The Miami Marlins had the opportunity to complete a three-game sweep of the LA Dodgers on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Ryan Pepiot was magnificent through seven shutout innings to help the Dodgers salvage a game against Miami, beating them 10-0.
Thursday’s starter for Miami was Braxton Garrett, who didn’t have his best stuff. In 3.2 IP, Garrett walked three, struck out four and gave up one earned run on three hits. He also hit a batter. The Dodgers made him work, which is why he was taken out with two outs in the top of the fourth with 91 pitches.
Aside from using the slider just a bit more than the sinker on Thursday, Garrett went with his usual arsenal which also included the cutter. What hurt Garrett was his lack of command and a pesky Dodger lineup. They worked a lot of deep counts, especially in the fourth when Austin Barnes and Miguel Rojas both worked seven pitch at bats. Before Barnes and Rojas, Kiké Hernandez worked a 10 pitch plate appearance which resulted in a walk.
“Brax just couldn’t put anybody away,” said Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker. “They kept fouling pitches off and long at bats and just couldn’t only put anyone away, but put it in play. He only gave up three hits one run, but his pitch count just got way too high and couldn’t let it go any further.”
Garrett reiterated Schumaker’s point. “They had really good at-bats. Feel like I found myself a lot of times in great counts and then I just struggled getting out of at-bats. They’re fouling off a ton of balls off cutter and tried to sink them. Just couldn’t put them away.”
The one run that Garrett surrendered came in the top of the third inning when designated hitter, Will Smith, drove in Miguel Rojas with the bases loaded and one out. Garrett was replaced by J.T. Chargois, who punched out Mookie Betts to end the threat in the fourth.
After reliever J.T. Chargois did his job, the Marlins went with long man George Soriano to start the fifth, where things got ugly. The Dodgers pounded him for six hits and five earned runs, knocking him out of the game after only recording four outs.
One of the five runs came from Freddie Freeman‘s 52nd double of the season, which tied a Dodger franchise record for most doubles in a season. On that double, with Mookie Betts on first, the ball boy mistakingly picked up the live ball. At the umpires discretion, he allowed Betts to score anyway.
The last time the Marlins faced starting pitcher Ryan Pepiot, he tossed five innings, struck out five and only gave up one run on three hits. This time around, he was even better. Pepiot retired the first 19 batters he faced, flirting with perfection in South Florida. It was broken up by first baseman Josh Bell, who drilled a clean single up the middle. Pepiot would complete the inning, going seven strong while striking out three.
Pepiot, who for the most part has a high strikeout rate, didn’t strikeout too many guys, but generated a lot of weak contact, which allowed him to work quickly and efficiently.
“The changeup gave us trouble all night,” said Schumaker. “We couldn’t lay off of it. We swung out of the zone, couldn’t hit it when it was in the zone and just kind of back and forth with the fastball at the top and then with a changeup. Kind of tunneling it and we just couldn’t lay off it. We knew coming in that he had a good changeup, we faced him at their place, but it was just in the strike zone so long and just fell out in the bottom out towards the end and we just had a tough time laying off the pitch.”
The Dodgers would go on to score four more runs to make it a 10-0 Dodgers win. First, Chris Taylor drove in Max Muncy on an RBI double. In his next at bat, Taylor crushed a three-run homer to give them the 10 runs.
Garrett suffered his eighth loss on the season while Pepiot earned his second win. The Marlins now travel to the city of brotherly love to face off against the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. Eury Pérez will take the mound for game one for Miami as Cristopher Sanchez goes for the Phillies. Game begins at 7:05 pm EST.