So we had a pitchers duel this series. We had a thrilling comeback. And then we had ... whatever this was. But hey, if shoddy pitching and ugly defense are your thing, boy do I have a game for you.
The Marlins sent to the hill another one of their promising young pitchers in Elieser Hernández. Meanwhile, the Rays were slated to go with their first piggy back of the year in Rich Hill/Chris Archer.
4-3-21, let's play some ball! pic.twitter.com/GVYO7mYbQN— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 3, 2021
Game 3 of 162 • Marlins trying to avoid the sweep • Here is the Marlins starting lineup against the Rays pic.twitter.com/jqynFk4Dsm— Swings and Mishes (@SwingsAndMishes) April 3, 2021
The Marlins broke out in top in the bottom of the first. A walk to Rojas, a single by Marte, a double steal, and a sac fly from Aguilar put the Fish up 1-0.
The Rays broke up the perfect game in the second when Yandy Diaz pulled (!) a ball through the hole. He moved up to second on a KK groundout. After an Adames groundout, Zunino came up to the plate. On the 2-2 pitch, there was a cross up that cost the Marlins an inning ending strikeout.
Hernandez crossed up Wallach on pitch 5 and umpire called the fastball a ball. 2 pitches later, Zunino hit strike 4 for a homer. pic.twitter.com/ZNsb85nwUr— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) April 3, 2021
On the very next pitch, Zunino went deep to the left for a two run shot.
Florida man hits home run in South Florida park pic.twitter.com/Gfjn6kmC2i— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 3, 2021
In the bottom of the frame, Joey Wendle made a nifty catch to rob Jazz Chisholm. Jon Berti followed with a flare to right that Meadows couldn’t grab, for a double. (This will be an ongoing theme.) Wallach followed with a grounder through the empty shifted right side, tying the game at 2-2.
The Marlins had a chance to add on when Rojas doubled into the left field. But an exceptional relay from Margot to Adames to Zunino kept the game tied.
In the top of the third, there was a long, weird at bat by Rich Hill where it seemed like Hernandez was throwing change up after change up. After finally getting the K, the Marlins trainers came out to check on him. Though it looked like they were checking his fingers, the official word later was right bicep tendon inflammation. Which sucks no matter who you pitch for. He was replaced by former Rays farmhand Paul Campbell.
The Rule 5 pick was greeted by back to back single from Meadows and Margot. Wendle struck out on a ball in the dirt that moved up both runners. Then Yandy pulled another one, but the liner was caught by Berti to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Garrett Cooper golfed a slow curve out to left, putting the Marlins back on top 3-2.
I had to delete an entire paragraph about how Hill was done after three and how ineffective he had been, but Cash sent him back out for the fourth because reasons. He continued to be ineffective.
Hill walked Jazz Chisholm to lead off the inning. Then with one out, Hill picked off Chisholm, but the jazzy one stole second anyway. Chisholm followed that up by stealing third. He then scored on a Wallach sac fly. 4-2 Marlins.
Brosseau singled to right leading off the top of the fifth. Cash tabbed Yoshi to pinch hit for Hill. Yoshi bunted and was out on close play. Meadows then walked to put runners on first and second. Margot followed with a run scoring single to right that put runners on the corners.
MANUEL MARGOT— Rays The Roof Network (@RaysTheRoofTB) April 3, 2021
one-run game now BOISpic.twitter.com/6eAs7hRLJk
That was it for Campbell, as Mattingly replaced him with sidearmer Adam Cimber. Wendle greeted him with a ground ball single to left, scoring Meadows and tying the game.
JOEY WENDLE BIG TIME HERO pic.twitter.com/1Gmpjcn4t6— RaysColoredGlasses (@RaysColoGlasses) April 3, 2021
Yandy Diaz followed by driving a double up the first base line, scoring Margot and Wendle.
YANDY DIAZ!— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) April 3, 2021
First it's Joey Wendle with a hit to tie things up and then Yandy Diaz with a 2-run double and @RaysBaseball are up on the Marlins!
Watch the Rays on Bally Sports Sun & stream it here: https://t.co/0BrVCsMCFm #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/lXjOTvqWzV
Chris Archer got the call for the bottom of the fifth. He looked ... fine? You would like a few more mph on the heater, and the slider was inconsistent. But he did throw a few nice changeups.
The defense (read: Austin Meadows) betrayed him in the fifth. He gave up a one out single to Marte, then Aguilar lifted a fly to right that got Meadows all turned around. It landed untouched for a double, scoring Marte. 6-5 Rays.
Cooper followed with another fly to right, which once again eluded Meadows, this time clanging off his glove for an error. 6-6,
To borrow from Brett Rutherford in the masthead Slack, if you created a Wil Myers parody outfielder, he would be Austin Meadows.
Archer got out of the jam with a K and a short flyout.
The Marlins other Rule 5 guy, Zack Pop, came on for the sixth. He got through a pretty quiet inning, which is something considering how this game went. Nice job, rookie.
The Rays finally held the Marlins off the board in the bottom of the sixth, as Archer pitched around a one out single.
In the bottom of the seventh, Archer gave up a single and a walk to end his night. Cash called on Ryan Thompson to stop the bleeding.
He did not stop the bleeding.
An Aguilar walk and a Cooper single gave the Marlins a 7-6 lead, Thompson then struck out Lew Brinson before Cash made another call to the pen, this time for lefty newcomer Jeffrey Springs.
Springs worked Chisholm over beautifully, sweeping several sliders away before locking him up with a front door slider. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish working out of the jam, as Berti slapped a two run single to right. 9-6 Marlins. Springs then struck out Wallach to end the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Wendle hit a lead off double against one time Ray Dylan Floro. Floro retired the next two, but the throw off an Adames grounder to third was dropped by Aguilar, scoring Wendle. 9-7 Miami.
Collin McHugh came on for the bottom of the eighth. His first pitch was a curve hit to the moon by Adam Duvall. 10-7 Marlins.
Blah blah blah, walk wild pitch triple 11-7 groundout double 12-7 popout K.
Anthony Bass was on to close the game, and retired the Rays in order.
The Rays have a rare Sunday off day tomorrow. They play next at Boston on Monday. Game time is 7:10.