Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Miami Marlins 5
Walks will haunt.
The Miami Marlins were reminded of that on Monday night. The Los Angeles Dodgers worked all kinds of counts and Yasiel Puig added a three-run blast to beat the Marlins 6-5 in game one of their three game series at Dodger Stadium.
Miami’s pitching staff, which has faltered so far in their first west coast road trip, surrendered 10 (!) walks to a Dodgers lineup that will make teams pay for mistakes. Tom Koehler was responsible for five of those free passes, and his night ended prematurely after just 3.2 innings of work. Heading into Monday Koehler had been the most productive Marlins starter not named Jose Fernandez. That changed after he allowed four runs on six hits while punching out just one Dodger.
Henry Rodriguez added four walks of his own and was able to retire only two batters. Ouch. After earning a promotion from Triple-A New Orleans last week, the reliever’s ERA now stands at 10.80.
Despite the lack of control by the pitchers, the Marlins nearly rallied late. Trailing 6-3, Reed Johnson smacked a pinch-hit two-run home run in the eighth off Brian Wilson, his first long ball of the year. But J.P. Howell bailed him out and then Kenley Jansen slammed the door shut in the ninth.
Southern California native Christian Yelich clubbed a solo homer in the third inning in front of 150 family and friends.
Miami’s road woes continue. After receiving devastating news of Jose Fernandez’s injury this afternoon, the Fish were unable to make up for their early pitching woes and fell to 3-14 on the road in 2014.
Now, on to the grades:
Tom Koehler, SP: D-
3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K
The only reason Koehler isn’t getting an F here is that he made it out of the first inning and actually showed up at the ballpark. His control was terrible, as evidenced by his five walks. He loaded the bases in the first but the Dodgers couldn’t capitalize. The pace of the night was set right from the beginning and Puig’s three-run homer was the nail in the coffin. It took him 103 pitches to retire his 11 batters. He becomes the second pitcher in team history to throw over 100 pitches but last less than four innings. Monday was certainly a start to forget for Tom Koehler.
Christian Yelich, LF: A
2-for-3, 1 HR (4), 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Yelich singled on the first pitch of the game and followed that with a two-run home run in his next at bat. He reached base in three of his four plate appearances. This was all done in front of a huge group of family and friends as Yelich was born and grew up in Southern California. The power we were promised as he was coming up through the minor leagues is starting to surface; Yelich also homered yesterday in San Diego.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF: B
2-for-4, 2 RBI, 0 K
This season Stanton seems to have finally learned to take what pitchers give him and spray the ball to all fields. No longer is he swinging for the fences every at-bat and chasing pitchers’ pitches while striking out. His two RBI singles — one of which was a hustle play where he was barely called out at first — are great signs for the young slugger.
Reed Johnson, PH/OF: A+
1-for-1, 1 HR (1), 2 RBI
Johnson earns this grade because he came in and did his job better than anyone could have asked; he hit a pinch-hit two-run home run to close the gap to 6-5 in the eight inning. He has proven to be a steal so far this year, hitting .341 in primarily a bench role after being brought in on a minor league contract. One plate appearance, one home run; that’s a perfect night in my eyes.
Henry Rodriguez, RP: D-
0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K
Fresh off a callup from Triple-A, Rodriguez couldn’t throw a strike to save his life in his second relief appearance with the Marlins. That’s just one ugly, ugly stat line. He hits 100 on the radar gun with regularity, but his pitches were missing so badly Monday night he was yanked after retiring two of the eight hitters he faced. It was nice knowing you, Henry.
The Marlins have now lost four straight games. The Jose Fernandez news hurts, but this kind of loss hurts almost as much. Ten walks in a nine inning game is just unacceptable and frankly, avoidable. The bullpen got stretched out on the same day the team lost its ace to a likely Tommy John procedure. Here’s hoping Jacob Turner can pitch deep into game two tomorrow night, or this could be a long road trip.