[For those unaware, the title is in reference to the NHL, where both teams get a point in the standings when tied after regulation.]
Usually, when writing game recaps, there is a winner and a loser, and the tone of the writing gets based on which one the Marlins were.
But this is Spring Training. Games can end in ties in Spring Training. Nobody’s in the mood for extra innings when these are mere exhibitions. So then, what is the tone of this recap going to be? I’m not entirely sure, but we’ll see how it plays out. Enough blabbering: let’s break it down.
Prior to the game, back in Jupiter, Sixto Sánchez and Huascar Brazoban threw bullpen sessions. Brazoban told us that he threw 36 pitches and felt closer to game ready than he expected because of the work he was able to do at the Marlins’ complex in the Dominican Republic while waiting for his visa. Sixto didn’t tell us how many pitches he threw, but from his demeanor, it seemed he was feeling all right after throwing.
Clips of bullpen sessions for (L to R):— Noah Berger (@Trainboy100) March 2, 2023
Huascar Brazoban, Devin Smeltzer, and Sixto Sanchez.@fishstripes #Marlins #SpringTraining2023 pic.twitter.com/MaPVyhk1qd
Over in West Palm Beach, Edward Cabrera had a solid two-inning outing against the Nationals, working around a couple of baserunners to keep the Nats off the board. With no Statcast data at this park, we had to ask Cabrera what pitch he used to get the two strikeouts in the bottom of the first—he smiled and said it was his changeup.
A walk given up to Corey Dickerson and a Victor Robles double were the only baserunners allowed by Cabrera.
Braxton Garrett made the rare trot out from the bullpen to begin the third inning and ran into some trouble, hitting Carter Kieboom with a literal back-foot slider to lead off the inning. Lane Thomas singled, Corey Dickerson struck out, then Jeimer Candelario doubled off the wall in center to score both runners. Dominic Smith then hit a chopper between first and second that was fielded by Garrett Cooper but thrown wide of the bag at first, leading to a collision between Garrett and the runner. Both were fine. Candelario scored from third on the E3 by Cooper. The inning ended on a double play turned by Joey Wendle.
There's the Garrett Cooper/Braxton Garrett missed connection pic.twitter.com/ZErj3b2Vmx— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) March 2, 2023
He bounced back in the following frames, giving up a merry-go-round of fielders' choice grounders in the second frame without allowing a run. He capped off his three-inning performance with a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth. All told, his final line read: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO.
Besides Enrique Burgos giving up two runs to tie the game in the 8th inning, the rest of the bullpen put up solid performances, with a scoreless inning each from Steven Okert, Josh Simpson, and Robert Garcia.
On the offensive side of the ball, the starters plated a run in the second inning after Jesús Sánchez doubled and went to third on the wild pitch that walked Hampson. Sánchez then came home on a bloop single by Alex De Goti. Jorge Soler ambushed Paolo Espino’s first pitch in the top of the sixth, sending the ball off the facade of the Astros’ offices beyond the berm in left field for a solo home run.
The other three runs came from the prospects later in the game. Paul McIntosh singled Griffin Conine home in the seventh. Jake Mangum, Jacob Amaya, Conine, and Jordan Groshans all singled in the eighth inning to plate the final two runs.
Noah’s Notes and What’s Next
- “Back where I’m from, you try to end a game in a tie; well, that might as well be the first sign of the apocalypse.” —Ted Lasso
- Jesús Sánchez getting hits against lefties to the opposite field can only mean good things.
- Jorge Soler crushing baseballs is never bad.
- Braxton Garrett bouncing back is alright.
- Edward Cabrera is nothing but confident.
- Angel Hernandez is [REDACTED].
- Would it kill them to install Statcast equipment at this ballpark?
- This concludes my week of Spring Training games.
- Next week, I’ll be transitioning to full Team Israel and WBC coverage for Fish Stripes, which you can find in the same place you normally find these collections of words.
- Marlins @ Cardinals at Roger Dean tomorrow at 1:10 PM. Alex Krutchik will have your coverage.
- Thanks for reading!