Marlins Drop Series Finale Against Washington, Look to Crucial Series With Atlanta

Marlins Washington

Miami, FL – The Miami Marlins were unable to get the series sweep against the Washington Nationals Wednesday night. They lost in extra innings 5-4 and it was another long night for the bullpen. Prior to the game, Miami was in good shape to grab the sweep with Pablo Lopez on the mound.

Wasn’t His Night

Lopez struggled with his command and got into trouble early on. Cesar Hernandez tripled to lead off the game and walked Juan Soto. Hernandez scored on a wild pitch but Lopez limited the damage to just one run. In the second inning, Washington started it off with a double by Keibert Ruiz, and then Lopez got the first two outs of the inning.

The bottom of the Nationals’ lineup pulled through when Alcides Escobar doubled with two strikes to bring in Ruiz. Hernandez struck again and followed up Escobar’s double with one of his own. Lopez got Soto to ground out to end the inning but Lopez’s pitch count was over 50 and Miami was down 3-1.

Washington was unable to score in the third but made Lopez grind through the inning. He walked two more batters and by the end of the inning, he had more than 80 pitches. Lopez’s night was over after three innings, the shortest outing of the season.

Lopez labored through this start but still leads MLB with a 1.57 ERA. The Nationals didn’t hit Lopez extremely well but were effective by drawing three walks and not chasing pitches out of the zone.

Series MVPs

Jazz Chisholm Jr. – Second Base

It seems like Jazz was in the middle of every rally the Marlins were in this series. In the three games against Washington, Jazz went 5-11 and collected three RBIs. The third run he batted in came game three of the series when Miami was rallying in the bottom of the 9th trailing 4-3.

With one out in the inning, Jazz lined a ball to right field for an out but Jesus Sanchez tagged up from third. Sanchez was called out for tagging up early and the Nationals won the game in an awkward fashion, or so they thought. After reviewing the play, Sanchez did not leave the base early and Jazz was able to send the game to extra innings.

Jazz has been on a tear to start the 2022 season. In the series against Washington, he collected his seventh home run of the season and his MLB leading fourth triple. Jazz is on pace for a 30 home run 30 stolen base season with six steals already. He is a spark at the top of Miami’s lineup and his energy is going to be needed when the defending World Series champs come to town this weekend.

Erik Gonzalez– Utility Infielder

Miami has been dealing with a few injuries on their roster including Joey Wendle and Jon Berti. Both play multiple positions around the infield. In need of infield depth, the Marlins called up veteran utility infielder, Erik Gonzalez from Triple-A.

Gonzalez was signed by Miami as a free agent and given a non-roster invite to Spring Training. He did not make the Opening Day roster but is making the most of the opportunity since he was called up on May 10. Gonzalez played and started in all three games of the Washington series. He played shortstop in game one and third base in games two and three. He provided production at the bottom of the order going 3-9 in the series with two runs scored and two runs batted in.

Berti’s and Wendle’s stints on the IL are only 10 days. Miami will have some decisions to make soon with Gonzalez when both players come back healthy. Gonzalez was a huge lift with his bat and did not commit an error on the field. He definitely did more in this series than many expected.

Sandy Alcantara–  Starting Pitcher

Alcantara pitched in game one of the series and he flourished. After a shaky first inning, he settled down and finished his outing by retiring the last 20 batters he faced. He finished with exactly 100 pitches and completed eight innings. Looking back on the series, he saved Miami’s bullpen from an extremely tough workload.

Game two was going to be a spot start and Cody Poteet made his first start of the season. Poteet’s start was cut short due to a thumbnail injury and the bullpen was set in motion. They pitched 4 1/3 innings and had hand their hands full in game three when Lopez only pitched three innings. Miami’s bullpen had to pitch seven innings of that game after using five relievers the day before. The Marlins have an off day tomorrow and it couldn’t have at a better time for those players.

Honorable Mention- Anthony Bass (Just for fun)

In game three of the Washington series, the Marlins bullpen was stretched out and their bench was thin. With the game in extra innings, Jesus Aguilar was going to be the runner on second base to start the bottom of the 10th. Manager Don Mattingly did not have many options left and decided to go with Bass. He was not used in that game since he already pitched in the previous two games.

This would not be the first time Bass pinch ran. In 2012, Bass pinch ran and scored as a member of the San Diego Padres. It would have been really cool to see Bass cross the plate as the tying run.

Here Come the Champs

After 37 games in the 2022 season, the Marlins have a 17-20 record with a +19 run differential. They are currently third in the NL East Division and are going to welcome the Atlanta Braves this weekend for a three-game series. The Braves have not been playing up to expectations to start the season after winning it all the year prior. They are half a game behind the Marlins in the division with a 17-21 record.

If Miami can take the series against Atlanta, they have a chance to pass the Philadelphia Phillies who only are one game ahead of them. This is a good opportunity for the Marlins to take advantage of a good team that is struggling at the moment. The Marlins will have Trevor Rogers, Elieser Hernandez, and Sandy Alcantara as the starters for this weekend. First pitch for Friday’s game is at 6:40.

Photo | Tony Ozegovich

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