The Miami Marlins head back to the road to face the St. Louis Cardinals Monday after finding their footing again during their six-game homestand.
The Marlins were reeling from a 1-8 road trip. Then they won two of three games against the Colorado Rockies and two of three from the Atlanta Braves.
“The homestand in general was good, kind of got back on track,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Offensively, it seemed like our energy got back to where it needs to be, so that part was good. We walk into the next series, we’ve got to play well on this trip. Two tough cities, and then see where we’re at.”
The Marlins are catching the depleted Cardinals in the midst of a 2-11 downturn. The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium for this three-game series after suffering a three-game sweep against the Cubs in Chicago.
“I know we’re losing a lot of games right now,” Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez after taking the 2-0 loss Sunday despite allowing just two unearned runs. “It’s a long season. I trust in my team. I believe in my team. We’re going to be better than this.”
The Marlins will start rookie left-hander Braxton Garrett (0-1, 6.43 ERA). In his most recent outing, he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in four innings in a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
“It didn’t look like he had his best stuff,” Mattingly said. “I think more than anything, it didn’t seem like until that last inning he really located his fastball where he could use that thing to keep them off-balance. I felt [catcher Sandy Leon] did a nice job of mixing breaking balls, being able to stay soft, kind of navigating the traffic. Obviously Brax had to execute that part of it.”
Garrett, the seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft, will be making his fourth big league start and his first against the Cardinals. He was 3-1 with a 3.28 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Jacksonville this season.
He is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but he remains a work in progress.
“There’s certainly more in the tank,” Garrett said. “There’s just some things my lower half and upper half are kind of out of sync a little bit, because my hips kind of go and my upper half kind of stays back, and they’re really just not in sync. So I certainly think there’s more in the tank there. But it’s just a matter of getting my body to work.”
The Cardinals will start Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.03), who has been the most reliable member of their injury-battered starting rotation. He earned an 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, allowing those two runs on three hits and no walks in seven innings.
Wainwright is 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 career appearances against the Marlins, including 11 starts. Corey Dickerson (6-for-13 with two doubles, two RBIs) and Starling Marte (14-for-49, double, two triples, two homers, eight RBIs) have had success against him.
-Field Level Media