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Marlins 11, Diamondbacks 3: How to deflate hope, 2022 edition

Don’t let the final score fool you. This game was exciting, even for Diamondbacks fans. Kelly wasn’t sharp, but got through five. Caleb Smith kept it competitive, and the Offense tied it off the Miami bullpen. But oooooooooooooooooooooooh boy did Melancon and Wendelken lose this game for Arizona. An EIGHT-RUN ninth for the Marlins. But Alek Thomas hit his first home run as a big-leaguer! And Luplow added to his burgeoning legacy.

Lineups

Miami
  1. Chisholm 2B
  2. Cooper 1B
  3. Soler DH
  4. Wendle 3B
  5. Garcia RF
  6. Rojas SS
  7. Sanchez CF
  8. De La Cruz LF
  9. Stallings C
    + Alcantara SP
Arizona
  1. Varsho C
  2. Smith RF
  3. Peralta LF
  4. Walker 1B
  5. Rojas 3B
  6. Marte 2B
  7. Beer DH
  8. Perdomo SS
  9. Thomas CF
    + Kelly SP
First Inning

Top - No time to settle in: first pitch was lined to Walker at First. Cooper then negated that with a 9-pitch walk. Soler left him at First with a line out to Left. Wendle then hit a solid home run to Right, scoring two. First home run given up by Kelly all season. Ah regression to the mean. And Garcia had a hit up the middle. Thankfully, Rojas slow-rolled to Marte for the final out after 28 pitches. Not exactly the start anyone was hoping for.

Bottom - Almost before realizing the game was back on, Varsho had struck out and Smith lined out to Left. And then Peralta struck out as well. Twelve total pitches for Alcantara. 2-0 Marlins

Second Inning

Top - Sanchez walked to lead off the inning. Kelly is very much not his 2022 self today. As if to illustrate that, De La Cruz knocked a loud single up the middle. Stallings then got an RBI single to Left, scoring Sanchez, but De La Cruz got greedy and was run down between Second and Third. Jazz wasn’t having the best day, he flew out to Thomas in Center. Cooper got a long double to Right, moving Stallings to Third. Soler finally stuck out on Kelly’s 50th pitch of the day…

Bottom - Christian Walker walked (I love typing that; it truly is the little things in life). But Rojas struck out. Marte then “flew” out to Center. And Beer grounded out into the Shift. Keep on Keeping on Mr. Beer, we’re here for you. 3-0 Marlins

Third Inning

Top - Perdomo did manage to smother a well hit grounded up the middle, but there was no shot at a play: infield single for Wendle. Garcia grounded to Rojas at Third, but the throw to Second wasn’t ideal, so only the first runner was retired. Miguel Rojas then shot a single past Josh Rojas, runners on the corners with one out. Sanchez hit a HARD ball directly to Walker, who stepped on First and then threw to Marte who applied the tag for an unconventional double play! No runs scored! Progress.

Bottom - Wendle replaced at Third by Gonzalez (not sure why - leg injury). ALEK THOMAS WITH HIS FIRST MLB HOME RUN! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! Perdomo and Varsho both quickly grounded out to let Thomas enjoy his moment. Smith did the same. 3-1 Marlins

Fourth Inning

Top - De La Cruz stuck out to start. Ball got away from Varsho and the throw was off the bag, but it all worked out well. Stallings then lined out and Jazz grounded out on one pitch again. That was refreshing.

Bottom - Peralta and Walker grounded out. Rojas walked and stole Second, but Marte struck out. 3-1 Marlins

Fifth Inning

Top - Cooper and Soler both struck out then Gonzalez grounded out. The game didn’t get out of hand.

Bottom - Beer struck out. Hang in there dude. Perdomo flew out to Center. Thomas struck out (but did have a good amount of foul balls). 3-1 Marlins

Sixth Inning

Top - Caleb Smith replaced Kelly. Garcia and Rojas struck out. Sachez flew out to Right. Wow. Reliever Smith is so much better than Starter Smith. Can we be done with that experiment please?

