It’s always the one you least suspect.
When Miami Marlins reliever Tanner Scott took the mound against New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil to begin the ninth inning tied at 1-1, there were several possible outcomes that at-bat could have taken. As a less-successful Luis Arraez prototype, there was no doubt the contact-heavy McNeil would do anything more than hit a single, or even perhaps a double if he really put some power behind it.
Instead, McNeil delivered a go-ahead home run to right field to give New York the 2-1 lead.
Prior to that at-bat, McNeil had only hit nine home runs this year. Conversely, Tanner Scott had only given up two home runs this year, and they both came in the same game all the way back on April 25. Coming into Monday’s loss, Scott hadn’t allowed any earned runs in 22 innings over his last 18 games dating back to July 31.
“He’s human,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said of Scott. “I mean, he’s going to give up another run probably over the next few games too. I mean, he’s been lights out. And yes, some good hitters run into baseballs every now and then. And McNeil put a good swing on the slider and hit it out.”
Asked after the game how quickly he’d get over this outing, Scott said, “it’s already gone. It happened. I threw a mistake pitch and he hit it. So I’ve just got to live with it, and tomorrow is a new day and we’ll play them again.”
Marlins starting pitcher Edward Cabrera—making his first start since getting sent down to Triple-A Jacksonville on Aug. 1—pitched a solid game, giving up one run in 5 ⅓ innings.
The 25-year-old was sent down largely due to his control and command issues. When he came back up earlier in September, he had two lengthy appearances out of the bullpen to varying degrees of success, giving up two walks in four innings on Sept. 6 and six walks in 4 ⅔ innings on Sept. 12.
On Monday, he allowed one walk and threw 51 of his 77 pitches for strikes. His 66% strike rate was just a few points shy of his season-high of 69.6% against the Washington Nationals on May 17.
The Marlins offense didn’t help the pitching staff much at all on Monday. After putting up 36 runs against the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, the Marlins only scored one run against Mets starter José Butto over six innings, and were shut out by their bullpen the rest of the way.
Tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning, it seemed like Jorge Soler had given the Marlins the lead when he cranked a ball to the left field concourse at 109.8 MPH and a projected distance of 428 feet according to Statcast. Soler rounded the bases, the LED lights at LoanDepot Park started flashing, but crew chief Nestor Ceja called a quick umpires meeting and ruled the ball foul. An official replay review confirmed the call.
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