After Luzardo donned the cape, Arraez walks off the hero as Miami snaps the 8-game skid.
14 days. 8 straight losses. A total narrative shift.
When the Marlins leapt into the All-Star break the morning of July 10, they did so at 53-39 with a 74.5-percent chance of making the playoffs. Fast forward to the morning of July 23, and after dropping their 8th successive game, those once-robust odds had been slashed by a third (48.8%).
Luis Arraez‘s walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Marlins a 3-2 victory to quell some of the recent unrest.
One day after his teammate, the deceptive veteran Johnny Cueto stymied the Colorado bats for 6 1/3 innings—a turn-back-the-clock kind of outing, if you will—Jesús Luzardo gave us a potential glimpse into the future. In the best of his 66 career starts, the hard-throwing southpaw threw a career-high 115 pitches and struck out a career-best 13 hitters. He limited the Rockies to just 1 run over 7 masterful innings. Luzardo’s 3.22 ERA now ranks 6th among National League starters.
However, things wouldn’t come easy for Luzardo near the end. With two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd in the top of the 7th, Skip Schumaker peered his way into Luzardo’s peripheral as the Marlins skipper walked towards the mound, Brenton Doyle—already the owner of 1 home run in the game—lurking on-deck.
“He wanted it. That was his moment,” noted Schumaker.
During a bullpen day for manager Bud Black’s pitching-starved Rockies club, Miami were held scoreless through the game’s first 5 innings thanks to a tandem of Ty Blach and Connor Seabold. Come the bottom of the 6th, though, and with Seabold in his third inning of work, Nick Fortes’ first of two hits on the day set the table for Arraez’s game-tying RBI double. Three batters later, Yuli Gurriel (who would later be ejected following an exchange with home plate umpire Andy Fletcher), put the Fish ahead with a sacrifice fly to score Arraez.
Piggybacking off his starter, Tanner Scott would get help by way of a 4-6-3 double play to cap off a scoreless top of the 8th.
The problem: Miami still stood 3 outs away from bidding adieu to the 8-game slide, and with A.J. Puk warming.
“A.J., it just feels like, is making one bad pitch an outing,” said Schumaker.
That “one bad pitch” Sunday, a center-cut 3-2 slider to Randal Grichuk, would find its way onto the left field concourse, tying the score at 2-2. Puk has now blown 5 saves as a Marlin, the majority of those in July. He has pitched to a 9.82 ERA over 8 appearances this month.
“Everything else looked crisp. He still has his velo, his slider is real. It’s just that one bad pitch that’s costing us those leads late in the game,” Schumaker stated. He did not indicate what the team’s plan of attack will be in the 9th inning moving forward.
Following Puk and preceding Arraez, Huascar Brazoban provided a huge boost thanks to 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, Colorado deployed a five-man infield to best contain Arraez, but noting a vacancy in right field, he set his coordinates there and emphatically bid a fond farewell to the losing streak.
- Luzardo’s 13-strikeouts tied Braxton Garrett (6/22/23) for the most by a left-handed pitcher in franchise history.
- Arraez leads MLB hitters this season with 14 3-hit games. He’ll enter play Tuesday hitting .379.
With an off-day scheduled for Monday, Miami will travel along the Gulf Coast to St. Petersburg to begin a 2-game “Citrus Series” against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Edward Cabrera (5-5, 4.50 ERA) will start Tuesday’s series opener. In his lone career outing against Tampa Bay on 9/24/21, Cabrera lasted just 3 innings, allowing 3 runs and walking 6. Opposing him, Tyler Glasnow (3-3, 3.62 ERA), will make his fourth career start against Miami. First pitch from Tropicana Field is slated for 6:40 EST.