Bottom - Varsho flew out to Center. But Smith walked and was retired at Second on a Peralta ground out. Peralta then took second on a wild pitch. But Walker grounded out, ending the inning. 3-1 Marlins

Seventh Inning

Top - Smith was dealing. De La Cruz grounded out and Stallings and Jazz struck out. Only 23 pitches so far.

Bottom - Rojas immediately popped out to Left/Third base. Marte then grounded out to First. Beer hit a single! 1-38 now! Unfortunately Perdomo grounded right into the shift. Inning over. 3-1 Marlins

Eighth Inning

Top - Cooper struck out (his 5th in 7 batters!). Soler flew out to deep Center. And after a looooong at bat, Gonzalez struck out. What a relief effort from Smith!

Bottom - Alcantara finally replaced by Steven Okert. Thomas welcomed him with a line drive to Right. Ooof Varsho though - struck out on three pitches. BUT LUPLOW CAME THROUGH! TWO RUN BOMB TO LEFT CENTER! TIE GAME BA-BY! Peralta nearly made it back-to-back, but didn’t quite get enough: fly out to Left. That was it for Okert - now Anthony Bass pitching for the fishes. Walker scorched a ball, but unfortunately it was hit directly to First Base. 3-3 Tie

Ninth Inning

Top - Mark Melancon in to protect the tie. Luplow in Right. Garcia walked on seven pitches. But Rojas popped out on one! Sanchez then grounded to First, but was too fast to be doubled off. De La Cruz followed this up with his own single. Stallings hit a heart-attack inducing foul ball to Right before getting a single to Center, scoring Sanchez. Sigh. Jazz then hit a home run…. Of the 3-run variety. JB Wendelken replaced Melancon and promptly gave up a single to Cooper. And then Soler hit a single too! Let’s not forget Gonzalez… his single was of the RBI-kind, scoring Cooper. Garcia once again at bat. He ALSO hit a three-run home run. My god bullpen. My god. Aguilar hit for Rojas and got a single. Unbelievable. Oh My God Sanchez grounded out to First! Yay!

Bottom - Lots of Miami defensive changes (including Aguilar at Third!). Sulser pitching. Rojas gave a ball a ride to deep Left, but it stayed inside the park for De La Cruz to catch. Marte grounded out quickly. And what could be a more fitting end to the game than a Seth Beer strike out? 11-3 Marlins

Conclusion

Oooof. Kind of wish I could just leave it at that, but y’all deserve better. While Kelly didn’t have his ace-level stuff today, he grinded to give the team 5 innings of 3-run ball. That’s pretty good. Still earning the nickname of “Mainstay Merrill.” We all got to watch the Alek Thomas show in the Third (the first of many more moments, I have little doubt). And man this Jordan Luplow guy is pretty exciting! Gonna have to keep an eye on Ronny Simon (now of the Rays) to see what history will decide for “winner of the trade.” Now for the bullpen…Smith was phenomenal. No doubt there. He threw 3 perfect innings with 6 strikeouts. That’s as nifty as it gets. Melancon may have just pitched himself into Arizona horror-story lore though. ANd Wendelken followed him up. Both gave up 4 earned runs, 1 home run and neither struck a batter out. Melancon did get two outs and Wendelken technically “finished” the game for Arizona, getting the final Miami out, but OH MAN do I not want to see either on the mound again for several days.

Kudos to Mr. Sandy Alcantara of Miami who righted his recently listing ship and pitched 7 wonderful innings for the victors. Laurels where laurels are due.

Fangraphs

Top Comment

MrRbi17 was the only Sedona Red today. Out of 223 at the time of writing. Beer immediately broke his unwanted streak after this comment!

Up Next

An off day on Thursday before a series with the Chicago Cubs. Looks like game one will be Friday night at 6:40pm Arizona Time. Zach Davies on the mound for the Diamondbacks and Drew Smyly for the Cubs. The game will be an Apple TV broadcast. I’ve been reading bad things about their announcers but can’t say I’ve watched yet. I’ve got to be at work at 0200 the next morning, so I’ll defer to the gameday thread to find out if they actually suck as much as Twitter would have me believe.