Braxton Struggles on the Mound, Marlins Losing Skid Continues Against Colorado

Braxton Garrett vs Rockies 7/21/2023

Photo by Tony Ozegovich

After starting the second half of the 2023 MLB season on a six-game losing streak the Miami Marlins are back home at loanDepot Park to take on the Colorado Rockies with Braxton Garrett on the mound. Miami was going up against a team 22 games below .500, making it an ideal series to snap the losing streak. This is a must-win series; unfortunately, a sweep isn’t impossible after Friday night’s lackluster performance dropping the opener 6-1.

Braxton and The Long Ball

The game was decided after the first three innings when the Rockies jumped on Garrett for all six of their runs. Garrett did not record a single 1-2-3 inning and the Rockies made spacious loanDepot Park look like hitters-friendly Coors Field. Braxton’s outing only lasted three innings and it was clear he was not fooling anyone after surrendering three home runs, one in each inning.

In the first inning, CJ Cron delivered a two-run homer to give Colorado the early lead and they ran away with it from there. Again in the second inning with a runner on and two outs, the Rockies made Garrett pay. Jurickson Profar blasted his seventh home run of the season and the Rockies doubled their lead with one swing. It was only fitting to have their All-Star catcher and 2023 All-Star Game MVP, Elias Diaz, record his 10th homer of the season with a solo shot in the third inning.

After a taxing road trip for the bullpen, this was not how Skip Schumaker envisioned starting this series. What looked to be another long night for the relievers out came the lone bright spot for Miami.

Soriano To the Rescue

With Braxton moving into the starting rotation, the Marlins have utilized 24-year-old George Soriano in long relief roles. Out of his nine appearances in 2023, Friday night against Colorado was his best outing yet and it came at a crucial time.

Soriano shined out of Miami’s bullpen and gave the Marlins a fighting chance for a comeback with a lot of baseball left to play. The right-hander blanked the Rockies in four innings of relief, recording eight strikeouts and allowing zero hits. After his appearance, the Marlins were still trailing 6-0 but Soriano did his job and more.

Offense Needs to Rebound

The Marlins lone run came in the bottom of the seventh inning on Nick Fortes‘ fielder choice RBI. The offense came out flat against a pitching staff that is one of the worst in the majors. They still have a chance to turn it around with two more games left in the series but this losing streak has come at the worst time with the trade deadline looming.

The way Miami plays in the next two weeks before the deadline will dictate if they are “buyers” and hopefully they are still in the Wild Card race by then after slipping to fourth. The Marlins look to end the losing streak at seven games tomorrow with the veteran Johnny Cueto on the mound.

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