Miami Marlins abysmal in Justin Verlander’s Mets debut

Marlins Justin Verlander's Mets

Photo by Edwin Garcia

Miami, Florida – Fans and Marlins players alike will want to forget this one as Justin Verlander’s Mets barraged the Fish 15-4 at Roger Dean Stadium. Jesús Luzardo started today’s game squaring off against the three-time Cy Young winner. Miami jumped to an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI double from Jean Segura, generating the team’s highwater mark.

New York responded with a three-run dinger via Lorenzo Cedrola. Everything came apart in the fourth inning when the Mets erupted for six runs. George Soriano made a pickoff attempt at second base, except there was nobody there. If this wasn’t enough, center fielder Bryan De La Cruz compounded the problem with a fielding error allowing two runs.

Things went from bad to worse. Tim Locastro smacked a two-run double followed by a two-run homer from Mark Vientos. Pete Alonso capped off the inning with an RBI single. Vientos came back with an encore performance in the fifth smashing a three-run bomb to make it 12-1 Mets. The Marlins managed to scratch three more runs in the losing effort. Verlander pitched three frames allowing two hits and a run, striking out a trio of batters.


Disastrous games aside, there are some tidbits to be gleaned in today’s small sample size which includes a few of our off-season acquisitions. Luzardo was OK in today’s start. He fell behind in some at-bats failing to get quick outs but did manage to strike out both Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso. The former went down to a payoff pitch sinker and the latter fell to a nasty slider. His lone error was Cedrola taking him deep to left-center field in the second. Luzardo struck out three walking none in almost three innings of work.

Luis Arraez, meanwhile, went 1-for-3 hitting a line drive single to left field in his first at-bat. The 25-year-old infielder won the American League batting title last year finishing the season with a .316 batting average. Arraez has been touted with high-quality contact skills largely contributing to his success last season. He led the league in contact rate (94.1%) and had the fewest swings and misses (2.5%). Slashing 316/.375/.420 in 2022, he recorded 88 runs, 49 RBIs, eight homers, and four stolen bases.

I credit Segura for giving the team an early lead finding the gap between left and center field, against Verlander no less, but man his poor base running got him thrown out at third on that play. It’s been a quiet spring for him so far. Currently, he’s hitting .182 while using spring training to try out third base since second now belongs to Arraez. Segura and Arraez will be competing in the World Baseball Classic next weekend for the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, respectively.

Future Ace

Today’s game was not only Justin Verlander’s Mets debut but also Eury Pérez’s second mound appearance. Brought in the sixth to replace Dylan Floro, the 19-year-old punched-out Abraham Almonte, retired Jose Peraza, and pitched around Jaylin Davis’ ground-rule double for a clean sixth. The seventh played out in a similar fashion getting ahead of hitters and making those quick outs. Pérez was shelled in the eighth giving up two home runs.

It was not an ideal game for him sure, with New York’s bats rattling off six hard hits. Part of the reason was his heavy reliance on his four-seamer making up over half of his pitches. However, those first two innings I found them to be encouraging especially for a youngster going up against major-league talent. Looking forward to the kid’s progress and growth on his journey to the show.

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