The Miami Marlins topped the New York Mets on Friday night behind solid pitching and a nice power display.
Coming into the game at 33-55, the Miami Marlins trailed the New York Mets by six games through the break. It’s entirely possible that the surprising Marlins pass the Mets by the close of the 2019 campaign. Here’s a few things that we noticed.
Smith Dominated Despite Control Issues
Caleb Smith (5-4, 3.23) was the most dominant Miami Marlins pitcher through the first two months of the season before landing on the injured list. As the post-all-star-break number one starter, he managed to earn a victory despite walking five in six innings.
Smith put 63-of-105 offerings between the wickets for Mets hitters, and racked up six strikeouts in the process. Despite the free passes, he allowed only two runs, neither earned, while giving up three hits in total. Smith was hurt by questionable pitch calls on a few balls by home plate umpire Chris Conroy, which did, in fact, lead to some runs. Be thankful that the offense came to play.
The Miami Marlins blasted three shots over the fence, but still rank last in the majors with 71 through 89 games. The next-to-last club, the Detroit Tigers, have 77 to their credit, and they trail the National League next-to-last San Francisco Giants by 17 taters. Twenty-five of the thirty clubs have amassed over 100 homers this season, led by the Twin-City bomber Minnesota Twins, with 166, over double Miami’s total.
But it’s still nice to see the good guys can get it done. Brian Anderson hit his career-best and team-leading 12th home run of the 2019 season, and also leads the team with 40 RBI. Despite only appearing in 52 games, rookie first baseman Garrett Cooper now has nine after tonight’s shot – a total that projects to around 30 over a full season. Curtis Granderson still hovers around the Mendoza line, but his eighth home run of this year give him 340 over the course of his career.
Miami Marlins Bullpen Hit-and-Miss
A trio of relievers finished out the final three frames for the Miami Marlins, doing enough to close the game with a lead in a non-save situation. Jarlin Garcia struck out one in a perfect seventh inning, putting seven-of-11 pitches over the plate. Elieser Hernandez, moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen, threw a perfect eighth and struck out two with seven-of-10 strike calls. Only Adam Conley struggled, taking 28 pitches (17 strikes) to get through the ninth inning. He allowed a pair of hits, including a Todd Frazier two-run homer before getting the final out. He also struck out two batters.
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Chris Mazza’s Arrival
Former Miami Marlins prospect Chris Mazza completed the scenic route to the major leagues with the Mets just before the all-star break, and appeared in his second big-league game in tonight’s Marlins win. Mazza was solid if unspectacular in the Marlins bush leagues until May of last season, when they granted his outright release. He was great in four starts for the Seattle Mariners double-A club to close out the season, racking up a 1.33 ERA and striking out 23 in 27 innings. This year, he’s pitched 77 1/3 innings for the Mets top two minor league affiliates, the Syracuse Mets and the Binghampton Rumble Ponies. It was nice to see such a class act and all around great guy get to the promised land by whatever means possible.
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