No No-No, But Nine Wins in a Row for Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 22: Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on August 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 22: Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on August 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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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.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 23: Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on September 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

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.

Drew Steckenrider followed Richards stellar outing with a perfect seventh inning, and Austin Brice kept the Cards hitless, despite allowing a walk and hitting a batter.

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.

Miami Marlins
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 25: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a solo home run in the sixth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on May 25, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

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.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 01: Tayron Guerrero #56 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Marlins Park on September 1, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Guerrero settled down after that, inducing an RBI-groundout from Andrew Knizner and groundouts from Jose Martinez and O’Neill to shut down the rally.

More from Marlins News

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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