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.

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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,

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...