The Miami Marlins have enjoyed more than their fair share of late-inning heroics and one-run game success in 2023. On Sunday, their indulgence continued.
As he’s done in the vast majority of his starts for the Marlins this season, Braxton Garrett shut down the opposition for the better part of 5 innings. His latest victim, the Chicago White Sox, were held to just 3 hits and a walk as Miami’s left-hander struck out 9 in his 5 1/3 innings of work.
Faced with the option of letting him pitch deep into the Chicago lineup a third time through or playing it safe and letting him leave on a high note, manager Skip Schumaker sided with the latter, and it’d come back to bite him. The duality of this decision can be attributed to Garrett’s apparent struggles in said situations (1.044 OPS in 42 PA facing the order a 3rd time entering play) while also wanting to see the 25-year-old pitch deeper into games. Yet, after just 82 pitches and Miami clinging to a 1-0 lead, out was Garrett and in came JT Chargois.
Immediate returns from Chargois were promising, as the former Tampa Bay Ray struck out his first hitter, Luis Robert Jr, but two-out doubles to Andrew Vaughn, Jake Burger and Miami-native Romy Gonzalez would make for a three-run bottom of the 6th for the South Siders.
Chicago would break the game wide open the following inning thanks to a two-run homer by the aforementioned Robert.
The Marlins entered the 8th trailing by 4 with all of 6 outs to play with. They’d get the most out of each and every one of them.
After being limited to just 1 run over 7 strong innings from Lucas Giolito (3.54 ERA), the Marlins would implement their next two ingredients to their winning formula.
Leading off the top of the 8th and already with a home run today, Jorge Soler authored his 3rd multi-home run game of the season to cut the deficit to three.
Two batters later, Garrett Cooper would make it three home runs for Miami, as he deposited his 7th of the season over the Guaranteed Rate Field center field wall. Chicago 5, Miami 3.
Bryan Hoeing would neutralize the Sox bats in the 8th, retiring the 5-7 spots in order to bridge the gap to the top of the 9th.
With first-year manager Pedro Grifol turning to his closer, Kendall Graveman, the owner of a 2.28 ERA before Sunday, something most Marlins felt was either inevitable or seemingly never to happen happened.
Sitting on a 1-2 slider that caught too much of upper-outside end of the plate, Jean Segura hit his first home run of the season off the left field foul pole. Chicago 5, Miami 4.
“Felt like we walked it off at that point with the way they were screaming, but we’re still down…but we don’t win those last two games without him,” said Schumaker.
And as is the nature of baseball, up came Jorge Soler. Miami trailing by 1, 9th inning, two outs. Working the count 3-1, Soler drew what he thought was a clear-cut ball 4, but home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson thought otherwise, signaling strike two to run the count full. Fortunately, for Soler, whose exchanges with Tomlinson following the pitch could have warranted a tossing, the Marlins DH would walk on the next pitch to set up first and second for Bryan De La Cruz.
One pitch later, the Marlins magical 2023 run would go to live on another day as De La Cruz sliced a single past third baseman Yoán Moncada to score the tying and go-ahead runs. Miami 6, Chicago 5.
Only needing 10 pitches to get through the 9th, A.J. Puk authored his 3rd consecutive outing since returning from the injured list to cement the 6-5 victory for the Marlins.
- Sunday marked the 72nd time in franchise history where the Marlins had hit at least 4 home runs in a single contest. Miami is now 61-11 in those games.
- Miami’s most recent win made for their 20th such of the come-from-behind variety this season—only the Orioles (21) and Angels (21) have more.
- The Marlins will enter play Monday 8 games over .500 for the first time since August 1, 2016, when they fell to 57-49 following a 5-0 loss to the senior Chicago team, the Cubs.
Miami will look to keep their positive momentum going as they venture out to the Pacific Northwest to begin a three-game series versus the Seattle Mariners. Manager Skip Schumaker will hand the ball to Jesús Luzardo (5-4, 3.79 ERA) in the series opener on Monday. Rookie Bryce Miller will pitch opposite of him for Seattle. First pitch is slated for 9:40 EST from T-Mobile Park.