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Marlins give way in 9th after Straily's solid start

Barraclough surrenders walk-off HR in non-save situation
July 6, 2018

WASHINGTON -- For more than a month, the back end of the Marlins' bullpen has been lights-out. Closer Kyle Barraclough was the National League Reliever of the Month in June, but in the ninth inning on Friday night, the right-hander was hurt by the long ball.Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds connected on

WASHINGTON -- For more than a month, the back end of the Marlins' bullpen has been lights-out. Closer Kyle Barraclough was the National League Reliever of the Month in June, but in the ninth inning on Friday night, the right-hander was hurt by the long ball.
Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds connected on a leadoff home run to left off Barraclough that lifted the Nationals to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Marlins at Nationals Park.
In a non-save situation, Barraclough fell behind 3-0 to Reynolds, and after a strike, Reynolds delivered the decisive hit. The Marlins have now dropped the first two of the four-game series, and 13 straight to the Nationals dating back to last August.
"We're trying to extend the game, honestly, right there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of going with Barraclough with the game tied in the ninth. "We've got the pinch-hitter and then the top of the order. Then, basically both teams are going to turn it over to a couple of kids and let's see what happens."

Both bullpens were taxed due to Thursday's 14-12 Nationals win, and Washington used closer Sean Doolittle in the top of the ninth. Had the game been extended to extra innings, the Marlins planned on going with some rookie relievers, and because Reynolds pinch-hit for Doolittle, the Nationals were in a similar situation.
"We have a pretty good feel for their bullpen, too," Mattingly said. "Their guys are burned up. We're kind of burned up."
The Nationals threatened in the eighth inning off setup man Drew Steckenrider. Washington loaded the bases with no outs off the right-hander, but he retired Adam Eaton on a liner to short left, then got Wilmer Difo on a popout to shortstop. Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy floated a fly ball to short center, and Steckenrider extended his scoreless stretch to 18 2/3 innings.

After Thursday's wild slugfest, the Marlins were in need of a quality start. Dan Straily delivered, going six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
"Baseball's a funny game," Straily said. "If you look at the last two games, they couldn't be more opposite of what they looked like. That's why we show up every day and play. Any time you get the ball, I guess, if you can be selfish and throw nine innings every single time, you'd do it."
The Nationals scored twice in the fourth, a 33-pitch inning for Straily. Eaton and Difo each had RBI singles.

The Marlins got two runs off Nationals left-hander Giovany Gonzalez. Starlin Castro had an RBI double in the third inning, and Martin Prado walked with the bases full in the fifth inning, making it 2-2.
Straily received an impressive assist from Cameron Maybin in center to end the sixth inning. With Eaton on second, Difo lifted a liner to center, and Maybin secured the third out with a diving catch. According to Statcast™, it was a three-star catch for Maybin, who covered 64 feet in 4.1 seconds. There was a 63 percent catch probability.

"Unreal," Straily said of the catch. "I thought for sure that was down in the gap. It was one of those things, I was upset at myself for giving up a double in the gap, and he lays out and catches it. It was awesome."
The Marlins' offense received a boost Friday with the return of Garrett Cooper from the disabled list. The 27-year-old started in left field, and he made a couple of big plays. In the seventh inning, he went back on a ball to take a potential extra-base hit away from Juan Soto with a man on first. And in the eighth, with Anthony Rendon on third and no outs in a bases-loaded situation, Eaton floated a fly ball to short left field. In a 2-2 game, Cooper anticipated Rendon might tag and made a strong throw to the plate.
Cooper added two singles, but he was most upset at himself for striking out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. The Marlins tied it that inning but were unable to take the lead.

"The first couple of at-bats, I saw the ball pretty well, and put a couple of good swings on it," Cooper said. "I didn't come up with the big hit with the bases loaded. That's more frustrating than anything else."
Realmuto went 0-for-4, snapping his 12-game hitting streak, which matched a career high.
Speed vs. quickness was on display in the third inning. With two outs, the speedy Trea Turner attempted to steal second on J.T. Realmuto, among the most athletic and quickest catchers in the game. Realmuto threw Turner out. According to Statcast™, Realmuto's pop time was 1.87 seconds, and his throw was clocked at 86.4 mph. Turner was running at a brisk speed of 29.7 feet per second.

"A little hamstring cramp. A little fatigue, heat. That kind of stuff. More than anything I asked them to come out there so I could have a second. It was going to take more than five seconds to go away." -- Straily, on calling for the trainer with two outs in the sixth inning after suffering a mild cramp while ducking to get out of the way of Realmuto's throw on Eaton's steal of second base
Wei-Yin Chen looks to reverse his road woes on Saturday when the Marlins face the Nationals at 7:15 p.m. ET at Nationals Park. The lefty is 1-4 with a 9.85 ERA away from Miami, compared to 1-1, 1.89 at home. Washington counters with Max Scherzer. Miami is expected to give Prado and right fielder Brian Anderson the day off.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.