The Miami Marlins aren’t playing any baseball lately, but neither is anyone else.
To fill the void, the folks at Out of the Park have put out their yearly game simulation. This season, OOTP 21 comes out tomorrow, but customers who pre-ordered get the beta version three days early. It’s the beta version that I’ve been simulating the 2020 Miami Marlins season with, bugs and all.
The bugs I’ve run into have a lot to do with the Miami Marlins management group using an excessive amount of options to the Triple-A Wichita Wind Surge. Dylan Lee, Jordan Yamamoto, Tommy Eveld, Trevor Rogers, and a few other pitchers have gone up and down several times already. In the name of game-sanctity, however, I’m going to continue to remark on each game and each transaction. The week starts with the Marlins in last in the division, at 4-9.
Marlins 4, Mets 2
Speaking of each transaction, the Miami Marlins made a surprise signing in the first week of the season, when they inked free agent pitcher Matt Harvey to a one-year deal. His first start would be against the Atlanta Braves.
Harvey lasted seven innings, striking out seven and giving up seven hits and a walk. Each of the two earned runs he allowed were courtesy of solo home runs, and he left after 7 1/3 innings with a 4-2 lead. Dylan Lee got the final two outs of the eighth on seven pitches, and newly-anointed closer Drew Steckenrider whiffed two in a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.
The Marlins scored all of their runs in the second inning, half of them on Brian Anderson‘s third home run of the season. Jonathan Villar picked up the other two RBI on a double. Matt Joyce finished two-for-three, and leads the Marlins with a .433 average after 14 games.
Now 5-9, the Marlins no longer reside in the National League East basement. They’re one game ahead of the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals.
Post Game Transaction
Tommy Eveld was recalled from Wichita, and Jordan Yamamoto was sent down in his place to the Triple-A Wind Surge.
Braves 7, Marlins 1
The Marlins couldn’t string together two wins against these Braves last season, so why should this season be different? Sean Newcomb ran his record to 2-0, allowing only one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings to Miami. Pablo Lopez surrendered five runs on nine hits in only 3 2/3 innings before getting lifted for a very efficient Trevor Rogers. The big lefty struck out two in 2 2/3 perfect innings.
Offensively, only Miguel Rojas, Lopez, and Jon Berti collected safe base-hits in the game. Berti’s was a third-inning RBI-triple to bring home Lopez, and was the only thing keeping the Braves from a shutout.
Marlins 7, Braves 2
The Marlins earned at least a series-tie with a strong effort from lefty-starter Caleb Smith. He earned his second win of the season, striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks. Brandon Kintzler was strong in his relief appearance, and recently-acquired Giovanni Soto pitched a clean ninth in a non-save situation.
Corey Dickerson was the big offensive hero for the Miami Marlins. He hit home runs in each of his first two at bats to give him four for the season and four RBI for the game. He finished three-for-four. Isan Diaz added a two-run single. Both Diaz and Brian Anderson went two-for-four in the game.
Braves 12, Marlins 2
A tired Sandy Alcantara faced the Braves in the series finale on just four-days rest, and was trying to give a near-equally tired bullpen the night off. He was not nearly successful. Before getting three outs, he had already surrendered five runs on four hits and three walks. Unable to make it through the first, Tommy Eveld came in to finish it, trailing 5-0 before the Marlins got to the plate.
It got worse before it got better, and by better I mean the ending of the pain. By worse I mean that the Braves continued to pour it onto an already obviously beaten foe. Atlanta put up 11 before the Marlins got on the board, with one run in the fourth inning. Ryne Stanek proved slightly more effective than Alcantara, who is now 0-4 with a 10.80 ERA, giving up three runs on five hits in an inning of work.
Dylan Lee was sent down to the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League, and Alex Vesia was called up in his place.
In addition to that move, Corey Dickerson was named the National League’s Player of the Week after going nine-for-19 with four homers and eight RBI. The Marlins took a day off after the Braves split, preparing for a two-game home-set versus the Los Angeles Angels.
Marlins 2, Angels 1
Matt Harvey tossed eight zeroes before allowing a run with one out in the ninth, and the Miami Marlins got to 7-11 for the season. Harvey, now 2-0, has impressed in a short major-league look thus far with the Marlins. Drew Steckenrider struck out both batters he faced to nail down his third save of the season.
All of Miami’s offense came on a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh courtesy of Jesus Aguilar, his second of the year. Jon Berti collected half of Miami’s four hits, going two-for-four, and Garrett Cooper went one-for-three. The rest of the team was zero-for-17.
Left-handed reliever Aaron Loup was called up from the Wind Surge. Loup was released from the Tampa Bay Rays on April 8th, and signed with the Marlins sometime prior to first pitch against the Angels.
Angels 3, Marlins 2
Pablo Lopez carried a shutout one-hitter into the eighth inning, but couldn’t finish the job against the Angels at home on Wednesday. With 9,834 in attendance, Lopez surrendered an eighth-inning solo shot to Brian Goodwin to get the Angels on the board.
Drew Steckenrider took the hill for a ninth-inning save opportunity, but ended up blowing the save and taking the loss, allowing two runs on a walk and four hits in 2/3 of a frame.
Garrett Cooper went deep in the seventh for his fifth home run of the season, and Corey Dickerson collected a pair of doubles in defeat.
Triple-A Pacific Coast League: Wichita Wind Surge 5-2
Harold Ramirez has started the season 11-for-27 at the three-A level, with four RBI. Lewis Brinson is nine-for-31 with a homer and five batted in. Sixto Sanchez has walked one in 15 innings, allowing 10 hits and striking out eight while going 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. Elieser Hernandez is 2-0 with 14 K’s in 12 innings since his demotion.
Double-A Southern League: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3-2
Nick Neidert has surrendered two hits in two starts, striking out 11 in 11 2/3 innings. The only Jumbo Shrimp pitcher with a WHIP over 1.000 is Edward Cabrera, but it’s only a 4 1/3 inning sample size. Jazz Chisholm has started the season five-for-20 with three homers and eight RBI. Brian Miller has started off seven-for-19 with three stolen bases.
High-A Florida State League: Jupiter Hammerheads 4-2
Single-A Midwest League: Clinton LumberKings 2-4
Catcher Dustin Skelton has started his year eight-for-19 with three homers and six RBI. Sean Reynolds is five-for-17 with two homers, two doubles, and six strikeouts. Jerar Encarnacion is six-for-24 with two long-balls and five RBI.
The Miami Marlins take tomorrow (April 16th) off, then play three versus the Phillies in Philadelphia. After another off-day, they’ll play the Mets in New York for three more games.
Thanks for reading. Check back here tomorrow for another week of “what if?”