The Marlins are on a verge of a winless road trip after allowing an early lead to slip away on Tuesday.
Performance in one-run games is the difference between the Marlins being considered a feisty, middle-of-the-road team and irrelevant bottom feeders. Tuesday’s loss to the Padres puts them at 11-23 this season in those coin-flip scenarios. It was also their fifth straight L overall, which represents the second-longest streak of its kind for them in 2021.
- Braxton Garrett—3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 26.5 CSW%
- Craig Stammen—2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 26.7 CSW%
Unironically batting in the cleanup spot, Lewis Brinson accentuated his career-best hot streak with an opposite-field RBI single in the top of the first inning. Then, Jorge Alfaro made it 3-0 with a two-run double later in that frame.
Braxton Garrett got all three outs in the bottom of the first via strikeout, but not before coughing up most of the lead. Austin Nola tightened things up to 3-2 with an RBI double, his first-ever hit against the Marlins organization that originally drafted and developed him.
A Miguel Rojas single off of Stammen gave Garrett some breathing room again, but the game never felt secure in his left hand. The 24-year-old’s entire repertoire with the exception of his four-seam fastball yielded hard contact. Several borderline pitches went against him in two-strike counts—it wasn’t destined to be a memorable night for him, regardless.
Miami’s best post-All-Star break story on the pitching side continues to be rookie Zach Pop. Entering into a relatively important situation—facing the middle of the Padres lineup with a 5-4 deficit—he put up a zero. Them he did it again the following inning.
Pop has been inducing even more ground balls than usual recently while throwing a harder slider that opponents seldom square up.
Rojas delivered a game-tying double in the top of the seventh. However, the Padres retaliated in the next half-inning. Adam Frazier ignited a scoring opportunity against Richard Bleier with a conveniently placed infield chopper, later coming around on a Nola line drive single.
Bleier has been plagued by a sky-high .457 batting average on balls in play since the break.
Every position player in the Marlins starting lineup contributed at least one hit to the losing effort. Jesús Aguilar became the first guy on the team to reach 100 hits for the season. He’s on pace to establish a new career high in that department.
Meanwhile in Jacksonville, Elieser Hernandez also threw on Tuesday in what was seemingly his final minor league rehab start. It’s possible that he could take the mound in Garrett’s place when this rotation spot comes up again on Sunday or Monday.
Wednesday’s series finale gets underway at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Marlins will ride workhorse Sandy Alcantara while the Padres pursue a series sweep with left-hander Ryan Weathers, who was pummeled in each of his previous two outings (combined 15 hits and 14 earned runs allowed in seven innings).
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