9th, Miami turned to Cole Sulser, and after a strikeout of Austin Nola to start the inning, it appeared the Fish were set to walk away from San Diego with a series split. Sulser would then allow a single to Jurickson Profar before aiding in a tremendous play. On a groundball hit by center fielder Trent Grisham, an errant Joey Wendle throw would be recovered by Miguel Rojas, and flipped over to third where Sulser would wind up applying the tag to get out a sliding Profar.

A C.J. Abrams single to keep the Frias alive would bring a familar face to the plate, Jorge Alfaro. One pitch and 449 feet later, and the Padres would go home the victors, 3-2, snapping a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings by Marlins’ pitching.

“You see Jorgie (Alfaro) come up, and you know he’s dangerous,” uttered Mattingly.

“It’s a frustrating way to end the series, especially when your guys go out there and do their job for 8 innings,” said a noticably upset Sulser.

Looking Ahead

The Fish will continue their West Coast road trip Monday when they travel to Arizona to begin a three-game set against the Diamondbacks. The series will make for Miami’s 14th, 15th, and 16th consecutive games without a day off. The D-Backs, who recently swept Miami in a series of succeeding one-run losses, will send out Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 4.12 ERA), while Miami will counter with Elieser Hernández (2-1, 6.66 ERA), who looks to get back on track after 13 runs over his last 13.2 IP (8.56 ERA). First pitch is slated for 9:40 Eastern.

Of Note

  • Walk on the Wild Side: Sunday marked the 2nd time in Rogers’ career that he’d gone five consecutive starts of at least 2 or more walks. The left-hander last did it between 05/02-05/24/21, when he walked 12 over 28.2 innings. Rogers has walked 12 in this stretch as well, though only in 22 innings of work in which he owns a 5.32 ERA.
  • Anthony Bender, who began the year as the team’s primary closer, pitched 1-2-3 6th inning Sunday. Prior to that outing, the sinker-baller Bender had a 5.06 ERA and allowed an opponent OPS of .805 in 10.2 innings in the 6th.
  • It’s Alive!: After starting the season hitting just .171 with a .433 OPS over his first 11 games through April 20th, Jesús Aguilar’s bat has awoken from a slumber that began late last season. Since the start of play on April 21th, the club’s first baseman has gone 20-60 (.333) with 7 extra base hits - including a pair doubles on Sunday.
Miami Marlins (2) @ San Diego Padres (3), Win Probability Graph, 8 May 2022