The last time the Marlins were a .500 ball club, it was after game two of the season where they were 1-1. Today, on Jackie Robinson Day, they aimed to improve to 8-7 and continue their win streak. Braxton Garrett was the man on the mound for Miami and Ryne Nelson took the mound for the Diamondbacks.
It didn’t take long for Arizona to get on the board. After Ketel Marte was hit by a pitch, Lourdes Gurriel smacked a double into center field which Jazz Chisholm Jr. was unable to make the play on. Following the play, Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker and a trainer went to check on Jazz. Thankfully he was fine. With runners on second and third with one out, Christian Walker hit a sac fly to drive in Marte and give the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead.
#Dbacks on the board first with a Christian Walker sac fly to left field. #Marlins down, 1-0 pic.twitter.com/rIiO4Fuw0s— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) April 15, 2023
Following the run in the top of the first, both Garrett and Nelson entered into a pitching duel. That was until an unlikely name tied the game at one apiece. On April 4, the Marlins called up utility man Garrett Hampson who was signed to the team on a minor league deal in the offseason. After struggling offensively through his first couple of games where he played, he had the chance to start game one against the Diamondbacks which is a team he is very familiar with after spending the first five seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Hitting a double in game one of the series, you would have thought that would be the most he could do.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Marlins down a run, Garrett Hampson took Ryne Nelson deep for his first homer of the season. Leaving the bat at 99.3 MPH and going 366 feet, the Marlins tied the game. Hampson only had a 13 percent chance to get a hit with that batted ball trajectory, according to Statcast, but defied all odds and saved what was a great outing for Braxton Garrett.
“It feels good to contribute,” said Hampson following the game. “He was kinda establishing his off-speed a little but more than maybe we were anticipated, you know, credit to us to kind of make that adjustment and he left a few up to me that at-bat and I was taking them so it was good to get a swing off there with two strikes and put a good swing on it.”
Garrett Hampson who is hitting ninth smashes a solo homer to put the #Marlins back in it.— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) April 15, 2023
Exit Velo: 99.3 mph
Launch Angle: 39 DEG
Distance: 366 FT
Home Run in all 30 ballparks
Hit probability: 13%
Barrel: No pic.twitter.com/ISOICBbQBS
After a nice first start for Braxton Garrett in Queens, he came back to Miami and just looked even better. Striking out five and only giving up one run, Garrett kept the Marlins in striking distance.
Braxton today went mostly with his Slider which is the pitch he throws the second most. After using it as his primary pitch in 2022, he is using the sinker more in 2023. Brax also incorporated the curveball also today which is a pitch that he used only 10.4% of the time in 2022, but has been using more in 2023 with it going up to 19.1%.
“I’m just confident in my stuff. My sinker was good. My Velo was down a little bit, but you know, I just battled through it and had a good mix,” said Garrett following the game. Braxton’s velo was down on every pitch but saw the biggest velocity dip in his changeup. Garrett also mentioned how important the slider was tonight.
Braxton is slated to go up against the Cleveland Guardians in game one of the three-game next Friday.
Braxton Garrett final line:— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) April 15, 2023
5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 81 NP#Marlins pic.twitter.com/A1kYOxDLV9
Matt Barnes would enter the game for Braxton and run into trouble. Barnes gave up a lead-off double to top prospect Corbin Carroll and then committed a balk to move him up to third. With one out in the inning, catcher Gabriel Moreno smacked an RBI single to give the Diamondbacks the 2-1 lead. Barnes was removed from the game following the RBI single.
Marlins reliever Matt Barnes got the final out of the sixth inning, but has now one run on two hits in the seventh.— Alex Krutchik (@AlexKrutchikCJN) April 15, 2023
Andrew Nardi enters with a runner on first and 1 out
The Marlins offense then began to come back to life. Avisail Garcia got the seventh-inning rally started with a lead-off double followed by a Jesus Sanchez groundout that moved up Avi to third base. With one out, Jean Segura hit an RBI single to tie the game up at two apiece.
Jean Segura drives in Avi Garcia with an RBI single. Game is now tied at 2 apiece.#Marlins pic.twitter.com/FFm4Aq8HqW— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) April 15, 2023
Nick Fortes followed Jean and moved up Jean Segura to third base on a base hit. Jean was almost tagged out at the third base, but luckily, he was safe. With runners on the corners and one out, Skip Schumaker may have made one of the best decisions in his managerial tenure so far and brought in Luis Arràez to pinch-hit for Garrett Hampson. Although Hampson hit the homer, Arràez was available to hit and he did just that. On the first pitch that Andrew Chafin threw to Arràez, he smacked an RBI single up the middle to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead.
Even with an injured finger this man can hit. Luis Arraez puts the Marlins on top, 3-2 with an RBI single. He was tagged out at first trying to go for second. #Marlins pic.twitter.com/BsysD3uzqt— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) April 15, 2023
This time around, the Marlins gave the ball to Tanner Scott to close it out in the ninth inning. Scott struck out Pavin Smith, Gabriel Moreno grounded out, and Jake McCarthy flew out to Bryan De La Cruz to end it.
Manager Skip Schumaker Postgame Press conference
"He makes you look good as a manager."— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) April 15, 2023
Skip Schumaker on Luis Arraez coming through in his pinchi-hit opportunity and the mentality of the @Marlins after they reeled off their fourth straight victory on Saturday evening. #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/2pp1XZZbOI