Subtropical storm Alberto is visiting Miami and the south Florida region during this Memorial Day weekend, not including the constant rain that was current the week leading into it. The downpours may have dampened the outdoors barbeque plans and the unofficial start to summer, so traveling in the rain for indoor baseball is a good idea.
Miami Marlins hosted the Washington Nationals in game two of a three-game series at home. Marlins lost game one 9-5 to the Nationals. Entering a dry indoor game two the Nationals lead the majors in players on the disabled list with 12.
Marlins handed the baseball to Wei-Yin Chen on the mound who took a two-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the eighth. His best start in three years. Nationals had Tanner Roark pitching. Roark allowed four hits and one run in seven innings. A good pitching battle.
Then subtropical storm Alberto hit the Marlins.
Wilmer Difo hit a game-tying home run off the foul pole, and the Nationals kept it pouring from there to beat the Marlins for the 10th consecutive time, 4-1.
Chen even humbled Bryce Harper who had his first four-strikeout game since 2016, but the Marlins could not close it out moreover add more runs to the box score.
“Tough one, Wein was really good today, a lot in the tank,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly shared.
Entering the game Chen has been inconsistent. He has yet to had last six innings in any of his five starts, and he had not thrown more than 83 pitches. Chen’s 7 1/3-inning outing was his longest in more than a year. He retired 13 in a row during one stretch. This was the game for Miami to capitalize.
“It has been a long time I pitched into the eighth inning,” the Taiwanese left-hander said through a translator. “I tried not to overthink about it and just attack the hitters.”
Chen is coming back from an elbow ailment that limited him to five starts in 2017. He struggled early this season but has lowered his ERA from 10.22 to 5.22 by allowing a total of three runs in his past three starts.
Harper has a batting average of .231, along with 15 homers. Making him at one point return to the dugout and take three swings at the bat rack, shattering his bat and producing a trio of fiery crashes that reverberated in the stands.
For the Marlins offensively I expected first baseman Justin Bour to have a big game. He has three homers in his career against Roark. Bour had four at-bats, no hits, and two strikeouts.
Marlins just came off a series win at the New York Mets next RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-4, 3.36) will try to help the Nationals complete a sweep Sunday when he faces RHP Elieser Hernandez of the Marlins (0-1, 2.08).
Skies should clear since Alberto was about 330 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida, and moving north-northeast at 13 mph. Marlins will need to win to dry out the dampened weekend.