The Miami Marlins won their 10th straight Spring Training contest today, by a 7-1 final over a Washington Nationals split-squad.
At 1:08 P.M. EST, Washington Nationals starter Patrick Corbin faced and retired Miami Marlins leadoff hitter CF Lewis Brinson on a groundout. At 3:37 P.M. EST, Marlins reliever Mike Kickham induced a fly out to center fielder Isaac Galloway off the bat of Luis Sardinas to earn a GF in a non-save situation. Between those two events, these clubs played two hours and 39 minutes of mostly meaningless baseball.
Despite this being a “meaningless” exhibition, the game does mean a lot to the group of players on both sides still trying to nail down a spot on their respective teams’ Opening Day rosters. Here’s a few things we noticed.
Smith Continues to Pound the Zone (and the Ball)
Caleb Smith continued his red-hot start to the spring with another outstanding effort. He earned his second win in only two appearances, striking out seven over five innings. Smith only allowed one earned run, walked zero, and gave up a pair of singles. Of his 64 total offerings, 45 landed in the strike zone.
In Smith’s first appearance, five days ago, he struck out six St. Louis Cardinals in only four innings. In that game, he kept the Redbirds scoreless, hitless, and walkless. His resultant 0.222 WHIP, while unsustainable, is still heartening considering Smith’s long rehab process after his injury last June. His numbers are impossible to ignore, and he should probably begin the 2019 campaign in the Miami Marlins starting rotation. Marlins pitching allowed a total of three base hits in the game.
If all that wasn’t enough, Smith collected two base hits, the same amount he allowed in the game. Both hits were singles off Nats starter Corbin.
Dean Continues to Rake, O’Brien Collects Five RBI
Austin Dean flew out in the first inning. After that, he led off the fourth with a single, hit a two-out RBI-single in the fifth, stole a base (3), and added a one-out single in the seventh inning before getting lifted for pinch-runner Gabriel Guerrero. Dean’s spring average rose to .364, with 12 hits in 33 at bats, along with seven RBI.
Peter O’Brien hit a one-out, two-RBI double in the first, added a two-RBI single in the fifth, and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Despite O’Brien’s struggles with plate discipline (18 strikeouts in 37 spring at bats), he leads the Miami Marlins with 11 RBI. He’s hitting .216 overall.
Brinson’s Back-Sliding Plate Discipline
Lewis Brinson impressed early and often with five solo home runs near the start of Spring Training. Since then, his torrid pace has slacked off somewhat. After grounding out in the first inning, Brinson struck out in each of his remaining three plate appearances.
Brinson is still hitting .286, with 12 hits in 42 at bats, with one stolen base in three tries. He’s still slated to commence the season as the Miami Marlins Opening Day center fielder, but could stand to cut down on his current whiff rate of 29.5 percent.
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Miami Marlins Hit Parade
Aside from Dean’s three, O’Brien’s two, and Smith’s pair of singles, the Miami Marlins pitched in with six more hits. Brian Anderson (two-for-four, two runs), Martin Prado (two-for-four, two runs), Rosell Herrera (one-for-three, one run), and Garrett Cooper (one-for-one, one RBI) all contributed to the Marlins dominance of the Nationals pitching staff.
Yeah, I know it doesn’t count for much at the end of the day. After all, this is only Spring Training. But isn’t it nice to see the good guys get a little victory in their lives.
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