Myers picks up Marlins with 3-RBI game as late-game replacement

May 1st, 2024

MIAMI -- happened to be taking cuts off the machine with Otto Lopez and assistant hitting coach Jason Hart when Jazz Chisholm Jr. was ejected for arguing a called third strike from home-plate umpire Jansen Visconti in the seventh inning. Myers knew it was time to spring into action, taking over in center field and batting third in the lineup in Chisholm’s place.

With the Marlins trailing by five runs, it appeared as though the frustrations of not only Tuesday evening’s futility but also the club’s month-long struggles had boiled over for Chisholm.

So when Myers produced the walk-off RBI single against lefty Jalen Beeks in a 7-6, walk-off comeback win over the Rockies in 10 innings at loanDepot park, Chisholm was the first person to thank him. The victory snapped the Marlins’ seven-game skid and improved the ballclub to 2-22 when trailing after eight innings.

“After the game, as soon as he got out there, I was ready waiting on him on the front step,” said Chisholm, who was so excited he flipped a cornhole table inside the clubhouse. “But at the same time, that's how you play team baseball. That's how you pick up one another, and that's how you go get a win as a team.”

With starter Ryan Feltner flirting with a Maddux in a 5-0 ballgame, Colorado entered the ninth with a 99 percent win probability. But Miami rallied with five runs as the first seven batters of the inning reached.

Vidal Bruján singled, Christian Bethancourt was hit by a pitch and Luis Arraez collected an RBI double to chase Feltner. Bryan De La Cruz walked and Myers then collected a two-run single off righty Justin Lawrence, and Josh Bell followed with a single to load the bases for Jesús Sánchez’s run-scoring hit-by-pitch. Emmanuel Rivera tied the game at 5 with a sacrifice fly to right that chased Lawrence.

Miami, however, was unable to put the game-winning run across with the infield drawn in. After the Rockies made it a 6-5 deficit with a two-out RBI double in the 10th against southpaw Tanner Scott, De La Cruz knotted it at 6 with a one-out RBI double off the left-field wall in the bottom half of the frame.

Myers, who was looking for a pitch out over the plate to shoot to right field and advance the runner to third, sent Beeks’ second pitch that way. The throw from Hunter Goodman wasn’t held onto by catcher Elias Díaz, as De La Cruz scored the winning run.

“For anybody who says that they don't care or they don't fight, they don't work, that kind of proves everyone wrong who thinks that,” manager Skip Schumaker said. “The results are the results, I get it, but it's not lack of effort or lack of want or lack of care.

"Those guys really care, they want to win. They prepare to win every day, so it just feels good to end like that. It was a really, really good win, much-needed win as everybody knows, but it's just good because the hard work you can see it finally pay off.”

It felt especially good for Myers, who missed out on the Opening Day roster despite batting .412/.474/.735 with two doubles, three homers, five RBIs and four steals in 17 Grapefruit League games. Instead, the Marlins went with utility players Bruján and Nick Gordon (both of whom are out of Minor League options) as well as outfielder Avisaíl García on the bench.

Somewhat dejected, Myers got off to a slow start at Triple-A Jacksonville. Through his first 15 games, he had a .478 OPS with just two extra-base hits. Miami’s No. 13 prospect found his groove (.937 OPS over the next 10 games) prior to being recalled on Sunday for García, who was placed on the injured list with a left hamstring strain.

“I think not making the team out of Spring Training, I was pressing a little bit, maybe feeling like I had to do a little bit more,” said Myers, who had his wife, son and mother in the stands for his first career walk-off hit. “But I don't think that was the case.

"I think there were some circumstances that caused me not to make the team that wasn't necessarily correlated with my performance in spring. And just getting here and being able to help the team win, it's big. I think I just relaxed a little bit and trusted in my game and trust in my at-bats, and when I relax, I tend to do a lot better than I do when I'm tense.”