In other news, Marco Estrada, Tom Koehler, and Brad Hand headed to the Cleveland Clinic for post-game neck MRI. Fans on the outfield promenade became so blasé about the baseballs rolling around their feet that the postgame cleanup crew had to run around Miami to find a snow shovel to clean them up. Seriously, though. ESPN had to develop a half hour segment to cover the highlight reel.
Seven balls left the park tonight in Miami, a new stadium record. The Marlins only problem was that our four were solo shots backed up by four singles. The Duff crew’s three were reinforced by a battalion of heavy artillery to the tune of two doubles, a triple, and seven singles.
Tom Koehler got lit up tonight, coming out after giving up seven earned runs on nine hits in just five innings of work. There is a rumor that Mark Reynolds has asked Koehler to be behind the L-screen at this year’s Home Run Derby. Every pitcher has a bad day from time to time, and tonight was Koehler’s turn in the pickle barrel.
Brad Hand came in for two innings of relief and gave up the third dinger to Khris Davis, causing me to regret dropping him from my fantasy team.
Recent callup Chris Hatcher had a wake-up call that big-league umpires really do want their pitchers to come to a complete halt when they go to the set position. He balked twice, but it was a gentle reminder, as he didn’t see anyone cross the plate on his watch. He had outstanding command of his fastball tonight, with well-located pitches tickling the corners of the bottom of the zone.
Tomorrow afternoon at 4:10, Jacob Turner faces Wily-not-Jhonny Peralta, the string-puller with occasional fastball command issues. Turner is toward the back end of a now-fluid rotation, and he needs to make up some recently lost ground. The end of the first third of 2014 is upon us, and our hitters need to re-focus on the basic mission. Yelich and Ozuna are starting to look bomb-greedy, and they seem to be trying for hero shots rather than the gapper doubles that ignited our solid early season offense.