Another game, another impressive outing from a rookie starting pitcher. This time, the Marlins provided copious run support.
It’d be difficult for any Marlins win to be more satisfying than the Sixto Sánchez revenge game, but the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Phillies came pretty close. Former first-round draft pick Braxton Garrett made his major league debut and earned the win, thanks in part to numerous standout individual performances from his teammates.
- Zach Eflin—4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (91 pitches)
- Braxton Garrett—5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR (75 pitches)
Garrett wasted no time introducing his signature curveball to the Phillies batters. The lefty threw 24 of them, generating five whiffs and seldom allowing hard contact.
A close look at the sexiest curveball in the Marlins organization pic.twitter.com/lJIQU7h5h7
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 13, 2020
Meanwhile, Eflin was greeted rudely in the bottom of the first by five straight Marlins—Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Joyce and Brian Anderson—reaching base safely. The Fish took a 3-0 lead.
An Alec Bohm solo home run got the Phils on the scoreboard in the second, but they never inched closer.
Garrett induced ground balls in critical situations. The Marlins turned two 6-4-3 double plays behind him, and third baseman Anderson got involved in the fifth inning on the soon-to-be famous “no way” play.
A closer look at Garrett’s reaction:
Last season, as a 21-year-old with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, he posted a 52.8 GB%. He’s bound to have a substantial career as a big league starter if he maintains that rate.
Aguilar, Miguel Rojas and Chad Wallach each had two runs batted in. Old friend J.T. Realmuto (hip) evidently needed the full day off because he wasn’t used in either game of the doubleheader despite there being so much at stake in regards to NL playoff picture.
Garrett joined Scott Olsen (2005), Justin Nicolino (2015) and Chris O’Grady (2017) as the only left-handers in Marlins history to start and earn the winning decision in their MLB debut. The club is non-committal about when he’ll get another shot to contribute to the already-crowded rotation, but upcoming doubleheaders at home against the Nationals next Friday and Sunday seem like potential fits for him.
With only two weeks of the regular season remaining, the Marlins (23-21) have vaulted past the Phillies (23-22) and into second place in the NL East. Though they aren’t necessarily the better team, they are breaming with confidence and fortunate to have more of their critical players healthy for this final stretch.
The MPCS wraps up on Monday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Eager to bounce back from his bizarre outing in Atlanta, Pablo López will get the start for the Marlins.