Saturday, June 18, 2022

Inter-Miami, Recap Before International Break

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

This is the time of the year in sports where we begin to hit that slower period where the NBA Finals are complete, the NHL is close to crowning it’s champion while the NFL is getting ready to restart games in August.

During the dog days of summer, in South Florida, the Miami Marlins and Inter-Miami of the MLS are the primary entertainment on the sports scene.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Inter-Miami took on a team that resides in a area predominantly known for rain, the Portland Timbers.

The irony of the contest on Saturday, May 28 at DRV PNK Stadium is their match vs the Timbers was delayed by 27 minutes and began at 8:27 PM because of rain.

The delay didn’t phase Inter-Miami as the team raced out to a 2-0 lead. The team came out of the gate blazing with energy and it showed.

During the course of the season, Inter-Miami is truly establishing a home field advantage at DRV PNK Stadium.

On May 22, Inter-Miami defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0. The Red Bulls are No.5 in the Eastern Conference.

On May 18, Inter-Miami went on the road and battled to a 0-0 draw against the top team in the East, Philadelphia.

What made the win vs Portland significant was Inter-Miami gained three points going into the International Break. 

Through 14 games, Inter-Miami has a 5-6-3 record with 18 points. 

They’re currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

The 2-1 win over Portland did give the team an opportunity to get some rest and momentum. 

During the game vs Portland, Miami was outshot 16-15, but held the possession advantage 52.7%-47.3%.

They got goals from forward Leonardo Campana “Heineken Man Of The Match” who has now tallied eight for the season and midfielder Robert Taylor, who netted his second of the year.

But this was a game that Inter-Miami needed to win. 

First of all, Portland is struggling in 2022 with a 3-6-6 mark and 15 points. 

They are 12th in the Western Conference.

Good teams defeat squads that have comparable records.

A crowd of 11,161 fans saw the home team take care of business.

After the win, Coach Phil Neville and Campana talked about how important defeating Portland meant a lot to the team’s confidence, plus what they were going to do with the break as you’re going to see in the videos in this story. 

When the game was over, Miami occupied the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference that would have made it playoff eligible.

Both individuals also talked about the team’s success at home. 

Inter-Miami has won two straight and is unbeaten at DRV PNK Stadium across all competitions to six.

Inter-Miami is back in action on Sunday as they travel to Georgia and face Atlanta at 3 PM.

Once again, another game vs a comparable opponent. 

Atlanta is currently 11th in the conference with a 4-5-4 mark with 16 points in 13 games.

On April 24, Miami defeated Atlanta 2-1 in Fort Lauderdale in a nationally televised game.

It’s time to repeat that performance and get back on track as the dog days of summer are upon us.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see all of his broadcasts. There are a lot of shows for different interests and please tell your friends and family about them.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Tale of Two Starts

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

During the Miami Marlins final game of their four contest series vs the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, June 5, 2022, there was no doubt that I could sense some nervousness from starting pitcher Braxton Garrett. 

The 6-2, 202 pound left-handed hurler from Foley, AL, was trying to help the Marlins win the series and replaced Elieser Hernandez in the starting rotation. 

The Marlins optioned Hernandez to Triple-A Jacksonville for good reason. 

In 11 appearances (nine starts) this season, Hernandez was 2-5 and posted a 6.75 ERA, facing 218 batters. In 48 innings, he gave up 18 home runs.

More importantly, he’s earning a $1.325 million salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

How would Braxton perform in this match-up with the Giants?

Prior to his start against San Francisco with Jacksonville, on May 29th, Garrett pitched five scoreless innings, allowed one hit, no walks, and three strikeouts.

It turned out to be tough afternoon at the LoanDepot Park as he gave up four runs in 3.1 innings which included a grand slam home run to Donovan Walton to give the Giants a 4-0 lead. 

This was Walton’s first career home run.

