Apr 29, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Marlins 8, Atlanta Braves 0
The Miami Marlins may have stumbled upon a winning formula. This is one that can work only once a rotation turn, but when they take the field together, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez are as deadly as the combo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
On Tuesday, Stanton went deep for the seventh time in a Fernandez start. What’s the significance of that stat?
Hopefully this duo has plenty of firepower left when they take the field together, as the Marlins are unbeatable when they are both playing at the top of their game.
The much anticipated pitching rematch between Jose Fernandez and Alex Wood didn’t live up to the hype, as neither pitcher was as dominant as they were a week ago in Atlanta.
Fernandez didn’t rack up the same strikeout totals he did in Atlanta and Wood allowed a season-high 7 runs on the evening. Fernandez still pitched an efficient game, completing 8 innings on just 98 pitches. He allowed just three hits and zero runs.
The Marlins offense returned home and returned to hitting well at their friendly confines. Joining Stanton, Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued his powerful April with his 5th home run of the season.
For the rest of the recap, we head to the grades:
Jose Fernandez, SP: A
8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO; 1-for-3, RBI
It was one of those rare occasions where the Marlins home crowd booed Fernandez, when he didn’t run out a grounder, that he likely would have reached base on an error. After that though, Fernandez gave the home crowd nothing to boo about again.
Fernandez didn’t quite put on the show that he did in Atlanta, when he racked up 14 punch outs, but he did make a highlight play that made him look like a experienced veteran:
That’s a damn impressive play for any major leaguer, let alone a 21-year old. That run could have been a major difference in a close game early on.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF: B+
1-for-4, HR (8), R, 2 RBI, 2 SO
Stanton’s first at bat resulted in a long fly ball out, one that he just missed hitting out of the park. His second time up, he would not be denied, as he hit a laser beam shot out of the park. The home run at the time gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead and likely erased the blame that would have been put on Fernandez’s shoulder for not running out the grounder earlier in the inning.
Christian Yelich, LF: B
2-for-5, R, RBI
Yelich started the Marlins rally in the third inning, smashing a ball to deep center field for his second triple of the season. He scored the winning run for the Marlins, as his run represented enough support for Fernandez. Yelich collected two hits against a left handed pitcher and didn’t strike out. That’s a great sign for the Marlins moving forward.
Ed Lucas, 2B-1B: A+
3-for-4, R, RBI
Was Ed Lucas the spark that the Marlins were missing? It seemed so on Tuesday, as he made his season debut, after the team designated Greg Dobbs for assignment. Lucas drove in Yelich in the third and scored on the Stanton two-run home run. Lucas collected three hits upon his return from a broken hand. He showed off his versatility in this one as well, switching from second to first base in the latter half of the game.
Strong pitching, check.
Timely hitting, check.
Strong bullpen performance, check.
Smart defense, check.
The Marlins played one of their most complete games of the season on Tuesday, driving in runners in scoring position and making strong defensive plays when they were necessary. The Marlins collected 9 runs on 13 hits on the day, and more impressively only struck out 3 times in the game, a vast improvement over what they did while on their most recent road trip.