Marlins Lopez Rebounds With Solid Start in Loss to Atlanta

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 07: Pablo Lopez #49 of the Miami Marlins looks back at first base in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park on August 7, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 07: Pablo Lopez #49 of the Miami Marlins looks back at first base in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park on August 7, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Miami Marlins rookie pitcher Pablo Lopez looked better this team around in his start against the Atlanta Braves. Miami fell 4-0, but that does not mean all was lost Sunday night.

Pablo Lopez continues to show he can work through tough situations and rebound from tough losses. Despite a 4-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on Sunday night, the 22-year-old Miami Marlins rookie continues to show the organization why he will be one of the team’s better pitchers of the future.

That future may happen as soon as next season as Lopez and others continue to get their feet wet in a season that has lost traction on progress in the standings, but not in preparation. In his third stop this season, Lopez has shown he can still use his command of pitches to catch opposing batters off guard.

"“Lopez mixed in more curveballs than he did two weeks on the road,” wrote Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Ultimately it was a fastball that the Braves did their biggest damage off Lopez.”"

Lopez has been able to use his fastball effectively at times this season, but on Sunday night, it was the reason for his failure. Still, showing a presence on the mound that continues to impress the front office gives manager Don Mattingly and team owner Derek Jeter hope for next season.

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"“Definitely, I mixed in off-speeds more earlier in the game,” Lopez said after the game. “I tried to execute them, 0-0, and even behind in the count, trying to get back in the count. That worked really well. We stayed with our plan.”"

In a season where the Marlins may not get to 70 wins, it’s the little things that count. Development of a young pitching staff that also includes Trevor Richards and Jose Urena means patience has become the biggest necessity for Mattingly and the veterans on the roster.

The Marlins have announced they will purchase the contract of starter Sandy Alcantara when the MLB rosters expand later this week. The team’s rotation could feature four pitchers 26-years-old or younger.

This is what Jeter envisioned when he made trades to stockpile young arms in the minor league system.

The plan was simple on Sunday night, to have Lopez throw more of the curve, which worked. Of the 101 pitches he threw, 30 were curveballs. This is only his 10th start since he was called up from Double-A Jacksonville. He allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings.

The Marlins following the loss sit at 53-79 with 30 games remaining in the 2018 season. The team needs to win 13 more games to avoid 100 losses for the season. The worst season in franchise history was 54-108 back in 1998.

The team posted a 62-100 record in 2013. The organization was 64-98 in both 1993 and 1999. They were 69-93 in 2012.

Chasing history is not something Mattingly and the clubhouse wants see happen.

Mattingly praised Lopez for working out of tough situations while on the mound and how he has shown maturity in his few starts on with the parent club.

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"“The good thing about Pablo is he understands what he’s going to need to be successful here,” he said. “When you look at yourself as a fastball — two-seam and four-seam — and a changeup [guy], without a real breaking ball, you start to see how hard it is to get through lineups.”"

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