Will the Marlins rookie pick up where he left off in his first win on the Major League level?
The rookie had his best outing of the season against the Chicago White Sox last week, going seven innings while striking out nine batters and allowing just two runs. It’s the kind of game that could have been a springboard for the righty, who owns a 1-2 record with a 2.76 ERA.
His stats continue to emphasize the issues the Marlins have had the majority of the season – with solid outings by their young starters only to be stymied by a lack of run production. Hopefully, following an 11-6 win over Arizona last night to win the team’s fifth game in their last six outings, this is the start once again of another series win and continued growth of the young franchise.
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The Marlins will face Jake Odorizzo, who is 11-5 this season and owns a 3.84 ERA with 108 strikeouts. It could also be a game where the home team faces Sergio Romo, the closer they traded over the weekend for first base prospect Lewin Diaz.
The Marlins have scored 28 runs in their last six games and continue to piddle toward the bottom of the Majors in hitting. Miguel Rojas has given the team a shot in the arm of late with three home runs in his last three games.
The team and manager Don Mattingly are still talking about how Caleb Smith has come back from a hip injury to reclaim his spot as the team’s ace on the mound for the moment while trade rumors swirl like buzzards over Marlins Park.
"“In his two seasons with the Marlins, Smith has shown plenty of promise. But his 2018 campaign was cut short due to left lat surgery,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “And he missed time this season with left hip inflammation. But when he’s been healthy, he’s been Miami’s most productive starter.”"
There is still a solid chance Smith finishes this season with double-digit wins. There is also a chance Gallen could become a more dominant pitcher on the mound with more innings and more experience.
Gallen was the minor league pitching sensation at Triple-A New Orleans before he was called up to the Majors in June. It looked as if the front office would allow him to continue to dominate Pacific Coast League hitters and move on to the Major in September, but injuries changed that narrative.
Now, Gallen has a chance to make a statement as one of the team’s starters next season if he continues his progression toward the end of 2019.