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CIN 7, MIA 4; Eury’s strong debut not enough as Fish fall to Reds late

Miami’s top prospect had to settle for a no-decision in his first MLB start.

Photo by Andres Bolivar/Con Las Bases Llenas

The day finally arrived: Eury Pérez made his Major League debut. Pitching 4 23 innings and striking out seven, the 20-year-old righty set the bar high for himself for future starts.

In his first major league start, the expectation for the top prospect was to go out there and throw five innings of good ball. He threw good ball for the most part, but was one out away from finishing the fifth.

Perez's first mistake came in the top of the fourth inning where he allowed a solo homer to Tyler Stephenson (who was also Perez's first strikeout victim). A 104.6 miles per hour, 388-foot homer gave the Reds the early 1-0 lead.

It was smooth sailing for Eury until the top of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Jake Fraley came up to the plate and on the first pitch of the at-bat, Fraley hit a solo homer that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead and ended Eury’s night. Fraley’s home run left the bat at 105.8 MPH and went 399 feet into the air.

“Yeah, I mean three strikes, which was the most impressive with every pitch,” said Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker. “Commanding the curveball and slider, changeup was really good in big spots, three-two counts, throwing offspeed striking out Will Myers, who is a really good hitter for a long time.”

“I felt like you can control his emotions as good as anybody out there. So super impressive what he did out there. I thought Stallings did a great job with him as well and couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

Despite Perez giving up the two runs, he still had himself an encouraging outing. Going mainly with his fastball which he threw 40 times and then his slider which he threw 26 times, the Dominican had seven strikeouts. He threw the curveball 18 times and four of those were strikeout pitches and then he punched out two more with the slider. He only struck out one with the fastball.

Perez showed what we expected in terms of using his secondary stuff and produced a lot of whiffs with it. To be more specific, Eury produced 16 swings-and-misses. In terms of his control, Perez was fine, only walking two hitters (one of which could’ve easily been a strikeout instead).

Eury’s 88-pitch workload was only two below his minor league career high of 90.

“I want to thank the team for the opportunity,” said Perez through translator Luis Dorante Jr. when asked about his emotions. “Going out there, it was an unbelievable experience to deal with. To play against these veteran players, the emotions were all over the place to be honest, but I was able to control it.”

Despite holding the lead for the majority of the game, Graham Ashcraft did have his struggles tonight as he gave up two homers an RBI and a passed ball that scored a runner. Ashcraft went 5 23 innings, struck out three and gave up a total of six hits. Compared to past outings, Ashcraft didn’t miss as many bats as usual.

The first run that Ashcraft gave up was an RBI double to Bryan De La Cruz who had been struggling for the past couple of weeks. Arráez—who got on base through an error—continued to show excellent baserunning as he went from first to home and scored easily (26.5 feet per second sprint speed).

“We actually caught a break right there,” said Schumaker. “You know, I think we might have been in between them when to send them not to send them, whatever. Fraley cut off the ball pretty quick there, he probably thought that it was going to go all the way to the ball. Probably caught a break there. Having said that, we’ve been running the bases a lot better lately.”

It didn’t get any better for Ashcraft after giving up the RBI double. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Joey Wendle smacked a triple—misplayed by Wil Myers—to put himself in scoring position. Not too long after, Ashcraft threw a passed ball that allowed Wendle to score, but originally called out. After checking the replay, Wendle was safe as Ashcraft had dropped the ball and on top of that, it seemed as if there was interference on his end. Marlins tied the game up at two apiece.

The bottom of the fifth would get worse for Ashcraft as Jazz Chisholm Jr. crushed a solo homer to give the Marlins the lead to a score of 3-2. With an exit velo of 103.7 MPH and a distance of 381 feet, Jazz hit his sixth home run of the season.

Thankfully for Ashcraft, Luis Arráez and Yuli Gurriel both grounded out to finish the inning. The bottom of the sixth was the last we would see from Ashcraft as he gave up a mammoth homer to Peyton Burdick to extend the lead to 4-2.

Burdick’s first home run of the season left the bat at 108.1 MPH and went 425 feet into the air. Peyton’s home run was also the ball that went the furthest tonight and came in second for highest exit velo.

After Eury was taken out of the game, the Marlins went with reliever Bryan Hoeing who threw 1 13 innings, allowed one hit, struck out two, and only walked one. Hoeing would be replaced for Tanner Scott who immediately ran into trouble as he allowed a single to Stuart Fairchild and Jose Barrero worked the walk. After that, he struck out Jonathan India and Jake Fraley grounded into a force out. That would be the end of the line for Scott as he taken out in place for Huascar Brazoban.

Brazoban immediately allowed an RBI double to Spencer Steer who drove in Fairchild and Fraley to tie the game up at four. It was a surprising letdown for the usually reliable Brazoban.

The Miami would hold up until the top of the ninth which is when Miami went with Dylan Floro. After back-to-back singles from Fairchild and Barrero, Floro would strikeout India. This was second strikeout of the night. Then, the dagger. On a 1-1 count, Floro threw a fastball right down the middle which Jake Fraley took deep for 101.4 MPH and 392 feet to give the Reds 7-4 lead. This was Fraley’s first multi-career home run game and tied a career high four RBIs.

Miami would end up dropping game one of the series as reliever Alexis Diaz came in and shut down Jesus Sanchez, Joey Wendle, and Jazz Chisholm Jr. Miami now falls a game under .500 and they’ll look to tie the series up at one apiece with Sandy on the bump for Miami.

Skip Schumaker’s postgame press conference