Weathers' 1st call after gem? His former MLBer dad

Marlins southpaw shoves over 8 scoreless, drawing comps to father's best start

May 15th, 2024

DETROIT -- Manager Skip Schumaker said Tuesday afternoon that he’d be happy if could give the Marlins another six innings that night against the Tigers. Weathers was coming off consecutive quality starts and Schumaker wasn’t greedy; he just wanted to save the bullpen as much as possible.

Weathers delivered that and then some at Comerica Park, hurling eight scoreless innings during the Marlins’ 1-0 win over the Tigers in 10 innings.

“He's on a mission to prove that he is a Major League starter,” manager Skip Schumaker said. “... He kind of made his own bed, and he created his own opportunity -- just like Otto Lopez is doing at second base right now. And then it just keeps getting better and better.”

Tanner Scott threw the ninth in place of Weathers, who departed after 97 pitches, and A.J. Puk closed the door in the 10th.

Miami scored its lone run in the top of the 10th on an RBI groundout from Jesús Sánchez after Josh Bell singled to open the frame. Bell has hits in 11 of 13 games this month.

But the night belonged to Weathers. Although he came just short of his first career complete game, it was the first time he has pitched into the eighth inning. He walked none, struck out four and allowed just three hits.

Weathers was perfect through five innings before he lost the bid on a Wenceel Pérez single to open the sixth, but it didn’t faze the lefty, who fired fastballs in the high 90s throughout and topped out at 98 mph.

“Something about him is deceptive, and he's living on the edges -- not making many mistakes in the middle,” said Mark Canha, who got one of the other two hits against Weathers. “Makes it tough."

Weathers’ career night drew a curious parallel to his father, David Weathers, who appeared in 964 games and started 69 during his 19-year MLB career. Though the elder Weathers also never tossed a complete game, arguably the best performance of his career came on Sept. 6, 1993, when the then-23-year-old Marlins pitcher also threw eight scoreless frames. Like his son did 31 years later, David also held his opponent -- the Padres -- to just three hits.

He's the reason why I'm here today,” Ryan said. “He showed me how to pitch, and I'm sure I'm going to call him tonight and talk about the whole game. It's pretty awesome to share that moment with him.”

Weathers logged extra hours this offseason, vowing to take his game to the next level. Schumaker admitted before Spring Training that he wasn’t sure at first whether Weathers would start or come out of the ’pen, but when Weathers delivered as promised -- a 2-0 record and a 3.00 ERA with 21 strikeouts against four walks in five spring outings -- it was hard to deny him the opportunity.

Weathers made that decision look wiser and wiser with every Tiger he sat down on Tuesday night. He registered 13 groundouts and three flyouts, which an airtight defense behind him led by third baseman Tristan Gray scooped up.

“He's still growing as a pitcher, and this is just what he's capable of,” Schumaker said. “I think you'll see more of this version.”

Though Weathers never ran into trouble, the Marlins’ bench got into a bit of hot water in the top of the second. Home-plate umpire Ben May gave a vague heave-ho in Miami’s direction, but it wasn’t quite clear who he was tossing, so Schumaker jogged on the field to gain clarity. That led to a curious exchange that ended with bench coach Luis Urueta accepting the ejection, though it wasn’t obvious that he had done anything that warranted an ejection.

The incident drew comparisons to an April 22 game during which Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for comments a fan made.

“I think there were a couple of low balls that were called strikes that I wasn't really happy about, and I just wanted to let him know that those were balls that were being called strikes,” Schumaker said. “And I think he obviously took some offense to it and said, you know, 'You're out of here.’ But he didn't pick a guy [to eject], so I just asked, 'Who?' and he said, 'Pick a guy.'

“Well, I wasn't going to pick a guy. I had never really … I was kind of confused on how that works, right? … I’m still not sure why [Urueta] got tossed.”