Apr 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) steals second on a wild pitch and throw on Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (3) in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins came into Wednesday’s day game against the Atlanta Braves looking for their first road series win of the young season. Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 2.87 ERA) for the Marlins would face off against veteran Aaron Harang (3-1, 0.85 ERA) for the Braves, who has been surprisingly stellar so far in 2014. For the third straight day a pitchers’ duel emerged, but the Marlins made a couple of fielding mistakes that ultimately cost them the game in a 3-1 loss to the Braves.
Let’s get to the individual grades:
Nathan Eovaldi, SP: B
6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Eovaldi delivered an excellent start in which he had 7 strike outs and 7 ground outs. As usual, he effectively used his mid to high 90’s fastball to cause uncomfortable at bats for the Braves hitters all afternoon. Sounds great so far, so why the B grade? Well in a pitcher’s duel, the little mistakes can make a big difference. For example, the runner who scored the only run he allowed had advanced to second base on wild pitch by Eovaldi. In addition, he came up with runners on base twice and was unable to execute a bunt to move them into scoring position either time.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF: B
1-for-3, RBI, BB, 2 K
Stanton came into the game struggling having gone just 1-for-9 in the first two games of the series. When he struck out in his first 2 at bats it looked like the struggles would continue, but in the sixth inning Stanton connected on a pop up to short left field that fell between four Braves defenders and drove in the only Marlins run of the day.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS: F
1-for-4, CS, 3K
This was a rough game for Hechavarria to say the least. Chief among his mistakes was the fielding error that allowed the Braves runner who scored the first run to reach base. However, Hechavarria also managed to strike out 3 times, fail to get a bunt down, and get caught stealing.
Derek Dietrich, 2B: B
Starting for the first time since last Friday, Dietrich had a typical Dietrich game. Offensively, he swung the bat well and was the only Marlin with multiple hits in the game. Defensively, he failed to make a difficult play in the 8th inning on a Dan Uggla grounder when the Braves would score the decisive runs.
Christian Yelich, LF: C
Yelich managed to extend his hitting streak to a career best 17 games on a bunt single. He struck out every other time up.
It felt like the Marlins let this one get away with some sloppy fielding and failure to execute at opportune times. Eovaldi certainly pitched well enough to win, but even he made a crucial mistake with the wild pitch. The team also went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 7 runners on base overall.