ATLANTA—After a successful series in Cleveland, Miami flew back to the East Coast to face their toughest opponent yet, the division rival Atlanta Braves. Edward Cabrera struggled and Spencer Strider was nearly unhittable in Atlanta’s 11-0 win on Monday night.
Pregame, manager Skip Schumaker was asked about the teams game plan against Atlanta’s ace. He emphasized the importance of staying on top of the fastball against Strider:
“If you don’t hit the fastball, we’re gonna have trouble. Electric fastball, a really good slider, and has a changeup too. He’s got one of the best fastballs in the league, so it’s another good test for us.”
Alas, they couldn’t catch up to the pitch all night, or any pitch for that matter. Strider threw 101 pitches and generated 65 swings with 31 whiffs. He retired the first 18 batters he faced, with Jazz Chisholm Jr. being the first Marlin to reach base in the 7th on an error by first baseman Matt Olson. He would finish the inning while still not allowing a hit through those seven innings.
The perfect game bid is over as Jazz reaches on an E3. pic.twitter.com/fP8ZRE05Mo— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) April 25, 2023
Strider faced 27 hitters, striking out 13 of them while only allowing two baserunners (soft singles by Segura and Berti). His final line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K, 101 pitches, 81 strikes.
When asked what made Strider so dominant on Monday, Schumaker said “he had not only deception but its an explosive fastball that he put where he wanted it. The slider was also really good and made it tough on our guys. It felt like you’re facing a closer for eight innings. I saw him a few years ago and that was on a different team and it feels like he gets better and better. Plus we’ve run into some pretty good pitchers so far like (Zac) Gallen but this was a different type of fastball.”
Miami has run into pretty good pitchers early in the season, having already faced Zac Gallen, Max Scherzer, Shane Bieber, Logan Webb, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and now Spencer Strider.
Miami may have just faced the Cy Young favorite on Monday night.
For Miami, Cabrera was flashing just as electric stuff early on. His changeup was consistently in the mid-90s to go along with his upper 90s fastball. After a couple of semi-clean innings, Sean Murphy was the first Brave to get Cabrera as he drilled a middle-middle fastball over the fence in the bottom of the third. That was the 6th homer of the year for the Braves catcher, and the first of five that Atlanta would hit in this one.
In the bottom of the fourth, Skip and the training staff went out to check on Cabrera who looked uncomfortable in his lower half. Postgame, Eddy told us that he felt “a little pressure in his left leg”, but that he felt fine and wouldn’t attribute his struggles to it at all. A couple batters after the mound check, Cabrera surrendered his second homer of the game, this time to Sam Hilliard, which extended Atlanta’s lead to 3-0.
For the second game in a row, Miami’s starting pitcher would fail to record 14 outs, as Cabrera exited in the bottom of the 5th after a walk to Austin Riley and a strikeout of Murphy. Steven Okert came in to relieve him and immediately allowed a two-run homer to lefty Eddie Rosario, making it 5-0 Atlanta.
Okert immediately surrenders a 2-run shot to Eddie Rosario. His 2nd home run of the season. 5-0 #Braves— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) April 25, 2023
Jazz ran into the wall hard and his holding his lower back. Something to monitor. pic.twitter.com/5lsQODNB9z
Cabrera’s final line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K’s, 2 HR. His ERA jumps to 4.91 on the season.
In my opinion, he pitched better than his line would indicate. He didn’t look the same after he felt pressure in his knee.
Sean Nolin: A team debut to forget
Nolin had his contract selected on Monday in case Miami needed some innings eaten up, and he was called upon quickly. After Okert finished the 5th, Nolin mopped up the rest of the game, allowing 7 hits, 6 ER, 2 walks, and 2 homers (Hilliard and Riley) in just three innings pitched. His toughest pitch was his fastball, which averaged an exit velocity of 106.3 mph.
I’d expect a roster move pregame on Tuesday.
Miami wound up falling 11-0, and fell to 12-11 on the season while Atlanta improved to 15-8. Miami only mustered 2 baserunners all game while Atlanta combined for 12 hits and 5 home runs, while also drawing 6 walks.
Bryan Hoeing is expected to be Miami’s starter for Tuesday. However, they’ll first need to make a corresponding move to add in to their 40-man roster. Atlanta is going with veteran right-hander Charlie Morton. First pitch is scheduled for 7:20 PM.