Caleb Smith struck out eight batters as the Miami Marlins halted a four-game losing streak by beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Friday night.
It’s hard to look at silver linings during the start of the Miami Marlins 2019 campaign, but Caleb Smith is 2-0 this season on the mound. The lefty once again showed he could become the team’s ace of the future, striking out eight batters in a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night at Marlins Park.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak and for the moment, eased some of the worries of the team’s lack of consistency this season.
In other news, the Marlins announced they have dismissed hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo. More on that in a story to follow here on Marlin Maniac.
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"Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, “Smith’s ability to miss bats is a big reason the Marlins snapped their four-game losing streak and are now positioned to win their first series of the season.“All they have to do is win one of the next two against Washington, a tough task when you consider Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are lined up for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.”"
It is was the way Smith dominated on the mound, working through the Nationals lineup that continues to impress the Marlins coaching staff and front office. The team also go a solid ninth inning out of Sergio Romo, who earned his second save of the season.
Two months ago, the Marlins weren’t sure of Smith, coming off surgery for a lat injury, would be part of their rotation or plans on the 25-man roster.
Smith has lowered his ERA to a solid 2.35 after four starts this season and in 23 innings, he has 29 strikeouts. His ability to work out of trouble on Friday night gives him a chance to potentially move up in the rotation from being the team’s No. 5 starter.
"As Frisaro explained, “Perhaps his biggest strikeout on Friday came with one out in the sixth inning when he got Juan Soto with Anthony Rendon on third.“That inning ended on a Ryan Zimmerman soft fly ball to right… Striking out Soto turned out to be a pivotal point in what was then a 1-1 game.”"
Romo spoke with the media following the win, praising his teammate for pitching well when it was needed the most.
"“Stuff-wise, it’s hard not to match him up with just about anybody,” Romo said. “He’s got a very live fastball. You may not see 97-100 like some guys out there, but it’s still live — 93-95. It’s not easy to hit. It’s moving.”"