Marlins collapse in the ninth and drop third straight game

A strike away from evening their series against the Nationals, the Marlins found another creative way to lose. 

Heading into the All-Star break, the Miami Marlins had one of the best records in baseball and also had the best start to a season in their franchise’s history. They were fourteen games above .500 and the top Wild Card team in the National League. But after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss on Saturday to the Washington Nationals, the Marlins are 65-65 and rapidly falling out of contention. The Marlins were a strike away from evening the series and found a way to lose. 

Rookie phenom right-handed pitcher Eury Pérez got the start and was spectacular once again. Perez pitched six innings allowing two hits, one unearned run, one walk, and seven strikeouts. 

After Pérez’s outing, Miami handed the ball to left-handed relief pitcher Andrew Nardi. The southpaw walked one batter but looked great keeping the Nationals off the scoreboard. Tanner Scott came in for the eighth and was excellent once again with a 1-2-3 inning.

The Marlins offense continues to struggle putting runs on the scoreboard. First baseman Josh Bell didn’t get things going for the Fish until the bottom of the sixth. His opposite-field home run to left field tied the score at 1-1. Bell has eight home runs in 22 games since being traded to the Marlins.

All-Star Jorge Soler would give the Marlins the lead with a solo home run to left field, his 34th of the season.

However, the Marlins fell apart in the top of the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Lane Thomas led off against David Robertson with a triple to center field. Jazz Chisholm Jr. laid out trying to make another great, but the ball went off the tip of his glove and rolled all the way to the wall.

The Nationals had runners on the corners with no outs before Luis Arraez made an incredible play at second to throw Thomas out at home. After Carter Kieboom popped out to first, the Marlins were an out away from securing the win.

Jake Alu would come through with a game-tying RBI single up the middle scoring Jacob Young, who made his MLB debut today. To make matters worse, Michael Chavis scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball from Jacob Stallings.

Aside from that, third baseman Jake Burger had another productive game going 2-for-3 with two knocks. Burger is hitting .425 while playing at LoanDepot Park. Jon Berti was caught stealing for the fifth time, matching his total from 2022 (despite far fewer attempts). The Marlins went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

What’s next?

The Miami Marlins will look to avoid getting swept by the Washington Nationals in the series finale Sunday afternoon. The Nats haven’t swept them at LoanDepot Park since the 2019 season.

The Marlins will likely use an “opener” instead of a conventional starting pitcher, but they haven’t announced who that will be yet. The Nationals will hand the ball to right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams, who’s coming off a scoreless outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The first pitch is at 1:40 pm EST on Bally Sports Florida.  

Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

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