It seemed like the Marlins had done just enough to secure their second road win of the season. Instead, Miami suffered a gut wrenching defeat at the hands of Curtis Granderson and his compadre’s. The game was a pitcher’s duel from the outset, as the both Zack Wheeler and Henderson Alvarez spun gems. New York was able to get on the board first during a 3rd inning that saw a bit of small ball success from the Mets. Eric Young Jr. reached 1st base on a single, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a David Wright single through a drawn in infield. Daniel Murphy followed that up with a double down the left field line to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Miami would battle back, securing a lead off base runner in the 4th, 5th, and 6th inning, but only able to score 1 run. Dietrich was the catalyst, drawing a walk, advancing on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a Marcell Ozuna single into centerfield.
The real excitement for Fish fan’s came in the 8th inning. With just 4 outs remaining in the game, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit an opposite field sole home run, which was promptly followed by a Garrett Jones solo home run that bounced off the right field foul pole. These back-to-back jacks gave the Marlins their first lead of the ball game. For the rest of the recap, we head to the grades.
Steve Cishek: D
I feel bad giving Cishek this grade. While it is true that the ninth inning did not go well for him, he has been the Marlins most consistent player for the better part of a year. It sounds crazy to say, but Miami would not have won 62 games last year if it weren’t for Cishek. Steve struggled to locate his slider on the evening and that was eventually his downfall. His slider spun flat numerous times and once too many to Curtis Granderson.
The 9th inning was started by a bloop single by Lucas Duda into shallow left field. Travis d’Arnaud then executed a sacrifice bunt. The save looked to be blown when Bobby Abreu entered the game as a pinch-hitter and roped a line drive into left field that, off the bat, looked like it was going to get past Christian Yelich in left field. Yelich, to his credit, made a great play and secured the second out of the inning.
Unfortunately Omar Quintanilla then singled into left field to score Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to left-center to put runners on 2nd and 3rd, and Curtis Granderson came through with a blast down the first base line that Jones was unable to handle for the game winning hit.
While Cishek cost the Marlins the game, I am not concerned at all. The streak was bound to end sometime, and he will certainly rebound from this bad outing.
Giancarlo Stanton: D (1-4, 1B, 1 SO, 3 LOB)
Ever since hitting that walk-off grand slam, Stanton has been in a bit of a slump, unable to do much with runners on base. It looks like he has abandoned his strategy of hitting the ball hard wherever it is pitched and living with the results. He has been trying to pull every slider that is low and away, and seems to be caught guessing too much. The 3 runners left on base are particularly painful as Miami needs him to come through in those situations.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: C- (1-4, HR, 2 SO, 4 LOB)
I know, I know, Salty hit the game tying home run! How could you give him a C-? Did you watch the game? Salty was brutal with runners in scoring position, striking out in the 1st with runners on the corners, lining out to center field with a runner on first in the 4th, and striking out again in the 6th with a runner on first. While his home run was certainly instrumental in almost winning the game, ultimately they would have had a better chance of winning had he come through in any of his other at-bats in the game.
Garrett Jones: B (2-4, HR, 1B, 1 LOB)
Jones was the Marlins best hitter on the night, something we haven’t been able to say often this season. Garrett’s home run wasn’t the prettiest he has ever hit, as it barely cleared the fence at the shortest part of the park, but it was enough to give the Marlins a lead and significantly raise their win expectancy. Jones didn’t leave many runners on base, always a good indicator of your grade, and was the only Marlin not to strike out on the night…Let me say that again, he was the only Marlin not to strike out. (More on this later)
Henderson Alvarez: B (6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 4 SO)
Alvarez was very solid on the evening. His strikeout numbers were a little low, but other than a difficult 3rd inning, he was phenomenal. He threw 99 pitches on the night and was rarely in danger. There is not much more to say about his performance, other than he is really finding his groove.
Christian Yelich: D (0-4, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 LOB)
Yelich isn’t as responsible for runners left on base, since he hit’s lead-off and behind the pitcher, but he is expected to reach base, which he struggled to do this game. His 17 game hit-streak came to an end, which I am personally kind of happy about. It seemed like the last few games his approach has been different, focused more on getting a hit to extend the streak, and he has been chasing pitches that he usually doesn’t chase.
Miami Marlins: D-
This is more an indictment of their offense than their pitching. Marlins hitters struck out 13 times on the night, something that is becoming alarmingly normal for the team. Everyone in the starting lineup struck out at least once except Garrett Jones, and 4 players had multiple strikeouts on the night. Zack Wheeler is a good pitcher, but not a great pitcher, and not one that should be striking out 10 batters in 6 innings of work. The Marlins also went 1-9 with runners in scoring position, a number that will not translate to many wins. If the Fish are going to be successful, they need to have a few sit-downs with hitting coach Frank Menechino and get some things ironed out.