The Marlins first experience with MLB’s new extra innings rule left the team with a bitter taste in their mouth. Miami dropped the 10-inning affair 5-4 and have lost three straight after a six-game winning streak and 7-1 start overall.
Elieser Hernandez went 5.1 innings and surrendered three earned runs. He made one mistake pitch in the sixth to Bo Bichette, which went for a 3-run home run, but otherwise looked good. He finished with five strikeouts, four hits and one walk.
Despite Two Home Runs, Marlins Offense Continues to Struggle
The Marlins offense slumbered through most of this extra innings game. Miami’s offense seemed to sleep-walk through this one, outside of Brian Anderson’s second inning homer and Francisco Cervelli’s 2-out, game-tying 3-run shot in the bottom of the ninth.
“The home run, I saw the ball and I hit the ball. That’s it,” Cervelli said. “I saw the situation and I looked at who was behind me, and I said, ‘I’ve got to swing here.’ That was my plan.”
Lewis Brinson followed Cervelli in the batting order and he’s yet to register a hit with the club since his recent call up. Heading into the game, Brinson was 0-for-8. On Tuesday night, Brinson’s struggles with the bat continued as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
All in all, the Marlins couldn’t muster the big hit. The team, which went 4-for-17 with runners-in-scoring-position in their weekend loses to the Mets, was 1-for-8 with runners-in-scoring-position. Marlins batters struck out nine times, including the key first out in extra innings.
Logan Forsythe nearly gave the Marlins a 2-run lead in the top of the 10th inning, but his hit, initially ruled as a home run, was ultimately overturned to a foul ball. Forsythe then struck out.
“Obviously, Cervy’s homer is big,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It gives us an opportunity. For a brief second there, it looks like Logan’s got a homer. Then, just weren’t able to make a pitch there in that last inning.”
Marlins Loss: Extra Innings Rule Favors Home Team Considerably
The new extra inning rules tilt the odds of the game dramatically in favor of the home team. Each club gets a runner at second base to start the inning, but if the road team doesn’t score, strategy dictates the home team move the runner over with a sacrifice bunt then try to put the ball in play to score the runner from third.
For the Marlins, Stephen Tarpley faced these long odds and couldn’t wiggle out of the trouble. After the Blue Jays bunted Anthony Alford over, Tarpley seemed to have Cavan Biggio on the ropes, but a pitch that clearly seemed in the strike zone was called a ball by home plate umpire James Hoye.
The call elicited an expletive from Mattingly, who barked his displeasure toward the plate. Marlins batters remained frustrated with the zone throughout the night, as they have been for the better part of the last two series.
“The strike zone again,” Mattingly said after the game. “We’ve had this crew and they’re gonna go back to Miami with us. You can’t complain, just live with it.”
Mattingly made defensive adjustments in the 10th inning, including going to five infielders, then moving Brinson from right to left field in the middle of Biggio’s at-bat. But Tarpley’s inability to get the strikeout led to Biggio’s walk, then an intentional walk to Bo Bichette to load the bases. Travis Shaw looped a game-winning single to right five pitches later.
“This is not softball,” Cervelli said of the new extra innings rule after the Marlins game. “This is not the Olympic Games, this is baseball. But this is what it is. I’ve got to adapt to this. I believe if we’re the home team, and we have success, we’re going to be happy.”
Harrison Pulled in 8th Inning
Monte Harrison’s struggles at the plate continued. He struck out twice before being replaced by Eddy Alvarez in the eighth inning. He’s now struck out in six consecutive at-bats.
The Marlins have one more game in what has turned out to me an epic opening road trip. When the Marlins finally return home, it’ll be 23 days after having left for what was originally supposed to be a six-day trip.