A perfect season has yet to occur in Major League Baseball’s storied history.
With a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Miami Marlins, the Colorado Rockies assured themselves they’d fail to reach the 162-0 mark along with every other team since the league’s inception.
The Rockies failed to capitalize on the momentum from their first two wins, their biggest problem being on the mound.
Ahead are the takeaways from the third of four games in Miami.
The fish refuse to flop this time
Struggles at the plate were a thing of the past for the Marlins in their lone win in a trio of attempts.
Led by three hits from their leadoff hitter, Miguel Rojas, the hosts hit the ground running, tallying 16 total hits en route to their seven-run mark. The hit total was their highest since Aug. 19th of last season (17).
Of their bevy of hits, the Marlins didn’t have a home run after utilizing the longball exclusively for their first four runs in the series.
Of the 10 hitters that tallied a plate appearance, not including pitchers, the Marlins had five garner multiple hits, including catcher Chad Wallach (2-for-3) who entered the game with only 56 prior career at-bats.
Each Rockies’ pitcher suffered from the outburst, with all four relievers, including starter Tyler Anderson, allowing a hit.
Pablo Lopez gives Marlins a glimpse of their future
To show for his 2018 campaign, Pablo Lopez hurled 58.2 innings in 10 starts, sporting a 4.14 earned run average. Merely ho-hum numbers with spurts of potential intertwined.
Between AA-Jacksonville and AAA-New Orleans last year, Lopez carried a 1.44 ERA, a catalyst for his late-season call-up. In his first start of 2019, he showed the skill set present in his minor league stint, largely stifling a Rockies offense that had 12 runs on 20 hits in the series’ first pair of matchups.
While Lopez chooses to utilize his pitch repertoire, relying on his coastal home ballpark to bring the heat, his control was unflappable. The young right-hander painted the corners for much of the game en route to 5.1 innings of three-run ball. The outing included a career-high seven strikeouts and a pair of streaks of four-or-more consecutive hitters retired.
After Trevor Richards’ great start in the club’s loss on Friday, the franchise received a look at the future of their pitching rotation, Jose Urena rounding out the three.
Much has been made about the Marlins rebuild, featuring the departure of a pair of National League Most Valuable Players in Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Though one could argue they had a contending club prior to shipping out their stars, the front office decided to build from the ground up.
With the way their young starters have looked thus far, it may not be all darkness for the Marlins’ new philosophy.
Tyler Anderson’s performance in spring lives on
After allowing the most home runs in the NL last year (30), a hard-hit Spring Training wasn’t ideal for Anderson’s perspective 2019.
In his first start on the year, Anderson did little to counter his woes, falling peril to what figures to be one of the league’s worst lineups.
His final line: five innings, nine hits and five earned runs. The subtle good news for the southpaw was his denial of any home runs, though it did little to offset his problems.
The biggest problem for Anderson was his cutter. On the day, four of the nine hits he allowed came off the pitch, with each of the four coming in the Marlins’ three-run third inning. Used as his secondary pitch, the movement happened to be directly into the middle of the zone several times, leading to trouble.
With Jeff Hoffman waiting in AAA-Albuquerque to finally get his shot at the rotation and a breakout, Anderson can ill afford to continue his struggles. A club looking to win now only adds to the burden.
Insurance policy features massive coverage for the Rockies
Due to a sliding play in Friday’s win, Daniel Murphy was subjected to the bench, set to undergo precautionary x-rays on his left index finger.
In his stead, Garrett Hampson was given his first start of the year with Ryan McMahon sliding over to first. His range was quickly on display:
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 31, 2019
The play wasn’t the only impact made by Hampson as he accrued a hit at the plate as well, scoring the game’s first run on a Charlie Blackmon single.
A valiant performance from Hampson shed light on the Rockies’ renewed depth on their bench, with Mark Reynolds and Raimel Tapia bolstering the team as well. Their mix of veterans and young players along the bench will be advantageous as the season’s latter months trudge on.
Though Reynolds and Tapia have yet to garner a hit in their pinch-hit appearances, the ability to fill in at several positions is even more vital.