MIAMI -- The grind of the season seemed to be catching up to Trevor Richards. But the rookie right-hander pitched like he got his second wind on Sunday afternoon and turned in a dominant performance in his final home start.Richards struck out nine and scattered three hits over seven scoreless
MIAMI -- The grind of the season seemed to be catching up to Trevor Richards. But the rookie right-hander pitched like he got his second wind on Sunday afternoon and turned in a dominant performance in his final home start.
Richards struck out nine and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, and Chad Wallach belted a three-run home run in the Marlins' 6-0 win over the Reds at Marlins Park. Wallach's homer capped a four-run third inning against Michael Lorenzen, and it was projected by Statcast™ at 407 feet, with an exit velocity of 105.3 mph.
"Trevor, obviously, was really good today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "His changeup was really good today. We talk about him having command, when you're able to get ahead in the count. His changeup, he really had a good one today. It looked like it was down in the zone. They hadn't seen him much, either. So it's a team that's a little bit young, so you have guys who haven't seen that change."
The victory was the first for Richards since July 14 against the Phillies, and he was able to bounce back after posting an 11.12 ERA in his first three September starts.
"The last home start here. I just wanted to go out and attack the hitters, and keep doing what we've been working on, keeping hitters off-balance," Richards said. "It worked out. Wally called a great game. We were on the same page the whole time. It turned out to be a good day.
"The fans showed up today. You could hear them, it was a pretty good crowd. It was fun today."
Richards re-established his changeup, throwing 39 and generating 15 swinging strikes. Of his 95 pitches, he had 19 swinging strikes. Another big pitch was his slider, which he threw 15 times.
"The changeup is always good, but the best thing today was his slider," Wallach said. "It kept them off the fastball/changeup mix. We could wrinkle the slider in there, and give a different look. He did a great job today."
Behind Richards' gem, the Marlins took three of four from the Reds, including the last three after falling on Thursday night. Miami closed its home schedule at 38-43. Overall, Miami is 62-93. It's likely that the Marlins won't make up a Sept. 9 rainout at Pittsburgh on Oct. 1, making it even more likely that Miami avoids the 100-loss mark.
"No matter what, we knew what we were kind of embarking on this year, with a lot of the changes," Mattingly said. "The new direction of the club, under the new ownership. You understand all that. Still, the losses add up, and those are hard to deal with. But I've been proud of the guys. I've felt they've continued to play hard and continued to give you the effort, and that's not easy to do when you're taking that many losses on the chin."
With J.T. Realmuto given the day off because he caught on Saturday night, Wallach made just his 11th start for the Marlins and enjoyed a three-hit game. Wallach was the Marlins' Opening Day catcher because Realmuto was on the disabled list. Wallach spent a majority of the season at Triple-A New Orleans, and he was a September callup.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins hammered out 14 hit and scored six runs (five earned). Miami was able to extend its cushion in the fifth inning, capitalizing on two errors and two wild pitches. Brian Anderson had a single, advanced to second and scored on a wild pitch. An error by Scooter Gennett on Richards' grounder to second extended the inning, and Magneuris Sierra had an RBI single, giving the Marlins a six-run advantage.
Anderson also made a big play in the four-run third inning, getting to second base safely on Lewis Brinson's infield RBI single. The Reds tried to get a force at second on Brinson's grounder to short that was fielded in the hole by Jose Peraza.
"I thought Andy's play at second was huge," Mattingly said. "He beats that ball out at second. We get a run there, and then Chad hits that homer. It was a huge play, and then the guys kept going."
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The Marlins were 28-25 at Marlins Park after June 8.
HE SAID IT
"You know where you're at, and the situation that you're in. A lot of losses in there. That's never any fun. Hopefully, we're going to continue to get better." -- Mattingly
"It was just a lot of fun. The homer was obviously fun. It was great catching Trevor out there. He was phenomenal today. He had everything going for him. It was just a fun day." -- Wallach
Sandy Alcantara gets a second crack at the Nationals when the Marlins open their final road trip on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Nationals Park. Alcantara is coming off a home loss against the Nats on Sept. 18, where he gave up three runs in four innings with six walks. Stephen Strasburg goes for the Nationals.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.