Caleb Smith takes the mound on Tuesday night as the Miami Marlins look to win a game in the desert against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
At the beginning of the season, it was hard to think Marlins pitcher Caleb Smith would have a losing record at this time of year, but the lefty has fallen on hard times of late. Coming into the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight, he looks to get back on track and help the Marlins get back in the win column in the desert.
A strikeout pitcher, it has been the home run that has hurt Smith this season, which wasn’t the case when he jumped out to a 3-0 record. Now at 8-10, he looks to get closer to the .500 mark and show he can be just as aggressive as he was back in April.
Smith has given up 29 home runs in 25 starts. The bad thing is 19 of them have been on the road and this being a game in Arizona, the team can ill-afford another night where Smith runs deep in the count, giving up runs and having to leave the game earlier than expected.
The Marlins fell to the Diamondbacks 7-5 on Monday night.
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"“For 5 2/3 innings on Monday night, the Marlins didn’t have as much as a hit off D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Then, in the seventh inning, they received a big pinch-hit from Neil Walker — a two-run homer that woke up an offense that had struggled in the first leg of the road trip.”"
Miami’s bats have been stagnant or on life support of late, wasting solid pitching performances from Sandy Alcantara, Robert Dugger, and Elieser Hernandez. Hopefully, the launch by the veteran Walker will prove to be a shot in the arm for Miami tonight.
And if Smith is on point with his control and can stay out of big innings, he could pitch past the fifth inning, something this team needs from him. He does have 160 strikeouts this season even with a stint on the I.L. for a hip injury during the first half of the season.
Not playing into Smith favor is a 2-6 road record where he has a 4.77 ERA this season. He is opposed by Alex Young who is 7-4 this season and had a 3.38 ERA. In his last start of the season against the New York Mets, he surrendered six runs over 2 2/3 innings.