Miami, FL—It has become far too common of a sighting for the Miami Marlins, especially when facing the New York Mets: an anemic offense against any pitcher who takes the mound.
The latest pitcher to dog walk the Marlins was Carlos Carrasco. On Saturday, the 35-year-old pitched eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits.
Carrasco came into Saturday with a 4.07 ERA. Among the five Mets pitchers with at least 10 starts this year, his ERA is the worst. When Jacob deGrom rejoins the team next week, Carrasco will likely become their fifth starter. And the Marlins made him look like a Cy Young candidate.
Of the Marlins’ four hits on Saturday, Charles Leblanc, making his MLB debut, had the only extra base hit, a double in the eighth inning. Leblanc went 1-for-3, and had a great diving stop at third base to throw out Tomás Nido.
Leblanc told media after the game that he found out Monday night that he’d be starting, and 13 of his friends and family members made the trip from the Montreal, Canada area to see him play Saturday. He added there will be more coming into town on Sunday.
“I didn’t really feel pressure,” Leblanc said. “After my first at bat, my heart was racing like crazy. So I told myself to calm down, just see, and hit. I had a pretty good second at-bat building to that 3rd one where I got a good pitch to hit.”
Speaking of debuts, Marlins starting pitcher Nick Neidert made his first start of the 2022 season on Saturday. He last pitched in the Majors last August, was designated for assignment this past April outrighted to Triple-A Jacksonville, and now finds himself back in the Marlins rotation after Trevor Rogers was placed on the IL with a back injury on July 29 (retroactive to July 26).
Against a Mets offense that ranks in the top 10 in most offensive categories, Neidert was solid. In five innings, he only gave up two runs—a solo home run to Jeff McNeil and a single by Francisco Lindor that scored Nido.
Lindor had a solo home run of his own in the eighth inning. Saturday was Puerto Rican Heritage Night, with 16,655 people in attendance. Lindor, a native of Puerto Rico, was met with loud cheers upon taking the field and hitting his home run later in the game.
Most impressive was the zero walks allowed by Neidert. He had a BB/9 of 5.8 last season.
Kim Ng’s Press Conference
The Marlins and Mets will face off again Sunday at 1:40 p.m. Pablo López is slated to make that start, and that “it was always going to be Pablo,” despite the recent trade rumors surrounding him. That, of course, is subject to change.
Another Mets win would sweep the series as well as clinch the season series.