Saturday’s game was a story of two halves.
The Marlins fell short of what would’ve been one of their largest comeback wins in franchise history, but Saturday night’s contest still gave them plenty to feel encouraged about.
- Jesús Luzardo—4.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 24.7 CSW% (81 pitches)
- Austin Gomber—6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 37.0 CSW% (92 pitches)
The Rockies showed why they have the highest-scoring home offense in the majors, gradually wearing down Luzardo. Although the newly acquired left-hander steered clear of the middle of the strike zone, he frequently put himself in bad counts. He induced 12 whiffs on 39 swings (30.8%)—that’s a good rate in a vacuum, but only two of those came in putaway situations.
Connor Joe, who entered the game with only 15 runs batted in as a major leaguer, gave the Rockies their initial lead with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second inning. He would go on to finish with a career-best four ribbies. His bases-loaded single against Zach Pop in the fifth put Colorado up 7-0 (both runners who scored on the play were inherited from Luzardo).
However, Lewis Brinson, Jorge Alfaro and the Fish fought back. For just the third time during his Marlins tenure, Brinson reached base safely four times in the same game. His overall 2021 season production has soared to a 96 wRC+, remarkably close to league average!
Making his third start of the week in left field, Alfaro contributed a pair of hits and picked up a well-deserved outfield assist in the bottom of the seventh.
Brendan Rodgers extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Unfortunately, he exited early after Zach Pop’s inside fastball plunked his right hand. Bryan De La Cruz showed off his strong arm in right field, though the accuracy was lacking on several of his throws. Brian Anderson had played inexplicably poorly in his career against the Rockies prior to this season. He brought those numbers up closer to his normal standards by going 2-for-5 at the plate with impressive plays to convert soft grounders into key outs. Ross Detwiler’s ill-timed slump prevented him from drawing serious interest prior to the trade deadline, but he’s been on a scoreless streak ever since then.
Luzardo, Pop, Detwiler and Anthony Bass combined for only two strikeouts, the lowest single-game total for the Marlins pitching staff in 2021.
Raised in Denver as a Rockies fan and drafted and developed by the organization, lefty Kyle Freeland will attempt to lead his hometown team to the series sweep. The Marlins still haven’t disclosed their probable starter, but Nick Neidert would be on full rest. First pitch scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET.
- Austin Gomber
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