Good morning, Marlin Maniac readers and welcome to Morning Catch, the daily morning news and notes column from MarlinManiac.com.
The Marlins won the rubber match of their three-game series against the New York Mets Wednesday night behind a massive Giancarlo Stanton home run off Bartolo Colon in the top of the first and an impressive three-run shot by the 41-year-old veteran Ichiro Suzuki in the eighth. Mat Latos had a solid but peculiar outing, shortened by an injury while running the bases in the bottom of the fifth. Latos finished the game with five innings pitched, three strikeouts and two walks in a 84 pitch outing.
The game swung for the Marlins on three moments, the first being Stanton’s game tying two-run home run in the bottom of the first which was worth .187 WPA. The blast improved the Marlins’ chances of winning the game by almost 19%.
Second was Stanton’s infield single that drove in Donovan Solano in the bottom of the fifth. It was worth .147 WPA and tied the game again at 3-3.
Third was Dee Gordon’s sacrifice fly that scored Adeiny Hechavarria in the seventh. Hechavarria doubled on a ball off the third base bag and was sacrificed over by a Reid Brignac bunt and eventually scored on the aforementioned sac fly. One lucky ball in play and two outs and the Marlins went ahead 4-3. That sac fly was worth .079 WPA and brought the Marlins win expectancy to 77%.
The Marlins bullpen ultimately did its job pitching four scoreless innings, even though Mike Dunn looked a little shaky in the eighth inning. On the other hand, Sam Dyson had one of his best appearances of the season so far going two scoreless innings and striking out two.
The Marlins showed that they can score runs in more than one way with both a Stanton monster home run hit into the dark depths of deep-deep left field seats as well as playing some small as was the case in the seventh inning.
This Marlins team seems to be playing well and the dark days of mid-April are long gone since the four game sweep at the hands of the Mets. This team has won seven of nine games and they are getting production from all over the lineup, except for Michael Morse.
Marlins News from Around the Web:
Miami Marlins prospects: Examining Tyler Kolek
When the Marlins drafted Tyler Kolek this past summer it brought back memories for a lot of Miami baseball fans of another young prospect. Indeed Kolek reminds many of another hard throwing Texas right-hander drafted out of high school by the Fish; one Josh Beckett, taken in the 1999 draft.
While similar, differences do exist between Kolek and Beckett; including their upbringing. While Beckett was raised in a small suburb of Houston, Kolek spent his formative years on his family’s 10,000 acre ranch. This past June, after being drafted by Miami, Kolek expounded on the benefits of his background. “It’s a little different growing up on a ranch than city life,” Kolek said. “You get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to go feed cattle or go fix a fence. It’s hot out there. It gets up to 105, 110 degrees, with humidity. I think it makes you a lot tougher than the average high school kid.”
Upbringings aside, the more baseball-centric difference between Kolek and Beckett may be the speed in which they are moved through the farm system. After being drafted in 1999, Beckett moved quickly through the system, making his debut in September of 2001, becoming a Major League Baseball player in only his second full professional season. Kolek, on the other hand, figures to be moved along by the Fish in a much more cautious manner; the Marlins’ history of quick promotions notwithstanding. The Marlins seem to realize the time it will take Kolek to fully develop into the pitching force they believe he will become. Click here for full article.
Only the Marlins saw J.T. Realmuto at catcher
MIAMI — The Marlins believed J.T. Realmuto could be their catcher of the future before the idea ever crossed his mind.
He was a standout shortstop as a high school player in Oklahoma and only got behind the plate on the rare occasions when Carl Albert High School’s regular catcher was called out to pitch. By chance, a Marlins scout happened to be at one of those games and noted that he would be a perfect fit if he moved there permanently.
“Everybody else was going to draft me at shortstop,” Realmuto said Wednesday before Miami hosted the Mets. “The Marlins were the only ones who wanted me to catch — and I was all for it. If they saw something, they know what they’re talking about. I was excited about that.” Click here for full article.
Marlins righty Mat Latos leaves game in 5th inning with hamstring strain
MIAMI — Miami Marlins right-hander Mat Latos exited Wednesday night’s game against the New York Mets in the fifth inning with a left hamstring strain. He is listed as day to day, but will undergo an MRI on Thursday for further evaluation.
Latos, who singled to lead off the frame, said he felt the discomfort while exiting the batter’s box going down the line to first base. After athletic trainer Mike Kozak came to visit him, he walked off on his own power but bent over in pain a few times. Donovan Solano entered as a pinch-runner and would later score the game-tying run on Giancarlo Stanton’s infield single.
“Just a quick grab,” Latos said. “There was no pop, so that’s a good thing. Immediately came in here, saw the doctor, had them go through it, did some treatment. Just to see if we could get it to calm down.” Click here for full article.
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