Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday’s At The Ballpark


It’s hard to believe that in my 40 years of covering MLB that I’ve only covered two opening day games. One was the last game ever when the Detroit Tigers closed down their iconic stadium and the other occurred when they faced the Marlins at LoanDepot Park.

Meanwhile, I’ve covered my fair share of home finales.

The most memorable one was on Sunday, September 29, 2013. Henderson Alvarez threw the 282nd no-hitter in MLB History, in a game against the Detroit Tigers in a 1-0 win. He became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter on the final game of the regular season since Mike Witt in 1984, when he did it for the California Angels.

This was the first and only no-hitter that I’ve ever seen in person.

These days, I spend a lot of time doing shows, therefore, the only times I can get to the ballpark is mainly on weekends. Every now and then, if it’s an afternoon game during the week, I’ll come to the ballpark.

I’ve seen a lot of interesting games, and performances on Sundays. 

There are too many to mention at the moment. But every now and then, there is a game worth mentioning.


On Sunday, August 13, 2023, the Marlins had a day they’ll never forget versus the New York Yankees. 

Yankees starter Gerrit Cole pitched six strong innings, yielded two runs and struck out six.

What happened in the ninth inning was extremely climactic as the Yankees bullpen imploded and give up five runs enabling Miami to come a way with an incredible 8-7 victory in front of a record crowd of 35,043 fans. Jake Burger’s game-ending single capped the incredible epic ending. Burger had three hits in the contest.

Yankees reliever Clay Holmes gave up the five runs and in 0.1 innings and saw his record drop to 4-3.

Marlins rookie starter Eury Perez gave up four runs in four innings, but managed to escape with a no-decision.

Jorge Lopez pitched a scoreless ninth inning to improve his record to 6-2. Since this game, the Marlins released Lopez and he’s a member of the Baltimore Orioles.


On September 17, 2023, the Miami Marlins were looking to sweep their NL East Division nemesis, Atlanta Braves. The Marlins needed these games in order to stay in the NL Wild-Card Hunt.

In nine of their last 10 games versus the Braves, Atlanta outscored Miami 83-29. Would there be more of the same during the weekend series which occurred from September 15-17?


The Marlins swept this series and out scored Atlanta 36-11. It was a much needed sweep for the Marlins.

But the game that had the most fireworks occurred on Sunday, September 17th, the one that I attended. 

The Marlins slammed the Braves 16-2 and amassed 17 hits and left 10 men on base. 

The offensive barrage came from a lot of different sources, but the big blast of the day was from center-fielder Jazz Chisholm. He hit a grand slam home run and hit one the day before in Miami’s 11-5 win over the Braves, thus becoming the first player in club history to hit one in consecutive days. This led to a five-run fourth inning. Chisholm also had three walks.

In the Saturday game, he also stole three bases to go along with the grand slam, and as a result, was the second player in MLB History to do that.

What else would we see during the 16-2 rout?

The Marlins chased Braves starter Charlie Morton with six runs and six hits in 4.2 innings as he dropped to 14-12.

Miami’s power surge included home runs by Jorge Solar, Jake Burger and Nick Fortes. Luis Arraez also added three hits.

This run support was all Jesus Luzardo needed to improve his record to 10-9 as he struck out eight in six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and walking two. Catcher Jacob Stallings pitched the final inning and didn’t allow a run.


On Sunday, September 24, the ducks lined up for a memorable afternoon as Miami hosted the Milwaukee Brewers. To this point, the teams split the first two games. 

The Brewers crushed the Marlins 16-1 on Friday Night and clinched a playoff berth. On Saturday, the Marlins stayed in wild-card hunt and prevented the Brewers from clinching the NL Central by taking a 5-4  decision. Miami improved its record to 80-75. 

While Milwaukee didn’t get the win, Carlos Santana hit the 300th homer of his career and former Marlin Christian Yellich had career hit 1,500 for Milwaukee.

This has set the stage for another interesting Sunday memory.

If the Marlins win this contest, they would be assured of not having a losing season under first year manager Skip Schumaker. Meanwhile, a win for the Brewers would enable them to clinch the NL Central Division.

In a game that took 2:46 minutes, the Marlins reached the 81 win mark by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and won the series 2-1. A crowd of 17,538 were on hand for Fan Appreciation Day.

The Marlins roughed up Brewers starter and loser Freddy Peralta for four runs and nine hits in three innings. Reliever Julio Teheran gave up a pair of runs in three innings. The Marlins amassed 17 hits during the afternoon.

Luis Arraez took the day off but the Marlins didn’t miss a beat at second base as rookie Xavier Edwards amassed three hits and stole two bases. It was the first three hit career game in his career. 

The Marlins had three home runs in the contest as Josh Bell had one while Jon Berti had two. It was Berti’s second career multi-home run game of his career with the first one occurring on May 4, 2022 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott struck out the side in the 9th inning becoming the second reliever in Marlins history to reach 100 strikeouts in a single season. He is the first left-handed pitcher reach that feat. He joined Kyle Barraclough, (113, 2016) as the only two relievers in Marlins history to have 100 strikeouts in a season.

The Marlins have had their fair share of pitching problems this season.

Cy Young Award Winner Sandy Alcantara is done for 2023. Eury Perez is on the 15 Day IL, Jesus Luzardo has pitched in a career high 171.1 innings as has Braxton Garrett with 155.2. Going into this game, Marlins relievers tossed 98.1 innings in September which is second most in MLB.

