Walk. Error. Double. Walk. Wild pitch. Walk. Single. Single. I have watched more than 1,000 innings of Miami Marlins baseball in 2022, but can’t remember any of them beginning with a sequence like that, especially not with the Fish at the plate. Miami’s fifth-inning rally completely flipped around Tuesday night’s game, pushing across eight runs and culminating in a 10-6 victory.
Early on, there were no indications that this would be a high-scoring contest. Starting pitchers Braxton Garrett and Jon Gray—both of them newly activated from the injured list—looked fresh their first time through the opposing lineups.
The Marlins manufactured a run in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on a missed catch error by Nathaniel Lowe. Jon Berti stole second base and scored on Joey Wendle’s single.
Gray was practically flawless outside of that. His final line is one that I imagine has rarely been recorded in MLB history, made possible by his combination of effectiveness and conservative pitch limit: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K. He threw 39 of 45 pitches for strikes, a preposterous 86.7% rate.
Garrett’s scoreless performance was ruined by a game-tying Josh Jung solo shot in the fifth. Not yet stretched out for a full-length start, he departed after 65 pitches.
The Marlins’ 29th man for the doubleheader, right-hander Bryan Hoeing, took over in relief. Marcus Semien clobbered his hanging curveball 417 feet deep to left-center for a two-run homer, giving Texas the 3-1 lead.
Despite yielding four runs and seven baserunners in his rocky appearance, Hoeing picked up his first major league win. That’s because his fellow 29th man, A.J. Alexy, was even worse. Alexy was responsible for the walk/error/double/walk/wild pitch/walk portion of the aforementioned sequence—yes, even the error (the result of his pickoff attempt). Brett Martin came out of the Rangers bullpen next and struggled to stop the bleeding.
Through 31 career games, Leblanc boasts a 117 wRC+ (100 represents league average).
On the other end of the spectrum, JJ Bleday will attempt to flush this day from his memory. In the first game of the doubleheader, as Noah Berger chronicled, Bleday’s inability to make a catch near the wall proved costly. Then at night, he had the indignity of striking out on a foul ball that richoted high into the air—nice work by Jonah Heim to come up with it.
JJ Bleday could play 100 years in the majors and NEVER have another strikeout like this pic.twitter.com/dtJbzu9olH— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 13, 2022
It was not a save situation, but Dylan Floro finished the game with a stress-free ninth inning. All indications are that he will serve as Marlins closer through season’s end.
Berti upped his stolen base total to 34. He is a near-lock to lead the National League in that department, if not MLB overall.
This concludes 2022 interleague play for the Marlins. They went 8-12 against American League teams.
The Marlins homestand continues with a three-game series against the Phillies. Tuesday night’s opener is another Sandy Day. Left-hander Bailey Falter gets the start for the Phils, who just had an off day. First pitch at 6:40 p.m.