Jesus Luzardo shines as Luis Arraez walks off the Rockies

Photo by JC Ruiz


Miami, Florida – With Jesus Luzardo dominating from the mound and Luis Arraez at the plate the Marlins avoided the sweep edging out Colorado 3-2 in extras. The Southpaw set new career highs with 13 strikeouts and 115 pitches thrown. Luzardo put in seven innings of work tying his current career-high giving up a run on four hits.

La Regadera, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs raising his batting average to .379 in his pursuit of history ending the eight-game skid. It was also Arraez’s first career walk-off.

Luzardo cruised through four innings getting out of some trouble in the third. After retiring the first two hitters Jurickson Profar drew the walk followed by a two-bagger from Ezequiel Tovar. With two runners in scoring position, Luzardo pitched himself out of a jam K’ing Ryan McMahon.

Brenton Doyle broke the scoreless deadlock in the fifth, however, crushing Luzardo’s sinker on a 3-1 pitch to right center field. Doyle also robbed the Marlins of a run that same inning, making a leaping grab on Dane Myers’ liner.

Miami responded with deuces in the sixth. The hitting machine found the gap in left for the game-tying RBI double. Yuli Gurriel popped out deep enough to center field to knock in Arraez for the go-ahead run.

Luzardo showed grit in the seventh. With two on and two gone Coach Skip Schumaker visited the mound. The skipper made the right call by leaving in the starter who showed his faith was not misplaced by striking out Doyle who previously homered off him.

The bullpen faltered once more in the ninth. With one out Randal Grichuk went yard lifting one off A.J. Puk to left-center field tying the game. Although Luzardo’s hard-earned win was gone, Arraez hit the game-winning single salvaging the series.

Impressions

With the losing streak over the Marlins begin anew. Outside of the heroics of Jesus Luzardo and Luis Arraez, this has been a nightmarish start to the second half of the season. It’s simply amazing how despite losing eight in a row heading into today’s contest the Marlins were only one game out of the wildcard. The weekend series with the Rockies is a really missed opportunity. Not even an impressive 30-18  home record could save them against a team that was 22 games below .500 that’s also 14-33 on the road. On Friday it was a combination of struggles at the plate and on the mound. On Saturday, despite an amazing start from Johnny Cueto of all people the bullpen completely imploded. Cueto pitched six innings of one-run ball two-hitting the Rockies K’ing eight.

Fortunately, despite the bullpen’s failure to close the deal on Sunday, the Fish pulled off the extra-inning magic. Only three guys really stood out this weekend: George Soriano, Luzardo, and Arraez. Next up is a day off followed by a quick two-game road trip with Tampa Bay.

Speaking of, the schedule is going to get harder. The trade deadline is on August 1st and the team going all in as buyers is no longer an option barring a dramatic turnaround. Chances are they will be soft buyers in a best-case scenario or soft sellers if the struggles continue. If they do go out and get acquisitions, ideally it would be both a bat and another arm for the pen. Otherwise, focus on reinforcing the offense.

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