After a tough loss on Opening Day, the Miami Marlins looked to bounce back with Jesús Luzardo taking the mound. Playing under an open roof, they rocked teal throwback jerseys tonight for the first of many 30th anniversary celebrations to be held at LoanDepot Park throughout the season. The Marlins clicked in every aspect of the game to defeat the Mets.
It didn’t take long for the Marlins offense to get it going. Luis Arráez worked the walk, and after Jean Segura grounded into a double play, Garrett Cooper hit his 6th career triple. Starling Marte definitely mishandled the play, but nonetheless, Coop was awarded three total bases by the official scorer.
Looks like Marte simply missed the ball but for Coop it was his 6th triple of his career. pic.twitter.com/xPuw9FVUq5— Daniel (@Drodyyy) March 31, 2023
The Marlins defense looked much better from what we saw on Thursday. In the top of the second inning, Pete Alonso hit a shot to right-center field that would have a double. Jorge Soler made sure that is wasn’t and covered 97 feet in 5.9 seconds.
In the bottom of that inning, on the first pitch of the at-bat, Soler smashed a solo homer that left the bat at 104.5 MPH and went 407 feet in the air. This would be the Marlins first lead of the season and Soler’s first homer.
Jesús Luzardo’s first start of the season was just as advertised. Luzardo topped out at 99.3 MPH and struck out five. The only concern was his inconsistent control (four walks and 56% strike percentage).
“I felt like we did a good job of me and Nick (Fortes),” said Luzardo. “Filling up the zone, trying to keep those most emotions in check.”
“He shows what he is capable of doing deep in the game,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “I think he can go even deeper.”
For Mets starter David Peterson, he also had himself a nice outing. Although he gave up eight hits, he only allowed one run (the Soler homer) and struck out five. Peterson worked the lower portion of the strike zone and saw a lot of success. He had 11 swings-and-misses.
Soler kept making big-time plays to keep the Marlins ahead. In the top of the eighth, Daniel Vogelbach entered the game and hit a double off of Dylan Floro. With two outs in the inning, former Marlin Starling Marte shot a liner to right field that Soler dove and caught to end the inning.
“It feels great,” said Soler in Spanish. After the inning, he was removed from the game, but would end the night going two-for-four with one home run and one RBI.
After a rough game yesterday, Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit his first homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth. At 111.6 MPH, it had the highest exit velocity of any batted ball for either team.
Without a permanent closer, Skip had an interesting decision to make in the ninth. He went with A.J. Puk in this save situation. After a cool entrance, Puk struck out Francisco Lindor for out number one. Then, he had to face his former Florida Gators teammate Pete Alonso. The matchup ended in Alonso hitting a 104.1 MPH homer that went 377 feet in the air.
After the homer, Puk struck out Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil grounded out for the final out.
“Feels great,” said Schumaker. “It was just a really good team effort.”
“Was trying to keep the emotions in check,” Puk told me after the game. “You know, a little bit amped up going out there and just try to relax and just execute pitches.”
When asked about the possibility of the ninth inning becoming his inning, Puk told me that he believes it can especially if he establishes himself. “Always had my eye out on closing games out and it’s fun to do when the game’s on the line.”
- The Marlins offense had a combined 10 hits. The only starters who did not get hits were Jean Segura and Avi Garcia.
- Chargois stranded the bases loaded in the sixth. He had one strikeout in his outing and topped out at 97.1 MPH.
- When asking Skip about the decision to have both Cooper (three hits) and Yuli Gurriel (one hit) in the lineup, he told me that he wants to utilize his bench as much as possible and also use his DH spot with a rotation of players. “I like Yuli’s glove there and I like Coop’s bat. I liked Cooper’s glove last night, too. Just trying to find the right mixture to keep these guys fresh and healthy.”
- Coop seemed to have hurt his hand when reaching back to first on a pickoff attempt, but Skip said he is fine (Cooper got a hit in the next at-bat).
- The pitch clock is making an impact:
Tonight's time of game was 2 hours and 9 minutes— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 1, 2023
Shortest Marlins game during the entire 2022 season was 2 hours and 9 minutes
Miami is now 1-1 on the season. Tomorrow, Edward Cabrera goes up against Tylor Megill for what will be the first “Legacy Saturday” for the Marlins, meaning that they will be rocking their City Connect uniforms. I will be back at the ballpark covering on behalf of Fish Stripes along with Hector Rodriguez.