'Unfortunate': Garrett falters as Fish fall 

August 11th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Three pitches stood out to Marlins rookie left-hander from Tuesday night’s 6-5 loss to the Padres at Petco Park.

• A 2-2 curveball to Jake Cronenworth for an RBI double in the first
• An 0-1 slider to Eric Hosmer for a leadoff double in the fourth
• A wild pitch with the bases loaded later in the fourth

“Other than that, I really felt like I was putting my four-seam in really good spots,” Garrett said. “I was making good pitches with my two-seam on lefties as well. Just kind of got unfortunate a few times, but that's just part of it. Got to learn to try and work around that a little bit better.”

Facing postseason hopeful San Diego for the second time in three starts, Garrett was chased in the fourth inning after surrendering five runs on eight hits. The potent Padres lineup consistently produced hard contact (92.5 mph average exit velo) and didn't swing and miss much (five whiffs out of 68 pitches).

Things started out promising. Handed a three-run lead before taking the mound, Garrett recorded two straight strikeouts. But the Padres put together a two-out rally on Manny Machado’s single and consecutive RBI doubles by Cronenworth and Austin Nola. San Diego tacked on a run in the second and added another two in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs.

“He's got some really good stuff, and he's a competitor, too,” Nola said. “He just comes right at you with his best stuff. He's an excellent pitcher.”

Adjustments are a part of baseball. Tuesday marked just the second time Garrett has faced an opponent more than once.

July 24 was a different story from the one in San Diego. That night at loanDepot park, Garrett put together the best performance of his young career, setting personal bests for innings (seven) and strikeouts (10). Between that outing and his most recent against the Mets last Thursday, he had compiled a 1.50 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks in 12 innings.

“I think they were a little more prepared for my two-seam/changeup combination,” Garrett said. “I just really hammered that the last time I was there, and I could see them kind of looking for it there. Also, they were just on my breaking pitches, and I didn't do a great job of throwing my breaking pitches where I wanted tonight, and I think that was the main thing.”

The Marlins are hopeful their young arms like Garrett, ranked as Miami's No. 7 prospect, will follow the path of former prospect Trevor Rogers. A National League Rookie of the Year candidate, Rogers posted a 6.11 ERA in seven starts during his first stint in the Majors in 2020. The southpaw had been hurt by the big inning, but that hasn’t been the case through 20 starts in an All-Star ‘21 campaign (2.45 ERA).

The 24-year-old Garrett is in the rotation in lieu of Rogers, who remains on the family medical emergency list. Reinforcements are close. Earlier Tuesday, Elieser Hernandez struck out 10 batters across five innings in his third rehab start. He is working his way back from a right quad strain during his second 60-day IL stint of the season. Cody Poteet has made a pair of rehab starts as he recovers from a right knee sprain.

Their returns couldn’t come at a better time. Starting pitching undoubtedly has been the club’s strength in 2021. Prior to this road trip, the Marlins (47-67) had a 3.60 ERA -- seventh best in the Majors. Over the course of this five-game skid, it is 17.82 (33 ER/16 2/3 IP).

“I think you've got to stay [with a] one-pitch-at-a-time mentality,” acting manager James Rowson said. “We started in Colorado, which everyone knows that it's tough up there to pitch, and we found that out a little bit. Then we come down here, we're facing a really good team here in the Padres, so, again, you're going up against a tough opponent. You kind of have those two things going back to back, but these guys are still going to continue to go out there, continue to try to make pitches. That's still the job. Starting pitchers have to go out there, still try to make pitches, still try to get deep in games, and see where things go.

“I think in the second half of the year you have a little fatigue that kicks in, just some different things that happen throughout baseball. I don't see any lack of effort from these guys. I don't see any lack of preparation. I don't see any lack of going in there and getting after it. They're still trying to do the same things they're doing, they're just trying to overcome a few things.”