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SFG 4, MIA 5; Jesús Sánchez gives Marlins first walk-off win of the year

Sánchez’s sacrifice fly sealed a rare one-run win for the Marlins.

Miami, FL—Pablo López went up against Logan Webb on Saturday in game 3 of the Marlins vs. Giants series. The Marlins got a one-run win when Pablo faced this opponent in San Francisco during the season-opening series. That’s how this matchup unfolded as well.

López began his night by striking out both Mike Yastrzemski and Wilmer Flores on a changeup and a cutter, respectively.

The Giants got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning when Jason Vosler hit a solo home run. It was just the second homer that Pablo has allowed on his changeup this season.

Pablo lacked command of his signature pitch in this start. He wasn’t hitting the strike zone with his changeup or putting it in spots close enough for Giants batters to chase. That contributed to a rising pitch count.

In the top of the fourth inning, Joc Pederson hit a ground-rule double followed by walks of Brandon Crawford and Thairo Estrada. Donovan Walton cleared the bases with an 3-RBI double extending the Giants’ lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, the Marlins offense was being no-hit by Webb until the bottom of the fourth. Then in the fifth, the bats woke up. Avisaíl García had a lead-off single which was followed by a Jesús Sánchez RBI double. Garcia, who isn’t a quick guy, flew from first to home, maxing out with a sprint speed of 26.8 ft/sec. According to Statcast, the double went far enough to be a home run in 20 major league ballparks.

The exciting inning continued. Jon Berti hit a single moving Sánchez to third. Berti then stole second base, allowing Sánchez to score another run for the Marlins on the throw from Giants catcher Joey Bart. What was originally called a steal of home for Sánchez was later changed to an E-2.

The Marlins’ bats kept the chains moving with Jazz Chisholm Jr. earning a walk, which then was followed by a stolen base (number 9 on the season) and a huge Cooper two-run single that tied the game at 4-4.

Although this wasn’t the best start from Pablo Lopez, it was one that still showed his value to the Marlins. He threw 110 pitches, the most of his career in any game.

As for opposing pitcher Logan Webb, he suddenly lost control of what initially looked like a strong outing for him. His overall performance was similar to Pablo’s except for the fact that he did not work deep into the game. It was Webb’s second-shortest start of the season at just 4 23 innings.

Logan Webb Final Line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR, 87 NP (raises ERA to 3.82)

In the bottom of the 9th with the game tied 4-4, Aguilar got a rare infield single to give the Marlins a leadoff baserunner. Then García was hit by a pitch. A balk from Giants star reliever Tyler Rogers moved up the pinch-runner Luke Williams. Only 90 feet away from home with no outs in the inning.

In the perfect spot for a sac fly, that is exactly what happened with Jesús Sánchez at the plate.

Postgame takeaways

Sánchez was asked postgame about what he was looking to do in his final plate appearance against Rogers. His response was as simple as it could be: “I just tried to hit the ball.”

On the field immediately after the game-winning run scored, Miguel Rojas placed a football helmet on Sánchez’s head. Sánchez explained that they want to celebrate their successes with a special item, so they are using the white helmet covered with Marlins stickers.

Fish Stripes original GIF

Pablo was asked about how he felt throughout most of the game, but especially the third time through the Giants lineup. “I really appreciate the trust that Don put on me today,” he said, “letting me go out there for that sixth and seventh inning, just felt great.”

In the top of the second inning, Thairo Estrada hit a liner that deflected off of Pablo. He said it only made contact with his glove and didn’t affect his pitching the rest of the game.

The Marlins leave this game with a 22-29 record (7 games under .500, 4th in the NL East, and 10th in the NL Wild Card race).

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

Sunday’s game is a 1:40 pm start with Jakob Junis on the mound for the Giants. The Marlins haven’t officially announced their starting pitcher because Braxton Garrett is not on the active roster yet. Without directly saying so, Mattingly indicated that Garrett would be the guy in what will be his first Marlins appearance of 2022. He’ll be recalled from the taxi squad prior to the game.