The combination of Trevor Richards, Drew Steckenrider, and Austin Brice kept the St. Louis Cardinals scoreless, walkless, and hitless through eight innings, and the Miami Marlins held on for a 4-2 victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Miami Marlins faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Sunday afternoon. At 1:06 P.M. EST, Marlins starter Trevor Richards threw his first pitch, a strike, to Cards leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler. That at bat ended in a groundout, and two hours and 36 minutes later, Tayron Guerrero induced a ground ball out from Tyler O’Neil to seal a 4-2 victory. In between those two events, a lot of things happened in this “meaningless” spring game.
Trevor Richards Was Untouchable
Trevor Richards continued his impressive spring with a magnificent performance in today’s game. He lasted six innings, and didn’t allow a run, a hit, or a walk. He did end up facing 20 batters, due to two errors, but only threw 69 pitches in the game. His off-season improvement was due to a lot of work on a solid third pitch, a curve, in addition to his middling fastball and plus-plus changeup.
Richards dominance didn’t occur in a vacuum, either. Including today’s game, he has a 0.621 WHIP, 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings, and a .138 opposing batting average. He’s only allowed eight hits and four walks, and looks to carry his success into the regular season. For good measure, Richards was also one-for-one from the plate with a fifth inning single into center field, and also had a successful sacrifice bunt in the second inning.
Pedro Alvarez Continues to Push for Opening Day
Pedro Alvarez got off to a slow start this Spring Training. Just one-for-15 to begin, he’s since gone nine-for-16 with three home runs and 10 RBI. That has increased his spring batting average to .345 and his OPS to 1.136.
In today’s game, Alvarez came in to play first base in relief of Martin Prado in the seventh inning. In his turn at bat in the eighth, he smacked a two-run shot into right-center field that had the St. Louis outfielders simply turning their heads in the general direction of the wall.
Alvarez, who led the National League with 36 home runs in 2013, hit just .180 last season in limited action with the Baltimore Orioles. That performance notwithstanding, he’s making it hard for the Miami Marlins management team to ignore him.
Tayron Guerrero Struggled
Tayron Guerrero came into this game in a non-save situation with a four run lead in the ninth. Dexter Fowler led off with a single to break up the no-hitter, then Paul Goldschmidt hit another single. A Harold Ramirez throwing error from right field allowed Fowler to score and take the shutout off the board.
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Nine In A Row
The nine victories in a row, while technically meaningless, is still nice to see. The Miami Marlins have never won nine in a row in the regular season, although the Florida Marlins accomplished the trick five times, most recently in 2008. The Miami Marlins longest winning streak of 2018 was just four games, twice.
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