The Miami Marlins faced off against former Marlin Miguel Cabrera and his Venezuelan squad on Tuesday night. Even though most people counted them out of the game, the Marlins actually fared quite well. After falling behind early in the game, the Marlins were able to rally back and win the ball game in a dramatic 9th inning.
Cabrera collected three hits in the game, including a two-run double in the first to give Venezuela a 2-0 early lead. Cabrera also hit a home run in the seventh inning in a 3 all tie to give Venezuela a late lead.
The starting pitcher for team Venezuela was another former Marlin, Carlos Zambrano. Big Z threw two scoreless innings against his former employer, striking out two hitters while walking one.
Current Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez also pitched for Venezuela, completing his one inning without allowing a base runner and striking out one hitter.
Coghlan’s Big Night
Chris Coghlan continues to have a breakout spring for the Miami Marlins. Coghlan went 4-for-4 on Tuesday night, including a lead off hit to start the Marlins rally in the ninth inning. Coghlan has gone 10-for-22 so far this spring, good for a .454 batting average.
If Coghlan can continue to give the Marlins this type of performance in spring, he will have a great shot at breaking camp with the team, even potentially as a starter. I believe Coghlan may get a chance to play some infield soon, as the Marlins will want to maximize his at-bats, especially if Polanco continues to deal with injury woes.
Petersen’s Walk-Off Triple
The hero for the Marlins on this night was Bryan Petersen though. After back-to-back singles for Coghlan and Zack Cox and a strikeout by Jake Marisnick, Petersen laced the game-winning triple to center field.
Petersen is in contention for one of the Marlins fourth/fifth outfield spots on the roster. Right now, he is probably a long shot to make the team, but he can only help his case with a performance like last night.
Juan Pierre also provided a big hit, coming up with a two-run, ground-rule double in the fifth inning.
Lefty Wade LeBlanc struggled in his outing Tuesday night. LeBlanc labored through his 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, walking two, and allowing three runs. LeBlanc did not strike out a single hitter on the evening.
LeBlanc’s start set him back in his quest to win the fifth starting spot in the Marlins rotation. Luckily for Wade, he will have plenty of more opportunities to make a comeback from this poor start.
Jose Fernandez relieved LeBlanc and finished the evening going 1 1/3 innings. Fernandez struck out and walked one hitter. Fernandez has yet to make a Grapefruit league appearance, but has done well in both his outing thus far. His performance against one of the better rosters in the World Baseball Classic was a good sign for the Marlins going forward.
Up next: Tom Koehler makes his first Grapefruit League starter as he faces the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday. Jake Westbrook will make the start for the St. Louis Cardinals. Third baseman Placido Polanco is expected to return to Miami’s lineup. He has been out since Saturday with back spasms.