Miami Marlins Morning Catch: Latos, Marlins Shutdown Nationals Offense
By Ehsan Kassim
Good morning, Marlin Maniac readers and welcome to Morning Catch, the daily morning news and notes column from MarlinManiac.com.
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The Miami Marlins evened their 3 game series with the Washington Nationals last night, winning a close contest by the final score of 2-1. It was the team’s 4th victory over the Nationals in 2015, moving their record to 4-1 against a team that was the overwhelming favorite to win the National League East.
All 3 runs in the game were scored in the 2nd inning. J.T. Realmuto led the top of the 2nd inning off with a triple and came into score on an Ichiro Suzuki single. Two batters late, Ichiro scored on a bunt by Mat Latos that went as an error for the Nationals defense. With runners on first and second and nobody out, the Marlins failed to score any more runs, even with the top of their order hitting.
After surrendering a leadoff walk and a double to the first two hitters of the bottom of the 2nd inning, Mat Latos sandwiched two strikeouts in between a run scoring grounder from Dan Uggla to limit the Nationals to just one run.
The only other significant action came in the 9th inning. Dee Gordon tripled and Martin Prado was hit by a pitch with two outs, bring Giancarlo Stanton to the plate. Stanton struck out and was unable to extend the Marlins lead.
Steve Cishek came on to close out the 9th inning for the Marlins, allowing the first two hitters to reach on a bloop single and an error by Adeiny Hechavarria. Luckily for the Marlins and Cishek, Nationals manager Matt Williams decided to put on a clinic on how to lose a close game.
With runners on first and second, nobody out, Williams opted to have Dan Uggla bunt the runners over. This despite Uggla not having a sacrifice bunt since 2009. The decision played out in the Marlins favor, as Uggla laid down a terrible bunt and Cishek was able to erase the baserunner at third base.
Cishek was then able to strike out both Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore back-to-back swinging to end the inning and game. Williams, for whatever reason, opted to leave Jayson Werth on the bench in a key situation.
Not going to complain since it worked out for the Marlins.
The two teams will be back in action tonight.
Marlins News from Around the Web:
Miami Marlins starting pitcher confidence index
allowed two runs. However, he got away with some things, as he allowed three walks and six hits total while only striking out four batters. Phelps’s strikeout and walk numbers are not entirely impressive so far this year, as he has just 16 whiffs to 10 free passes to his name. He also is the owner of a 3.24 ERA and 3.05 FIP due mostly to the fact that he has yet to allow a home run this season.
Usually, this is a good accomplishment, but as you might expect, such a performance cannot last. Phelps has given up a lot of fly balls in his career, and this season is not different. So far, he has allowed a career-high 43 percent of his balls in play to be flies, yet none thus far have left the park. If this trend continues, you would probably expect a decent number of these to start going past the wall, and if they do, Phelps’s numbers will not lead to an impressive ERA. Right now, SIERA estimates his ERA should be 4.92 based on these early-season numbers.
He probably is not that bad either, but this does not necessarily instill confidence in Phelps’s play. In fact, as I mentioned in yesterday’s buy and sell article, I do not have a lot of confidence in any of the Marlins’ five current starters. With Henderson Alvarez and Jose Fernandez sidelined with injuries, it appears as though it may be difficult for Miami to continue preventing runs on pitching alone. [Read More Here]
Marlins’ Latos finally notches win with hometown team
The Mat Latos First Victory Watch is mercifully over.
The Broward County native, in his sixth attempt, finally notched the elusive first win with his hometown team.
Latos limited the Nationals to one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings, and the bullpen rebounded from a failed effort the previous night to close out a 2-1 victory Tuesday at Nationals Park. [Read More Here]
Yelich ‘not far off’ from rejoining Marlins
Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich continues to progress on a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Jupiter and could return to the Majors before the end of the week.
Yelich, who has been out since April 20 with a lower back strain, went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base Monday in his second rehab game with Jupiter. [Read More Here]
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Next: Assessing Realmuto's Future