The Marlins entered the final game of their three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies looking to win back-to-back-to-back series for the first time since April. The only time they accomplished this feat in 2022 was when they beat the Braves, Nats, and Mariners.
Pablo López had been lined up to go on Wednesday, but the Marlins pushed him back to fully recover from his right wrist contusion. Instead, Daniel Castano made his 2022 season debut as a starter (previously made relief appearances) against Kyle Gibson.
In the bottom of the 4th, Daniel Castano got himself into a jam, only to be saved by Nick Fortes, Miguel Rojas and their spectacular strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play. Rojas had to jump to receive the throw and tagged Alec Bohm on the helmet while he was still in the air.
The Miami offense broke up the scoreless tie in the top of the 5th when Rojas banged a solo home run off the left field foul pole. The quality of contact was not even a “barrel” as defined by Statcast. Rojas snuck it over the wall with an exit velocity of 92.5 MPH, the lowest for any Marlins homer since Statcast measurements began in 2015 (excluding inside-the-parkers).
It counted for a run just the same.
The Phillies trailed throughout most of the game thanks to the “Italian Stallion,” Daniel Castano. The big left-hander had not been pitching too well with AAA Jacksonville overall, but he shined brightly against a hot MLB offense.
Castano pitched to contact and threw 68.6% of his pitches for strikes. He leaned heavily on his cutter (54.3% usage), a weapon that was barely part of his pitch mix in the past. He kept his composure and relied on ground balls and fly balls, trusting his defense. Castano only racked up 3 strikeouts. His lack of velocity was far different from what the Phillies saw the other games of this series—started by Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Rogers—and they weren’t able to adjust.
Castano gave the Marlins everything they could have hoped for. He even reached a career high in pitches thrown and innings pitched so that Don Mattingly could turn the game over to his most trusted relievers.
Besides the home run that starter Kyle Gibson gave up, he was phenomenal, going 8-plus innings and striking out 6 without walking anyone. Much like Castano, Gibson was able to keep most of his pitches in the zone. He also received some double play help from the Phillies defense, less than 24 hours after they choked the night before.
Kyle Gibson Final Line: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR, 89 NP, 4.04 ERA
One player in particular who deserves some credit is Nick Fortes. His double in the second inning traveled 370 feet—even farther than the Miguel Rojas home run—and could have driven in a run had Al Pedrique waved Rojas around third base.
Behind the plate, Fortes blocked 11 pitches in the dirt without allowing any wild pitches, threw out 2 runners attempting to steal and framed fairly well.
In the bottom of the 9th with the game 1-0, Tanner Scott was called upon to convert his 6th save of the season. Everybody on the Phillies worked deep counts against him. Alec Bohm singled followed by a J.T. Realmuto walk, but Scott struck out Didi Gregorius and Yairo Muñez to get within an out of victory.
With men on first and second, Scott matched up with backup catcher Garrett Stubbs. He threw his signature slider in a 2-2 count—the only issue is that it spun right down the middle of the strike zone. Stubbs crushed it for a walk-off three-run homer to win the game and the series.
In Don Mattingly’s press conference, he was asked about Tanner Scott.
“He just got a pitch, looks like he left it up,” Mattingly said. “I thought he got away from his fastball a little bit, kind of got predictable.”
He plans to continue using Scott as the Marlins closer.
Don Mattingly’s postgame press conference:
The Marlins look to bounce back from this disappointing series loss in Queens, New York as they face off against the New York Mets who are at the top of the NL East. The Marlins are now 28-33 (4th place in the NL East and 6th in the NL Wild Card standings).
The series begins on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET.