Seeking their first win in the Skip Schumaker era, the Marlins looked to Jesús Luzardo to set the tone at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The tone was set as he began the game by striking out former AL MVP José Altuve with a nasty changeup. He induced a flyout to right field from Jeremy Pena, then got J.J. Matijevic to line one off his glove to Berti at short, who fired to Groshans at first for the out to end the inning.
Nasty Jesús Luzardo changeup to get his first strikeout of the spring pic.twitter.com/0lbQK2ZuU4— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) February 27, 2023
The offense did some damage in the top of the second as Peyton Burdick followed up a single from Jordan Groshans by hitting a two-run, opposite-field home run to give the Marlins the early lead. That was the first home run for the Marlins in Grapefruit League play this year. C.J. Hinojosa got himself a two-out double but was stranded as Jon Berti struck out for the second time.
Luzardo took the mound for the second inning and immediately got into some trouble, giving up a leadoff triple to Corey Julks. He trotted home a groundout by Maldonado to bring the ‘Stros within one. Costes and Dubon followed with back-to-back singles, but Jesús was able to lock it down and get the next two guys out to end the inning.
Final Line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO
Matt Barnes threw an inning, giving up a home run to J.J. Matijevic, which accounted for the Astros' second run, tying the game. He was replaced by Devin Smeltzer, who threw back-to-back 1-2-3 innings to keep the game tied heading to the sixth. And that’s when the fun began.
Bryan De La Cruz responded to getting called for a pitch clock violation by banging the 0-2 pitch off the wall for a leadoff triple. He came home to score on an RBI groundout by Jesus Sanchez. Nick Fortes then walked and was replaced by pinch runner Victor Mesa Jr. Jordan Groshans moved him to third with a single, and Peyton Burdick added another RBI to his tally with a sac fly to center. 4-2 Marlins.
The Astros scored their third run in the bottom of the 8th as Justin Dirden took Eli Villalobos deep, but Eli bounced back to keep the damage minimal. Nasim Nuñez made a couple of slick plays at shortstop, showing off his 70-grade defense, and Enrique Burgos closed us out as the Marlins took this one by a score of 4-3. A one-run win, something we hopefully see more of this season.
Noah’s Notes and What’s Next
- The notes are back, folks!
- What a time to be alive!
- This game took a measly two hours and nineteen minutes—I can get used to that.
- Sixto Sánchez (HE LIVES) threw a 15-pitch bullpen this morning.
- Nasim Nuñez is fun to watch at shortstop. Well, at least when I can see the shortstop, which I couldn't from where I was seated in the press box.
- Peyton Burdick is having himself quite the spring. He’s got something to prove.
- Bryan De La Cruz continues to fuel my propaganda machine. DLC was also unaware that he got banged for a clock violation, but the story works better if he knows.
- It would’ve been nice to have Statcast data, though [waves fist angrily at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches].
- Garrett Hampson looked solid in center field.
- It’s the BoSox tomorrow at Roger Dean at [checks notes] 6:40PM? Since when do we do midweek night games in the spring!?!?!
- Should be Trevor Rogers on the mound against Corey Kluber.
- Isaac Azout and I will be on the scene.
- ‘Til Tmrw!