After picking up an early lead, the Miami Marlins surrendered it late in the game. Despite opportunities to win, the Fish faltered.
This was as frustrating a loss as the Miami Marlins have had in some time. At no point were they conceivably out of contention. Even in the waning inning, there was a feeling that a comeback was just around the corner.
That might be the result of Marlins fans having grown accustomed to winning. After taking two-of-three against the Angels, then sweeping the Phillies, the Marlins felt they were on the upswing. Tonight they were downed.
What did them in was a familiar foe; the bullpen. After Jeff Locke pitched well in his debut for the Marlins, the pen failed to hold the lead. Poor run support, and poor situational hitting secured their fate.
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Locke was impressive in his Marlins debut. Going 5.2 innings and allowing only one run on three hits, he fanned seven. He was relieved by David Phelps, who went 1.1 innings and stymied the Diamondbacks in the same fashion.
After Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs earlier in the game, the Marlins held a 2-0 lead over one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. The wheels came off the wagon for the Marlins when Kyle Barraclough entered the game.
Struggling with command
Barraclough led off his inning by walking the two batters he faced. It marks a continuing struggle for Barraclough to attack the strike zone. His movement and velocity remain as good as ever, but his command has suffered.
That was enough for the Diamondbacks to take a 3-2 lead before the inning was over. Zielgler relieved Barraclough and pitched effectively. He allowed only one hit, though that allowed the runners that Barraclough put on base to score, surrendering the lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Marlins managed to bring the go ahead run to the plate. With one out, and Dee Gordon at second base, Giancarlo Stanton struck out. Christian Yelich drew a walk. Then Marcell Ozuna struck out to end the inning.
Jarlin Garcia pitched effectively in the ninth, but the Marlins failed to plate a run with their final three outs.
They still have three games to play at home against the Diamondbacks in this series. They’ll need to win all three in order to take the series. If the Marlins hope to bring their Wild Card berth hopes back to life, they can’t afford to get off to another slow start.