In this outing, Garrett hit two batters and one walk, yielding five hits and amassed five strikeouts. He threw 72 pitches and 50 for strikes. He also allowed a double steal in the fourth inning that put runners at second and third base.

The Giants won the game 5-1.

What earned Garrett the promotion from Jacksonville? 

The 24-year old made five starts and was 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings, gave up nine earned runs, 21 strikeouts, seven walks and allowed three home runs.

Garrett was selected by the Marlins as the seventh overall pick in the first round in the 2016 MLB Draft. He is signed through the 2022 season.

You talk about a guy that’s overcome adversity, Garrett has due to the fact that he missed all of the 2018 season from Tommy John Surgery. 

He would bounce back to make 20 starts for Advanced A Jupiter in 2019, plus made one start for Double-A Jacksonville.

Garrett made his MLB debut on 9-13-2020 becoming the 20th Marlin to make their Big League Debut that season, an MLB Record, over the teams first 60 games during the pandemic.

In 2021, he was 5-4, with a 3.45 ERA, starting 18 games in 85.2 innings. He also spent time with the Marlins by pitching eight games, seven starts, and was 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in 34 innings and gave up 19 earned runs.

The Marlins would earn a split with the Giants and in a year where the Marlins need answers from Garrett, they got more in his second start on the road against the Houston Astros on Saturday June 11. 

The results were much different as Garrett rebounded nicely by earning his first win of the season and improved his record to 1-1 as Miami defeated the Astros 5-1. He pitched 5.1 innings, gave up six hits only walked one and struck out five.

This was a much needed win for the Marlins as they defeated an Astros team that leads the AL West by 8 1/2 games but had struggled in the past week, dropping five of its last seven games.

The win ensured that Miami would win its second series of the week as the Marlins took care of business versus the Washington Nationals by sweeping the team 3-0 that resides in the Nations Capital. 

Despite losing on Sunday to Justin Verlander 9-4, the Marlins were 5-1 for the week and take a 27-31 record into Monday Night’s action against the surging Philadelphia Phillies, who are now 30-30 and dismissed Manager Joe Girardi last week. 

The Phillies are 9-1 in their past 10 games and are in third place in the NL East as of Monday Night.

When you have a long season, there are a couple things that occur. 

First, pitchers underperform as was the case with Hernandez. 

Second, hurlers get hurt so during this marathon, you find out short and long-term answers about your club and Miami will have a decision to make on Garrett at the end of the campaign as well as Hernandez.

Manager Don Mattingly hasn’t announced his next start, but you can rest assure that the skipper had to be pleased with the improvement between the two starts.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see his broadcasts, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see all of the shows on the WSFT Network,

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Appreciating The Complete Game

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When you see them, they’re great to watch!

Unfortunately during the age of specialization where there are pitch counts, middle relievers, set-up men, and closers, The Complete Game feels somewhat extinct. 

Nowadays, we’re also seeing a lot more combined no-hitters.

In a ballpark where I once saw Henderson Alvarez no-hit the Detroit Tigers on September 29, 2013 on the final game of the season, there was some magic on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

This time it came from a front-line Miami Marlins starting pitcher. 

On November 28, 2021, the Marlins signed Sandy Alcantara to a contract extension worth $56 Million, breaking the record for the largest contract for a pitcher under team control with less than four years service time set by Carlos Martinez.

Alcantara’s fastball velocity generally sits between 93-98 miles per-hour, maxing out around 100 mph.

He uses both a four-seam fastball and a sinker, which possesses above average vertical and horizontal movement. His secondary pitches are the change up (89 mph, average velocity) slider (86 mph) and a curveball (82 mph).

On Sunday, all of the pitches were on display.

The Marlins were in desperate need of a win vs the Atlanta Braves as they lost the first two games of the weekend series by 5-3 and 4-3 scores.

Going into the game, Miami led MLB in one run losses with 13 which is three more than the second place Cubs.

Going into the game, Alcantara entered it with a 3-2 record, with a 2.49 ERA, 50 innings pitched, 20 walks and 42 strikeouts, yielding four homers in eight starts.

