The New York Yankees (60-58) rolled into LoanDepot Park to play the Miami Marlins (62-57) in a three-game set and the cardiac Fish were in full force.
Trailing 7-3 heading into the ninth inning, Miami would end up scoring five runs to come back and not only win the game, but the series as well. I’m telling you, this team does not quit.
But pitching was a bit questionable for Miami.
Other than Sandy Alcantara’s complete game on Saturday, the Marlins starting pitchers really struggled against New York’s lineup.
Shortstop Anthony Volpe came up big for the Yankees as he hit a couple of home runs over the series. Right fielder Aaron Judge made his presence known by hitting a moonshot to center field in Game 1. Second baseman Gleyber Torres stole a career-high three bases in Game 3.
But in the end, the Marlins found a way to win and are very much alive in that playoff chase.
Here are five takeaways from the series.
Jesus Luzardo’s outing to forget
It was a rough time on the mound for Marlins left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo.
Luzardo got the start in Game 1 of the series and he did not look comfortable at all out there right from the jump.
In just 3.1 innings, Luzardo gave up nine hits, seven earned runs that included a couple of homers off the bat of Anthony Volpe and Aaron Judge and one walk. We’re so used to seeing him put up impressive strikeout numbers but he only had two on the night.
The second inning was where most of the damage was done.
He allowed five hits and both of the home runs came in the second inning.
The 3.1 innings were his lowest of the season while also giving up a season-high in hits and earned runs.
ANOTHER complete game from Sandy
Alcantara looked the best he’s looked all year in Saturday’s game.
He threw a complete game, the 12th of his career and an MLB-leading third on the season.
“I think my consistency, throwing a strike,” Alcantara said about what was working for him after the game. “I think they (Yankees) just was (were) very aggressive today.”
In nine innings, Alcantara allowed five hits, one earned run, two walks and struck-out 10 Yankee hitters on 116 pitches.
He now has 13 career double-digit strikeout games which puts him at a tie for second on the Marlins all-time leaderboard with Ricky Nolasco. Jose Fernandez sits at the top of the list with 18 games.
“It was a really impressive outing at a time where our team needed it the most,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said about Alcantara’s outing after the game.
If he can get back to his form that he was at a season ago, the Marlins just might have their ace back.
Luis Arraez hit a ball into the upper deck
Yes, you read that right. Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez hit just his fourth home run of the season against Yankees reliever Michael King in the first inning of Game 2.
Arraez turned around a 97 mph fastball from King and sent the ball to the upper deck in right field. The home run ball’s distance was 409 feet, the longest of his career.
“I just prepared my mind,” Arraez said about what he was looking for before his home run. “…I just lay action to that pitch. 97 (mph) inside and I just used my hands.”
Of course, Arraez isn’t known for his power, but by the way he consistently finds a way to put the ball in play.
“That was a tough pitch, 97 (mph) in on his hands,” Shumaker said about Arraez’s home run after Game 2. “He’s been working, he’s been kind of pissed off that he hasn’t been producing lately…He’s hitting .370 still so I think he’s going to be ok.”
Eury Perez hasn’t looked good
It’s been a rough couple of starts since being called back up to the Marlins for right-hander Eury Perez.
He was on the mound for Game 3 of the series and it didn’t go as smooth as he hoped for.
Perez logged four innings, allowed four hits, four earned runs, two walks and had five strikeouts.
Perez allowed four runs in his last outing also which was against the Reds.
He looked lights-out before being sent down back in early July and he just hasn’t performed at the same level as of late. It’ll be interesting to see if he can get it going going forward.
A comeback for the ages
It was all Yankees in Game 3, at least for the first eight innings.
Trailing 7-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, things looked bleak for the Marlins.
“Let’s go Yankees” chants can be heard echoing around LoanDepot Park, fans were heading out of the stadium to beat the traffic and it was all smiles in the Yankees dugout. Until, Yuli Gurriel hit a leadoff double off of right-handed reliever Clay Holmes.
The Marlins suddenly started to find their groove, stringing together some great at-bats. Nick Fortes hit an infield single, Jazz Chisholm Jr. drew a walk and next thing you know, the bases are loaded for Josh Bell.
Bell would put a ball in play and Holmes had an errant throw to first base which allowed two runs to score for Miami.
Arraez would then hit a two-RBI triple to tie the game at 7-7. In a blink of an eye, that Yankee lead evaporated.
Jake Burger would eventually hit a single to walk it off for the Marlins in what was the game of the year.
The Fish rallied for five runs in the ninth to win the game 8-7 and the weekend series two games to one.
The Marlins will play the Houston Astros next for a three-game series in Miami. Game 1 will be on Monday, Aug. 14 with a 6:40 p.m. ET first pitch on Bally Sports Florida.