Rogers (6 IP, 7 K's, 0 R), outduels Burnes

Left-hander dedicates win to childhood friend who passed away

April 27th, 2021

Nights like Monday confirm to Marlins rookie that he can go head to head with the best pitchers in baseball. Sixteen days after beating two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, the rookie outdueled the nearly untouchable Corbin Burnes in Miami's 8-0 win over Milwaukee at American Family Field.

Rogers' latest performance came with a heavy heart. Postgame, he dedicated the outing to childhood friend Carlos Ray Gonzales, who recently passed away. The 23-year-old southpaw struck out seven over six scoreless innings, retiring 10 of the final 12 batters he faced. The Marlins chased Burnes with five straight hits in a four-run sixth. Entering the series opener, he had given up just one run and eight hits across 24 1/3 frames in his first four starts of the season.

"Most definitely competitive juices take another level," Rogers said. "You know it's going to be a dogfight, back and forth all day. Our guys today just had some really good at-bats and things went our way, so it's definitely a little icing on the cake when I can go out there and pitch against a guy like Burnes and that lineup and have success."

Rogers is no stranger to matching up with the opposing team's ace. Through 12 career starts, he has done the following:

• April 26, 2021: Beat Burnes

• April 10, 2021: Beat deGrom

• Sept. 6, 2020: Pitched deeper into the game (6 vs. 5 1/3 IP) and struck out more batters (10 vs. 9) than Rays righty Tyler Glasnow

• Aug. 31, 2020: Beat deGrom

Miami has thrown three shutouts this season. All have been started by Rogers. Marlins starting pitchers have three wins this season. All have gone to Rogers. Since a three-run first in his season debut, Rogers has given up two runs during a span of 27 frames. His 1.29 season ERA is third-lowest in the Majors behind deGrom and Royals lefty Danny Duffy.

"I don't know what it shows us, but this is a kind of outing you've got to have when you face guys like Burnes tonight," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Rogers. "[Burnes'] stuff is really, really legit. He's a tough guy to square up, then you've got to try to put runs on the board, too. But usually with those kind of guys, you've got to hang in there with them, with deGroms and I'm going to put this guy -- probably not fair to put him in deGrom's category yet, but that kind of stuff. He's going to throw a lot of zeros, and you've got to have somebody that matches him, because as the game gets on, you have guys [get] multiple looks, they seem to have better at-bats. You've got to have a guy that can throw some zeros with those kind of guys."

Rogers paces all Major League lefties with 12.21 strikeouts per nine innings. Burnes ranks third among all MLB pitchers with a 15.03 K/9 rate. He has fanned 49 batters and walked none so far in 2021.

In the fourth, Burnes' stretch of 21 straight scoreless innings was snapped when Jesús Aguilar went from first to home on Corey Dickerson's sinking line-drive double to left with two outs. Rogers responded with a shutdown inning, striking out the side on 14 pitches. He had induced double plays in each of the first three frames to escape jams.

"I mean, that's a really nice young pitcher," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There's no question about it. And he's throwing hard. It's not a guy that's like throwing 92 [mph] and it's playing up. He's touching 97 and playing up. So he's a nice pitcher, for sure. We did a decent job. We got off to a good start, and then he made some pitches and got himself out [of] some jams. He pitched a good game."

Rogers held the Brewers in check with a 1-2 punch of his four-seamer (56 pitches) and changeup (21) in his 85-pitch outing. His fastball averaged 95.5 mph, with a maximum velocity of 97.5 mph. Entering Monday, only Oakland's Jesús Luzardo (95.3 mph) and San Diego's Blake Snell (95.1) had a higher average fastball velocity than Rogers (94.9 mph) among left-handed starters (min. 300 pitches).

"We went up against a great arm tonight," Burnes said of his counterpart. "He’s been throwing the ball really well all year. He went out there and kept it going and proved that tonight. My first AB off him, I didn’t see the changeups out of the hand, the first two he threw. I imagine that’s what he’s been doing to hitters all year. We had a couple early opportunities, we had some guys on and he was able to pitch out of it."