Miami’s main offensive production came from Brian Anderson and Jacob Stallings. Anderson and Stallings doubled singled and had RBIs each for the Marlins to earn a 4-3 win.

This time, the Marlins were on the right-side of a one-run decision.

But the man of the day was Alcantara (26), who threw a complete game, and limited the Braves to three unearned runs. He walked two and struck out seven for his fourth career complete game.

Atlanta star outfielder Ronald Acura Jr. had two of the hits against Alcantara extending his on base games streak to 29.

One of Alcantara’s unearned runs occurred in the fifth inning when Atlanta benefited from a three-base error by Jesus Sanchez, a mishandled fly ball.

In the ninth inning, Jesus Aguilar dropped a routing foul ball as he tried to squeeze his glove before the ball was in it. This led to a pair of unearned runs.

But the final out came from a familiar face that dawned the Marlins colors last season as Adam Duvall popped out to the catcher.

What made this game electric was Alcantara was the first one out of the dugout in the ninth inning as you could hear the energy from the crowd of 17,908.

When it was all said and done, Alcantara left the game with a 4-2 record as the Marlins hit the road for a nine day, eight game road trip this week that started with stops in Tampa, two games, three in Atlanta, and three more in Colorado.

But the true benefit Alcantara’s complete game was the fact that the bullpen had Sunday’s game, plus the off day on Monday, thus it had two days rest. 

What was once the norm, now is a luxury when it happens.

It was great to see again! 

I enjoyed it so much that it was the lead topic two days later on My 108 Stitches, Baseball Talk with Lou Landers, Eric Katz and Rick Curti which can be seen in this story.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, you can find see his Broadcasts by Subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost.


Inter-Miami Continues It’s Rise to Playoff Contention

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

During the course of the MLS Season, you can see when a team is starting to show signs of confidence and maturity.

When we attended the May 14 match vs DC United, Inter-Miami had more than DC United to deal with on this wet Saturday Night at DRV PNK Stadium.

The club was dealing with Mother Nature. 

And let me tell you, she was in a bad mood. 

The contest was supposed to start at 8 PM but was delayed until 9:15 PM. 

Thus, the delay was 1:15 because there was lightning in the area and the fans cleared out for safety. 

In the past, I have seen games at Lockhart Stadium that were played in the mud.

Where the Inter-Miami Training Center stands, I saw a lot of rain at the now demolished Fort Lauderdale Stadium. 

During Spring Training, I went to a Marlins Spring Training Game at Roger Dean Stadium and it was rained out.

What I’ve learned to appreciate about this beautiful facility is how well kept the turf is fertilized and drains.

When the game did get start, Inter-Miami didn’t let the delay dampen their style as they raced out to a 2-0 lead. 

Ecuadorian striker Leonardo Campana scored his seventh goal in all competitions this season, while defender Damion Lowe scored his first MLS goal, to extend the club’s unbeaten streak to four.

After the weather delay, Inter-Miami opened the proceedings with a number of ambitious counter attacks and lively dribbling. Notably, the winger duo of Robert Taylor and Ariel Lassiter pushed forward frequently while Bryce Duke attacked through the middle.

DC United scored a goal just before halftime. Julian Gressel crossed a ball into the box and Michael Estrada flicked it back to Taxiachis Fountas, who curled it into the back of the net, as the score was 2-1 at halftime.

In the second half, Inter-Miami appeared to score a third goal early when Duke played a ball to Lassiter down the left wing and the winger hit a shot low into the back of the net. But the goal was disallowed as the linesman raised the flag, judging Lassiter to be off-side.

DC United made the score 2-2 when Fountas drove down the right wing, played a ball to Russell Canouse into the box, who passed to Ola Kamara in front of the goal. The striker connected with a pass and tied the match.

Inter-Miami earned a hard fought draw and the game ended at 11:15 PM. 

