BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
I can’t remember the last time that I wrote a headline which was a question.
But as you read this story, you’ll find out.
Going into the Marlins vs Philadelphia Phillies game on Friday, September 3, 2021, Luzardo entered the game with a 5-7 record with a 7.19 ERA.
When I saw Luzardo face the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, August 29, 2021, he entered this contest with a 4-7 mark with a 7.91 ERA.
The (Parkland) Marjory Stoneman Douglas product, looked excellent in the Marlins 2-1 win over the Reds.
He gave up just one hit and held Cincinnati scoreless and struck out Reds superstar Joey Votto twice, compiling eight strikeouts.
What would we see against the Phillies?
He got off to a slow start.
After the end of the first inning, his pitch count was 26, with 16 strikes and 10 balls.
Judging by the early pitch count after the first inning, I wondered whether Luzardo would even reach the third inning.
He did and then some.
Luzardo retired Bryce Harper three times, forcing him two ground into two double plays. The slugger went 0-3 against Luzardo as he popped out to shortstop.
Harper failed to get a hit off Zach Pop, ending the night 0-4.
The left-handed hurler pitched 5.2 innings, gave up five hits, three earned runs, struck out three, yielded two walks. His pitch count ended with 90, and amassed 58 strikes. He forced nine ground balls and had three fly balls.
Luzardo left the game in the sixth inning with the game tied at 3-3.
He was replaced by Steven Okert, who worked 1/3 of an inning. Okert retired DiDi Gregorius with a fly out to center field which ended the sixth inning. He was credited with the win and his record improved to 1-1.
The Marlins exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 10-3 lead and coasted the rest of the way winning by this margin.
Reds starter Kyle Gibson was saddled with the loss as he gave up eight runs in 5.1 innings.
He dropped to 10-6 for the season.
As for Luzardo, he notched a quality start and earned a no-decision.
But once I again, the question remains, “How Did Jesus Luzardo Last This Long?”
Dominating Bryce Harper played a big role and the Phillies six-game winning streak came to an end.
It was also the end of Philadelphia’s 11-game winning streak against division opponents.
On Wednesday, September 8 vs the New York Mets at loanDepot Park, Miami received an incredible pitching performance.
Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara struck out a career-best 14 and allowed one run in nine innings. The right-hander gave up four hits, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch. His 114 pitches were a career high.
Unfortunately for Alcantara, the game went into 10 innings and the Marlins won it 2-1. Anthony Bender improved his record to 3-2.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.
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