Miami Marlins: Chen Solid, Ziegler Melts Down

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 28: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 28: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins needed some good news the day after possibly losing Martin Prado for the remainder of the season. It seemed they had it with a solid start from Wei-Yin Chen.

The Return of Wei-Yin Chen

Wei-Yin Chen has been back with the Miami Marlins for a few weeks now, but today was undoubtedly his best start since his return. He went 7 1/3 innings, striking out six. He walked two batters, one intentionally, and allowed only three hits. Unfortunately, the last of those was a Wilmer Difo solo round-tripper that tied the score at one in the eighth.

Chen was lifted in favor of Kyle Barraclough. Barraclough got through the rest of the inning unscathed, despite allowing a walk. Brad Ziegler entered the ninth inning with the score tied at one, and ended up allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. He took the loss, and watched his ERA increase to 7.54 for the season. Still the Miami Marlins’ anointed closer, he has now allowed an opposing batting average of .330 and a 1.588 WHIP.

Chen earned a 71 GameScore with his start, getting 67-of-94 pitches over the plate. Chen struck out Bryce Harper three times in the game. That’s exactly half of his strikeouts.

Miami Marlins Defense

Aside from being a timely hitter with a heretofore undiscovered power stroke, Miguel Rojas also contributed defensively from third base. There was this first inning groundout,

this gem in the eighth inning,

and this wicked reaction to a foul shot down the line. It’s notable that third base isn’t even Rojas’ regular position.

Derek Dietrich was also solid in left field for Miami.

Miami Marlins Offense

The Miami Marlins scored their run in the fourth inning on Brian Anderson‘s one-out single, with runners on first and second. The score remained until the eighth inning, when Difo went deep against Chen.

More from Marlins News

With the score tied at one, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly called on Ziegler to pitch the ninth. Ziegler allowed a leadoff homer to Mark Reynolds, a double to rookie Juan Soto, then walked Michael Taylor before recording an out.

Ziegler struck out Pedro Severino swinging, then allowed a Matt Adams RBI-single. After Difo failed on a sacrifice attempt to bring home Taylor from third, Trea Turner added an RBI-single to chase Ziegler.

Odrisamer Despaigne came in to halt the damage, striking out Harper for the fourth time in the contest.

A Few Other Things

  • J.T. Riddle was 0-for-4 in his first appearance at the major league level after joining the team.
  • Justin Bour looked lost at the plate, swinging wildly at everything and striking out twice.
  • Lewis Brinson continues to struggle, going 0-for-3 from the plate.
  • J.T. Realmuto collected three hits in four at bats to raise his average to .325 for the season. He’s still 27 plate appearances from eligibility on the NL leaderboard, but if he had enough, he would rank fifth in the senior circuit. Check here for more on Realmuto.
  • If this is the Chen that we can expect from here on out, then the Miami Marlins may have lucked into a bargain. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t collect a win for his troubles in this game.

Next: Martin Prado may miss the rest of the year

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