Game One-Hundred Twenty Recap: Marlins 6, Brewers 2


Matt Garza pitched poorly again, allowing five runs on eight hits over five lackluster innings. The Brewers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Adeiny Hechavarria booted a one-out grounder from Shane Peterson, allowing Khris Davis to score from third following a double from Hernan Pérez. Unfortunately, the Brewers’ lead was short-lived, as the Marlins answered with a pair of runs in the third and fourth, and another in the fifth, to put the game out of the reach of Milwaukee’s struggling offense. Elsewhere in wildly-disappointing veteran pitchers, Kyle Lohse came in to finish the game, lowering his ERA to 6.11 by allowing a run over two innings. Betwixt Garza and Lohse, Tyler Thornburg pitched a pair of scoreless frames.

For the Marlins, Justin Nicolino was solid, if not spectacular, in his fourth career start, continuing a trend from throughout his short major-league career. He earned his second quality start — for whatever that’s worth — and generated a steady stream of ground balls, even while his strikeout numbers remained depressed (Nicolino has now struck out just seven batters over 23.1 innings).


Staked to a 1-0 lead, Garza quickly found himself in trouble in the top of the third, giving up a pair of singles to J.T. Realmuto and Hechavarria to put runners on the corners with nobody out. A poor bunt from Nicolino that traveled just a couple of feet had Jonathan Lucroy thinking about taking the force at second, and his hesitation nearly allowed the Marlins’ pitcher to reach safely at first. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Dee Gordon laced the first pitch he saw to left, plating a pair and giving the Marlins the lead for good.

It’s one thing to surrender a lead just an inning after your offense went and seized it for you, but to do so against the bottom of the order adds insult to injury. Garza has been crushed by the bottom third of the order this season, allowing an .847 OPS to non-pitchers batting in the 7-9 spots entering play Monday — a figure that’s only 10 points worse than his numbers against the heart of the order. Garza had actually be pitching more effectively of late, with a 2.55 ERA over his previous four outings, so it was disappointing to see the 31-year-old reverting back to his old ways.


For folks wanting to catch a glimpse of the future, Biloxi Shuckers’ ace and Brewers ninth-best prospect (according to Jorge Lopez toes the mound Tuesday evening against the Jackson Generals, Seattle’s Double-A affiliate. Lopez leads the Southern League in wins, for those of you who are still interested in such stats,  and has been absolutely dominant of late:

With the big league club, on the other hand, right-hander Tyler Cravy will get another crack at it on Tuesday as he squares off against fellow rookie Adam Conley. Neither has been very effective thus far in their young careers, as both Cravy and Conley have ERAs in the fives and carry rather unsightly 1.6 and 1.8 strikeout-to-walk ratios, respectively. Tickets remain available for fans interested in seeing what happens when two bad offenses take on a pair of rookie pitchers — the easily-stopped force meets the quite-agreeable-to-moving object, if you will.

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