The team earned a point for the effort and was disappointed they didn’t get three. 

Nonetheless, there still was satisfaction that they avoided a loss.

——————————————————————————————————————————

When the contest was over, I had the opportunity to ask Coach Phil Neville:

1. What did the players do during the delay?

2. What did he think of the energy of the crowd at home which braved the elements?

I also asked Lowe as to whether his team did plenty to continue to encourage fans to come back?

Check out both of these videos to get a reaction of both Neville and Lowe.

——————————————————————————————————————————

On May 18, Inter-Miami went to the city of Brotherly Love and visited the top team in the Eastern Conference. They earned a 0-0 draw and yet picked up another point. As of this post, the Philadelphia Union has a 6-1-6 record with 24 points.

On May 22, DRV PNK Stadium wasn’t kind to the New York Red Bulls as Inter-Miami blanked the visitors 2-0. Through 13 games, New York is fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-3-5 mark with  20 points.

During the past week, Inter-Miami has proven that it can compete against the Eastern Conference’s best.

On Saturday, at DRV PNK Stadium, they’ll take their 4-6-3, 15 points against the Portland Timbers in a match that starts at 8 PM. 

Portland enters the game with a 3-5-6 record, 15 points and are in 10th place in the Western Conference.

It should be an interesting contest with two clubs that appear equally matched.

Inter-Miami continues its rise in the Eastern Conference. 

The New England Revolution are 4-5-3, 15 points in 9th place.

Atlanta United occupies the 8th spot 4-4-4 with 16 points.

Sitting in the 7th and final playoff spot is Charlotte which is 5-7-1 and 16 points.

Thus, Saturday Night’s match figures to have plenty on the line.

We’ll find out if the momentum continues.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can find him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see all of his Broadcasts and Videos, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.


Friday, May 20, 2022

Miami’s 25th Year World Series Weekend Celebration

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins square off, this is always an interesting series pitting two ball clubs that operate on Small Market Budgets.

Last weekend was very nostalgic as Miami celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its first World Series in 1997.

On Friday, May 13, a rarity took place, something that’s on my bucket list, the roof being open. 

A crowd of 9,110 showed up and watched another outstanding pitching performance from Pablo Lopez. He went seven innings, struck out 11 and issued no walks, but was credited with a no-decision in a Milwaukee 2-1 win.

Game two of the series on Saturday, May 14 saw the Marlins bats erupt in a 9-3 win. 

Former Brewers Jesus Aguilar and Avisail Garcia contributed for the Marlins offensively as Miami snapped a five-game home skid. Trevor Rogers pitched 5.1 innings, allowed five hits, amassed eight strikeouts to improve his record to 2-4. 

Back-to-back round trippers by Aguilar and Jorge Solar, plus a homer by Brian Anderson, a two-run shot off starter Eric Lauer, sent home 12,941 happy customers.

The game we attended on Sunday, May 15, featured the pitching matchup of Brandon Woodruff, 3-2, 5.97 ERA against Miami’s Elieser Hernandez, 2-2, 6.37 ERA. 

In my four games to date, Hernandez has been on the hill three times.

How would this game play out? 

Not so good for Hernandez (2-3) as he allowed five runs, two of which were earned, and three hits. The right-hander walked three, stuck out two and hit a batter. He has surrendered 10 home runs in his seven starts this season. 

Hernandez gave up two homers in the fifth inning to Kolten Wong and Jace Peterson.

Wong was playing in his 1000th major league game, also stole two bases. He reached base all five times.

Rowdy Tellez hit a home run that gave Milwaukee a 6-3 lead, connecting with a solo shot off reliever Tommy Nance in the seventh inning for his eighth homer of the campaign. 

The Brewers tacked on another run in the eighth inning to win the game 7-3 in front of 11,729 fans to win the series 2-1. 

The time of the game was 3:33.

Woodruff went five innings, struck out six to improve to 4-2. He yielded just two walks.

The Brewers recorded an old fashioned save by using just two pitchers. 

