The Miami Marlins managed just three hits and got shut out by the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
What’s more important is that Opening Day starter José Ureña had a very fine outing in his last pre-regular season tune up. Prior to today’s contest, Ureña has pitched 10 2/3 innings and surrendered 13 hits and five walks, an untenable 1.688 WHIP with only nine strikeouts. Today’s performance was far more in line with what we are hoping for from him with the Miami Marlins in 2019.
Ureña faced the minimum over his three innings, inducing two ground-ball outs, two fly-ball outs, one line-out, and two pop-outs. He also collected two strikeouts to boot, and didn’t walk anybody either.
The September, 2018 Version of José Ureña
The perfect outing brought to mind the September, 2018 version of Ureña. Remember he entered the final month of last season with a 4-12 record and a 4.56 ERA, along with a .254 opposing batting average. September would see him win five games in five starts, while allowing 19 hits over 30 innings. He gave up a .183 batting average and struck out 20 while yielding a 1.20 ERA. And that is the Ureña that we are hoping for in 2019.
We also noticed in this game, the penultimate Spring Training contest of the season, that Justin Verlander is pitching exactly like Justin Verlander. He struck out nine Miami Marlins in only four innings, while surrendering a total of two hits.
Miami Marlins Whiff Problems
Starlin Castro whiffed three times. Brian Anderson, Neil Walker, and Lewis Brinson each were K’d twice, and only Brinson amongst them collected a safe base hit. Completing the circle on the Marlins abbreviated hit parade for the game were Garrett Cooper and Jorge Alfaro.
Caleb Smith – Oh, the Humanity!
Caleb Smith showed that he’s actually human in this game. After his first two appearances saw him strike out 13 over nine innings, while allowing only two walks and zero hits, this was a bit of a comedown. Over his first four innings of work, he gave up four hits and one run while striking out six. That all came crashing down in the eighth inning.
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Smith allowed a Jack Mayfield single, a Tony Kemp ground-rule double, a George Springer two-run double, and a Jose Altuve two-run shot before collecting his first out of the frame, a Michael Brantley ground out. Austin Brice came in to put the fire out, inducing a Yuli Gurriel fly out and allowing a Granden Goetzman single before fielding a comebacker from Max Stassi. It was heartening to see Brice field a play cleanly after committing a pair of errors in the early going this spring.
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