Andrew Miller started tonight against the Braves’ ace, Derek Lowe but it was Miller who would scrape by tonight. For his first start of the season, Miller was sitting pretty with a 4-1 lead in the 5th inning, but gave up the equalizer to leave the game after 4.2 innings with a tie 4-4. Lowe had given up 7 hits and 4 earned runs to that point while Miller gave up just 4 hits but 4 earned runs. Neither pitcher would factor into the decision but considering it was Miller’s first start and facing the Braves #1, he did a commendable job.
It was the Marlins bullpen, however, that stepped up. Hayden Penn would relieve Miller and get the win while Dan Meyer, Kiko Calero and Reynel Pintel would hold things in place. None of the relievers gave up a run tonight and the battle of the bullpens was won.
The Marlins offense continues to impress – they are moving runners and scoring runs without relying on the longball. In the top of the 9th, the Marlins added on 5 runs with a combination of drawing walks, slapping singles, and good base running. Dan Uggla started with a walk and Jeremy Hermida followed by getting hit by a pitch. A single from Cody Ross scored the first add-on run. Wes Helms, John Baker, and Hanley Ramirez would all drive in runs to finish the inning.
This is a crucial difference between this year and last is that the Marlins are getting those add-on runs to seal the victory and relieving the bullpen a bit. Instead of having the bullpen in there trying to hold back the floodgates, they are coming out to pitch with an offense out in front of them scoring runs. This is the reason, right now, why the Marlins have the best record in all of baseball – and one of the reasons why they should be getting a lot of attention from the rest of the league.