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MIA 1, HOU 2; Marlins offense silenced, but bullpen shines

The bullpen’s clean sheet wasn’t enough in today’s game.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

After a bad offensive performance yesterday, the Marlins were back at it on Tuesday in West Palm Beach against the Astros. It was more of the same, unfortunately.

Jesús Luzardo took the mound for the first time since his World Baseball Classic appearance against Team Israel. Luzardo had a solid outing, striking out five and only allowing two runs. The Astros got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning due to a Chas McCormick double that drove in Korey Lee, who singled earlier in the inning. After McCormick’s double, Jeremy Peña hit an RBI double that scored McCormick.

Despite a mediocre 4.61 ERA, Luzardo has looked dominant for much of this spring. For somebody who has had control issues in the past, it’s great to see him attack the strike zone and walk only one hitter through four Grapefruit League starts. He will be on regular rest Sunday when the Marlins play their final spring games. After that, expect his next outing to be at LoanDepot Park against the New York Mets.

Jesús Luzardo’s Final Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

New names continue to make an impact

Yesterday, the story of the game was Jean Segura and his impact on both ends of the field. This time around, Yuli Gurriel caught my attention. He has been a pleasant sight at first base and made another nice play in this one. Although he’s been cold offensively (.125/.176/.125/.301), at least he is putting the ball in play with only one strikeout in 17 trips to the plate. The former Astros first baseman should be making the Marlins Opening Day roster.

José Iglesias is also living up to his reputation and looking good defensively. He made a nice catch today in shallow left field. Iglesias would be a logical platoon partner for Joey Wendle—Iglesias hits lefties better and Wendle hits righties better. Wendle can also go back to his former utility role where he earned an All-Star selection in 2021.

Marlins reliever A.J. Puk had a nice outing. The Marlins newest reliever threw one scoreless inning in which he struck out one and walked one. So far this spring, Puk has a 1.80 ERA through five innings pitched.

Marlins’ only run

In the top of the eighth inning, the Marlins offense scored, not because of the offense itself, but because of a balk. Brian Miller worked a walk, Jon Berti was hit by a pitch, and Jazz Chisholm Jr. grounded into a force out that advanced both runners. With Peyton Burdick at the plate, pitcher Bryan Garcia balked to score Miller and give the Marlins their only run of the game.

Berti was hit on his left hand and removed from this game immediately.

Game Notes:

  • This was Burdick’s first spring appearance since March 7—he had been sidelined by a sprained right big toe.
  • Nick Fortes and Jordan Groshans both took batting practice on the Roger Dean backfields today, per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. They could be close to returning from their minor injuries.
  • Minor leaguer Chase Luttrell entered the game and got his first spring training hit.
  • José Devers entered the game and collected his second hit of the spring.
  • None of the Marlins relievers used today allowed any runs. Hoeing had a two-strikeout performance while A.J. Puk and Andrew Nardi each had one.
  • Although Marlins NRI C.J. Hinojosa didn’t come away with a hit today, he is slashing .296/.321/.444/.765.

What’s Next?

Kevin Barral/Fish Stripes
Danis Sosa/Fish Stripes

Tomorrow, the Marlins head back to Jupiter to face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 pm. Trevor Rogers will be on the mound for the Fish. The Marlins will be getting their first looks at Cardinals pitcher Jordan Montgomery.