Aaron Ashby pitched four scoreless innings and didn’t allow a run to earn his first save of the season.

What was interesting about this weekend was it marked the return of Brewers Manager Craig Counsell, who played on the 1997 World Series Championship team. Counsell has been piloting the Brewers for eight seasons. 

Counsell took part in the festivities all weekend and found himself in the middle of a lot of interview requests.

As I mentioned earlier, there has been an history between these two squads.

Former Marlin Christian Yellich is with Milwaukee while former Brewers Aguilar and Garcia are playing in Miami.

For the most part, this series has been close. Going into the weekend, Milwaukee held an 84-76 advantage and in 2021, the teams were 3-3 against each other.

The weekend series drew 33,780 fans. 

Milwaukee will host the Marlins in a four-game series from September 29-October 2 at American Family Field, formerly, Miller Park.

To date, the Marlins are 17-20 and are in fourth place in the NL East Division.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee is 24-14 and sits atop of the NL Central Division.

This week, the Marlins won a 2-1 series vs the Washington Nationals and host the World Champion Atlanta Braves this weekend at LoanDepot Park.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

To see his Broadcasts, Subscribe at no cost to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Washington What?

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

On March 30, 2022, I decided to do a very interesting podcast about a team rebranding itself due to the Social Climate in todays times.

The individuals that I included on a Podcast that I titled, “The Washington What” were JB Ellis, Steve Balestrieri, Rick Curti and Mel Farr Jr.

If you’re an NFL Fan, when individuals thought of Washington football, we knew this team as the Washington Redskins. 

But let’s take a history lesson as we devoted an Episode of “Inside The Pigskin” to the history of a franchise that was initially based in Boston, MA and played at historic Fenway Park.

This franchise started out as the Boston Braves in 1932.

It changed its name to the Boston Redskins and remained that way from 1933-1936.

It relocated to our Nations Capital and became the Washington Redskins from 1937-2019. They played at RFK Stadium for many years and are currently playing at FedExField.

They did cave in to pressure as the name was changed to the Washington Football team from 2020-2021, and finally arrived at the Commanders in 2022.

Due to pressure from the NFL and team sponsors, the Reskins brand was retired in the wake of George Floyd Protests and Owner Daniel Snyder was starting to feel it in the pocketbook. 

Snyder is no stranger to ruffling feathers as he charged his fans to attend practices at training camp.

For many years, Snyder was adamant about changing the Redskins name because it lasted decades without it becoming an issue. 

He didn’t want to mess with the teams tradition which included five league championships, three Super Bowl titles along with five conference championships. 

The team has 15 Division Championships along with 25 Playoff Appearances.

The most stimulating part of the show was talking about the different names.

We all had different ideas.

Here are some of the names that were discussed. The Senators, Federals, Braves, Warriors, Redhawks, Skins, Renegades, Pigskins, Hogs, Armada, Brigade, Defenders, Presidents, Red Tails, Rough Riders, Owls, Alliance, Revolution, Red Wolves, Sentinels and the Generals.

When the list was paired down to eight, the names that made the cut were: Armada, Brigade, Commanders, Defenders, Presidents, Red Wolves, Red Hawks and the Washington Football Team.

Having dealt with the complicated nature of trademarking as I have since I did it with the “Motor City Mad Mouth” it’s no easy task. I know that factored into this process.

I was intrigued by names that had the word “Red” in them to uphold to the tradition of Redskins. Over the years, the word “Hogs” was attributed to attributed to the team’s offensive line in the 1980’s.

If you look into American History and the Military, it’s understandable why Revolution, Presidents, Federals, Commanders, Alliance, Brigade, Presidents, Armada were considered.

There were other Indian names like the Warriors and Braves that could have come into play but the last thing this team wanted to do was to revisit this down the road since they’re trying to get away from it now.

What I didn’t want was the Washington Generals since they were the whipping boys of the Harlem Globetrotters. 

