After an off day yesterday, the Marlins entered Tuesday set to begin a three-game set against the Washington Nationals for the first time this season. They would have to do it without center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. who was placed on the 10-day IL with turf toe in his right foot.
The series opener featured an interesting matchup on the mound: Josiah Gray vs Jesús Luzardo under the loanDepot park lights.
Miami had a great scoring opportunity in the 2nd inning as bases were loaded after consecutive singles by Jean Segura, Peyton Burdick, and a walk by Nick Fortes. They put two runs on the board after Joey Wendle’s force out—the throw to first got away from Gray, who was covering the bag.
I can't explain this best so here's video of what happened pic.twitter.com/5p95w0PFoB— Daniel (@Drodyyy) May 16, 2023
In the 4th inning with a single to left field, Bryan de la Cruz extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The Marlins will be depending on DLC to stay hot considering how injuries to Jazz and Jesús Sánchez have drained their outfield depth.
Luzardo was dominant for much of the night, including 15 swings-and-misses and a shoutout performance through 5 inning with 7 K’s. His one critical mishap was a Lane Thomas solo shot in the top of the 6th, but Luzardo was able to get back on track that inning without another run given up. What stood out from the game was Luzardo's ability to put away batters with his secondary pitches—five out of his seven strikeouts came with a changeup or slider.
Luzardo strikeout counter: 5 (87mph slider) pic.twitter.com/Zb0WsNkhha— Daniel (@Drodyyy) May 16, 2023
Final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (93 pitches, 59 strikes)
Everything turned on its head for Miami in the 8th inning as Huascar Brazoban gave up a run after two singles and a walk, leaving the Fish in a tough position with one out. Skip brought in Steven Okert in hopes of limiting the damage, but another walk came back to bite them when Dominic Smith delivered a two-run single, giving the Nats a 4-2 lead.
But hope was not lost. At the closing hour in the bottom of the 9th, some Miami Magic occurred.
Down to their final out against Hunter Harvey, Garrett Cooper extended the game with a double. That was followed by an Arraez single, a Jon Berti stolen base (pinch-running for Arraez), and ended with a walk-off to end all walk-offs by Jorge Soler.
SOLER WALKS IT OFF!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Dga72zYpTX— Daniel (@Drodyyy) May 17, 2023
Surprisingly, this was Soler’s first-ever walk-off homer. What a way to get it. The win (temporarily) moves the Marlins into sole possession of 2nd place in the NL East and the final National League wild-card spot.
Here are my three stars of the night:
1- Jorge Soler (walk off home run)
2- Jesús Luzardo: (6.0 IP, 5H, 1ER, 1BB, 7K, 93 pitches/59 strikes)
3- Luis Arraez (2-4, 2B, RBI, BB)
Honorable Mention- Bryan De La Cruz (2-4, extended hitting streak to 10 games)
The Marlins will be back at home tomorrow for game 2 of the three-game set vs the Nationals at 6:40 p.m. The pitching matchup will be Edward Cabrera vs MacKenzie Gore.