All eyes were locked in on former All-Star and Gold Glove winning center fielder Starling Marte, as he made his debut with the Miami Marlins as part of a two-game home-stand against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the offense finding a groove, pitching being relatively well and defense being mostly on point, Miami focused on getting out of a skid as they enter the second half of the 2020 season.
Tuesday was a day of new faces for both Miami and Toronto. With the Marlins acquiring Starling Marte in a blockbuster deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, top prospect Jazz Chisholm being called up by Miami and Jonathan Villar rocking the baby blue uniform for the Blue Jays, the first game was set to be a good one to watch.
Bluejays’ Cavan Biggio spent no time with introductions with a leadoff double which would then result in the first run of the game. Elieser Hernandez got the start for the Marlins, but was pulled from the game in the third inning and put on the 10 day IL with a right latissimus dorsi strain.
Josh A. Smith relieved Elieser of his pitching duties and went on to have a decent four innings. Although letting go of three hits and a run, Smith shut down a lot of scoring opportunities for Toronto. Villar was quiet all night, not recording a single hit in four at-bats or stealing a base. Rather, he caused a fielding error.
Smith’s work would give Miami the chance to keep another game close and ending in a nail biter. All nerves were calmed after Marte came up to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning and blasted a pitch to left-center field for 438 feet. Starling’s nuke would secure another win for the fish with a final score of 3-2.
The second game served as an explanation as to why Villar was traded. He had a decent start, registering two hits in two at-bats. But, some horrible decisions left the former Marlin looking silly in the diamond, as he was picked off twice from some reckless play.
Sixto Sanchez got the start for Miami and let go of the only runs scored by Toronto. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. put the Blue Jays on the board with a two-run home run.
Marlins hitters Brian Anderson and Marte were on it all game, both garnering two hits. In the end, Miami couldn’t bring either Anderson or Marte home to score runs and fell with a final score of 2-1.
Offensive Player of the Series- Starling Marte:
All aboard the Marte train. With his go-ahead home run to secure a Marlins win in his first game with the team, followed by multi-hit game, Marte was doing everything right with the bat.
He’ll surely be a gem for the club throughout the rest of the season.
Defensive Player of the Series- Brian Anderson:
Brian Anderson made some Gold Glove worthy plays at the hot corner during this series. The true highlight was when Anderson made a beautiful barehanded catch and throw to first base to get a very needed out. Heading into Tampa Bay, he still stands tall and strong at third base.
Miami will use Thursday to travel to the west coast of Florida and look to get a win on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays as part of their three-game series.