After all the emotions surrounding Pablo Lopez’s return to Miami, baseball was played under the stars at LoanDepot Park on Monday night. The roof was open for the 2nd time this season, already matching last year’s total.
Johnny Cueto was slated to make his team debut, and things didn’t go smoothly for the veteran right-hander.
On his fourth pitch of the game, Cueto surrendered a leadoff home run to outfielder Max Kepler. The ball traveled 411 feet to right field, and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Cueto was able to settle down and retire the 2-3-4 hitters in the Twins lineup, but those would be the last outs he’d record.
After Miami went down quietly in the bottom of the first, Cueto would walk Jose Miranda, allow a single to Nick Gordon, and then a 3-run shot to Joey Gallo, which extended Minnesota’s lead to four. After that, manager Skip Schumaker and the training staff went out to check on Cueto, and he immediately left the game.
It was reported that Cueto left with right biceps tightness. I expect him to be placed on the IL tomorrow.
Cueto’s Marlins debut: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HR
Pregame, Miami called up RHP Jeff Lindgren from AAA in case they needed a fresh arm, and boy did they.
The start to Lindgren’s career couldn’t have gone better, as he retired the first three men he faced in order. After that, he allowed 2 ER in the next two innings, but settled in after that, giving the Marlins 2 shutout innings.
Lindgren’s MLB debut: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 80 pitches, 44 strikes.
Left-hander Andrew Nardi relieved him in the top of the 7th. Trevor Larnach added to Minnesota’s offensive output with a two-run home run off Nardi, his first of the year.
Andrew Nardi surrenders a 2-run shot to Trevor Larnach. His first of the season. Jazz almost robbed it. pic.twitter.com/Tq5fGTr8Nx— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) April 4, 2023
The game mercifully ended after two hours and thirty one minutes. Johnny Cueto received the loss in his team debut and Tyler Mahle earned the win. The Marlins will look to even the series on Tuesday night with their ace Sandy Alcantara on the mound. He will go up against Kenta Maeda. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm.
Pablo returns to Miami
The starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins on Monday was Mahle, but the man of the hour pregame was Pablo Lopez. As he walked out of the visitor’s clubhouse before batting practice, dozens of local media members anxiously awaited, relishing the opportunity of speaking with him again.
“I’m looking forward to obviously you guys—media members—the coaching staff, and all the players on that side. Really looking forward to those conversations today,” said Pablo to reporters on Monday.
When asked about playing with Luis Arraez on Team Venezuela—the player he was traded for—Pablo mentioned that they hit it off immediately:
Obviously, that was one of the relationships I was really looking forward to because I knew we would have many things to talk about. I’d ask him about Miami, and he’d ask me about Minnesota and so we hit it off quickly. Right away I could see why so many Twins fans were upset with him leaving.
Words spoken by a class act and true gentleman.
Lopez will toe the rubber on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 pm against his old team. He will face off against fellow Venezuelan, Jesús Luzardo.
- Luis Arraez continued his strong start to the season, driving in Miami’s only run and recording two hits on Monday.
- In addition to Cueto, I expect Joey Wendle (oblique) to be placed on the Injured List tomorrow afternoon.
- Segura’s offensive struggles continued, as he’s 1-for-15 to begin the year. He’s also grounded in to 3 double plays (tied for the most in the majors).
- JT Chargois’ strong start to the season continued with a perfect inning and 2 K’s on Monday.
- Catcher Jacob Stallings pitched the 9th inning for Miami and allowed an earned run.