I was intrigued by the Washington Sentinels because that was the name of the team in the movie called “The Replacements” and was based loosely based on the 1987 NFL Strike, specifically the Washington Redskins, who won all three of their replacement games without any of their regular players and went on to win Super Bowl XXII.

But my top choice was bringing back the Washington Senators. This is a household name in the DC Area as it was associated with two MLB Teams that subsequently moved on two occasions to Minnesota and Texas.

I love history and this would have been the right time to bring it back but on the gridiron.

Once upon a time, the Dallas Texans played and eventually moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. The Houston Texans brought the name back.

When we evaluated each of these names, it was easy to look at the pros and cons of each one and why did it take two years to get to the Commanders when perhaps, this could have been done much sooner if they went the simple and conservative route.

As I’ve thought about the Washington Commanders, I have no problem with the name because a commander is designed to lead. It’s the safest and most conservative name out there. Also, the team didn’t change it’s Burgundy, Gold and White Color Scheme.

For whatever it’s worth, the franchise was valued by Forbes in 2021 at roughly US $4.2 Billion, making it the league’s fifth-most valuable team.

The team has played more than 1,000 games and is one of only five in the NFL with more than 600 total wins.

In the end, regardless of what you call it, the team will continue to sell jerseys and all the name change did was get the critics of their back and not lose sponsorship revenue.

If you’ve ever named anything in the past, whether it’s a child or a pet, there are always reasons why and why you don’t make the decision. The question is that when the decision is made, you have to live with it.

I actually enjoyed the Washington Redskins and this was the first franchise with an official marching band and a fight song, “Hail to the Redskins” but I do understand that making the change was necessary.

The name game in sports is becoming more interesting these days as many teams have nicknames that don’t have an “S” on the back end and are not plural.

But that’s for another day. 

In the meantime, it was neat doing a Podcast on “The Washington What?” It’s great to get various opinions and find out what someone is thinking.

Check out the Episode in this story. I know that when you see the entire show, it will get your wheels turning as it did mine when we put together the idea, the video and the story.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

To see his Broadcasts, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. 

An Unexpected Bullpen Day In Miami For Arizona Diamondbacks

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Before the Miami Marlins concluded their three-game series vs the Arizona Diamondbacks, I had the opportunity to spend time with my former colleague Jody Jackson, and talk about old times living in the Valley of the Sun, when I lived there from 1999-2002.

The former Hallandale, FL., native has been in Phoenix since 2000 and I’d see her at Diamondbacks games and other assignments in the area. 

Our paths crossed when the Arizona Cardinals faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa for Super Bowl 43. The Steelers did win this game.

But Jackson asked me before the game, who I was pulling for in this contest? 

I told her there was no way that I could lose because I have loyalties to both areas. 

Jackson was working for FOX Sports Net before the company changed hands to Ballys.

When I lived in Arizona, the Diamondbacks captured their lone World Series Championship with a team that featured pitchers Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Matt Williams, Craig Counsell and Luis Gonzalez in 2001.

It was neat living in that area which won its first major championship in any sport since it came up short a couple of times with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

Two years after I left Arizona, the Marlins won the World Series for its second title in their history. Counsell was also on this team which also had future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, among others. 

My history with the Marlins goes far deeper than the MLB ties as I covered the franchise when it played in the Class A Florida State League.

This is my third season covering the Marlins and I make no bones about it that one of the best managers that I’ve ever worked with during My 42-year career is current Miami Skipper Don Mattingly. 

The Marlins current pilot has seen it all. 

He’s managed through a pandemic and led his team to a post-season in 2020, and there have been some notable front office changes. Former Yankees legend Derek Jeter is no longer the President and GM Kim Ng is calling the shots.

Every year, I always like to see these teams play once. Jackson didn’t make the trip last year because the team’s broadcasters didn’t travel.

Like the Marlins, Jackson has seen her team go through it’s ups and downs.

In 2021, the Diamondbacks went 52-110 and were fifth in the NL West. 

