Saying the words “good loss” grates on the nerves, like seeing little leaguers handed participation trophies. However, if a loss is to be endured, the loss the Marlins took from the Rockies last night was a very different loss than it would have been a year ago.
Some of the elements of the loss were familiar: One of our good pitchers had a bad night, and our better-than-average defense stumbled thrice in one inning. What was different is that we battled back from the edge of the abyss and gave our fans the shot of adrenaline that was utterly absent when our opponents notched more than three runs.
Apparently, Henderson Alvarez left his command on the dresser when he left for the ballpark yesterday. He only lasted three innings and gave up three earned and three unearned runs before yielding the rubber to Kevin Slowey in the fourth. The heart of the Rockies order is tough, and Alvarez brought a knife to a gunfight last night. He gave up six hits in the first inning, and the Rockies tacked on another six during the remaining six innings.
A sloppy throw by Adeiny Hechavarria, a bad pickoff throw by Alvarez, and a wild pitch made the fourth inning one we’d all like to forget.
For the Marlins offense, last night was the polar opposite. Right after Derek Dietrich reached on a curve ball to his left pinkie toe, Giancarlo Stanton kicked it off in the sixth inning with a line drive attempted homicide of another scoreboard, this time the one over the Marlins bullpen. We saw that more than once last year. What we didn’t see was Hech singling in the bottom of the ninth and advancing to second on a WP. Christian Yelich took LaTroy Hawkins for 11 pitches before grounding out, then Deitrich drew a 6-pitch walk, setting the stage for an outstanding AB by Stanton. After six straight fastballs, including one that Stanton launched just foul of the left-field pole, he hit an RBI single that brought the Marlins to within one run, with two outs, two runners, and Garrett Jones at the plate.
Jones popped out to end the game, but the tension and excitement from the eighth inning on was enough to offset the misery of the first five innings. The last three innings of last night’s game were some of the best in baseball.
Jacob Turner is scheduled to face Franklin Morales in a day game today. Morales is on the comeback trail as a starter, earning the Colorado rotation spot after languishing in the Red Sox bullpen for the last three seasons.