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Manager Torey Luvullo but Arizona didn’t make a change.

Going into this series, Arizona led all-time 93-70 but in 2021, the Marlins won the season series 5-2.

Miami held the advantage at home 44-40 all-time.

Before Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Miami had won seven straight games.

Could the Marlins get back on track against their Sun Belt Rival during the week?

The answer is no as the Diamondbacks defeated Pablo Lopez (3-1) in the first contest Monday Night and Trevor Rogers (1-4) Tuesday Night, both by identical 5-4 scores.

Miami’s last chance at a win occurred on Wednesday afternoon as Elieser Hernandez (2-1) squared off against Madison Bumgarner (1-1).

When I looked at the Diamondbacks roster, I have to admit there were only three names that I recognized. 

Bumgarner, and pitchers Joe Mantiply and Ian Kennedy were the only players that I had heard of. 

Then again, when a team loses 110 games, you would expect them to have a high roster turnover and let some of the younger players in their system have a chance to gain experience in the big show.

What did I see on Wednesday? 

Bumgarner had a short stint on the mound as he was ejected after the first inning by veteran umpire Dan Bellino. 

The 32-year pitcher was thrown out at the end of the inning during a routine check of his hands for sticky substances. A fierce argument between the two ensued with Diamondbacks personnel needing to restrain Bumgarner. The situation escalated for several minutes before Bumgarner finally calmed down.

Bellino was disciplined for the incident while Bumgarner will not face further discipline. 

Bellino claimed Bumgarner was using profanity directed at him. Earlier in the inning, the veteran pitcher showed some frustration at a ball/strike call by home plate umpire Ryan Willis. That came minutes before the confrontation with Bellino.

By Friday, a rarity occurred and Bellino, who has been an MLB umpire for 15 years, did issue a public apology to Bumgarner.

As for the game itself, Hernandez gave up five runs but didn’t fare in the decision. Corbin Martin pitched four solid innings following Bumgarner in what would turn out to be an unexpected bullpen day for Arizona.

This contest was a first for me. 

The Diamondbacks entire lineup had left-handed hitters. There were four left-handed hitters along with five switch-hitters.

This contest was a see-saw battle. 

Miami took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning and then the Diamondbacks put up a five spot to lead 5-3. The Snakes added another run in the sixth inning to lead 6-3. 

But in the seventh and eighth innings, Miami scored a pair in each frame to take 7-6 lead into the ninth inning.

Twenty-Six year-old Jupiter, Florida native Pavin Smith homered to right field off Anthony Bender (0-3) to send the 7,356 fans home as the Diamondbacks swept the Marlins with an 8-7 loss as Miami’s losing streak hit four games. 

The Diamondbacks record improved to 13-13 while the Marlins dropped to 12-12.

Jon Berti did his part for the Marlins offensively as he homered off of Bumgarner in the first inning and had his first two-home run game of his career. This was Bertie’s first career multi-home run game.

Jesus Aguilar hit a round-tripper and had three hits. Jazz Chisholm Jr. also had a pair of hits but that wasn’t enough to avert the sweep in a game that was overshadowed by the Bumgarner drama.

Arizona now leads the All-Time Series 96-70. 

After a four-game series that started in San Diego, the Marlins and Diamondback will see each other for a three-game series on Monday Night in Phoenix at Chase Field.

The Valley of the Sun hasn’t been kind to the Marlins as the Miami’s all-time record at Chase Field stands at 29-50.

If I were a betting man, the only thing that I’ll predict is if the Marlins see Bumgarner in this series, barring any early inning difficulties, the hurler should make it at least past one inning. 

The focus will be on the game and not the sideshow by the umpires that overshadowed Wednesday’s Game at LoanDepot Park. 

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

To see his broadcasts, Subscribe at no cost to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Inter-Miami, Recap Before International Break

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH This is the time of the year in sports where we begin to hit that slower period where the NBA Finals are complete, the N...