On this final Sunday of the regular season, Edward Cabrera pitched five solid innings yielding just one run and five hits, had two walks and five strikeouts as he improved his record to 7-7.

The Marlins finished their 2023 regular season home schedule going 46-35, becoming the 6th team in franchise history to win at least 46 games at home.

The last time the Marlins won more games at home in a regular season was in 2003, when they went 53-28.

As the Brewers division title waits for at least another day, it won’t happen on this Fall Sunday afternoon in South Florida. The Marlins will conclude their regular season with successive road trips at the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates.


The only disadvantage of covering the Sunday games is because of the early contests, there are no Media Availability with the Manager prior to the game. But as I list game coverage on the game application, there has been no shortage of quality storylines between the lines.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at and you can watch his broadcasts by subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost. There are a lot of broadcasts to suit a variety of interests.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Miami Hurricane’s First Acts


Do the first three weeks of a season give you much of an indication of what type of team you are?

In many instances, major programs schedule weaker schools in what figures to be winnable games, plus a large payday for the smaller schools. These paydays enable smaller schools to pump revenue into their athletic department. There are times when the smaller school pulls off an upset.

What have we seen thus far in the opening weeks of the 2023 Season for the Miami Hurricanes?

On September 1, 2023, I felt that I was seeing double when the Hurricanes faced the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Two Miami schools facing off in the opener.

As I was driving to the game, I actually had vibes that this game would be close since the Redhawks play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). When you talk about one of the best mid-major conferences in the country, this one is it. Very seldom are teams looking to leave the conference like others are around the conference. The MAC has its own championship game at Ford Field in Detroit.

Any thoughts of this match-up being close were eliminated early as the Canes jumped out to a 16-0 first half lead and never looked back. 

The Hurricanes set the tone early with an impressive first drive that was three plays for 56 yards and lasted 1:25. QB Tyler Van Dyke connected with Colbie Young for a 44-yard touchdown. Young would amass four receptions for 79 yards.

Kicker Andy Borregales added three field goals of 34, 32 and 43 yards to finish the first half.

In the second half, the Hurricanes road to pay dirt was with the running attack. In the third quarter, Mark Fletcher rushed for a 26-yard touchdown. The Hurricanes got a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter from Henry Parrish for 12-yards and Donald Chaney had a 20-yard scamper.

Parrish led the Miami rushing attack with nine carries for 90 yards.

Van Dyke looked solid by completing 17-22 for 201 yards, one touchdown and one interception as the Canes rolled to a 38-3 win.

There was one major teaching moment and I asked Coach Mario Cristobal about it during the post-game press conference. It occurred when Leonard Taylor committed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty with Miami (Ohio) pinned at its own 4-yard line that moved the ball to the 19-yard line.

You can see that answer in the video inserted in this story.

The numbers don’t lie in this game, as the Hurricanes dominated offensively holding a 493-215 advantage. The Hurricanes out rushed Miami (Ohio) 250-51 and as I mentioned earlier, they had three rushing touchdowns. Defensively, the Canes made life difficult for Redhawks QB Brett Gabbert, sacking his three times.

The Hurricanes entered the game as 16.5 point favorites and they lived up to that prediction to start the season 1-0.


Eight days later the No.23 Texas A&M Aggies came to town as 3 point favorites and the over-under was 50.5 points. 

In their previous match-up on September 17, 2022, Aggies Coach Jimbo Fisher and his team defeated the Hurricanes at home 17-9. This year, the oddsmakers gave the Hurricanes a 56% chance to win.

Before the game, I paid close attention to ESPN’s College Game Day Crew to gauge what they thought of this early signature contest for the Hurricanes.

Pat McAfee, Kirk Herbstreit, Joe Namath and Desmond Howard had the Aggies winning the contest. The senior member of the crew Lee Corso picked the Hurricanes.

The Aggies jumped out to a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Miami’s lone score was a Van Dyke touchdown pass for three yards to Young.

Texas A&M stretched its lead to 17-7 as Amari Daniels rushed for a nine-yard touchdown. But the Hurricanes closed out the first half by scoring 14 unanswered points as Van Dyke hit Isaiah Horton for a 52-yard touchdown with 11:08 left in the quarter. The Hurricanes struck again with 13 seconds left as Van Dyke Jacolby George for an 11-yard touchdown.

Early in the game, the Hurricanes had two major penalties and had a punt blocked. One of those penalties was for unnecessary roughness. Miami had a defensive holding penalty that paved the way for Texas A&M to take a 10-0 lead.

The Aggies got the ball in the second half and at the 9:09 mark, Randy Bond kicked a 28-yard field goal to trim the Canes lead to 21-20.

In the first half, special teams wasn’t the Hurricanes friend as a muffed punt by Davonte Brown at the Miami seven, led to a two plays, nine yard drive that gave the Aggies a 17-7 lead.

Special teams became the Hurricanes friend in the second half as Brashard Smith had an answer for Bond’s field goal by taking the ensuing kick-off 98-yards giving Miami a 28-20 lead at the 8:55 mark. Borregales proceeded to add a 34-yard field field and Miami extended its lead to 31-20 at the 5:42 mark.

The Aggies didn’t quit as they rounded out the scoring in the third quarter as Connor Weigman threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Earnest Crownover to cut the deficit to 31-26. The two point conversion failed.

The Hurricanes poured it on in the fourth quarter as Van Dyke threw for two touchdown passes. Both were to George for three and 64-yards. Borregales added a 50-yard field goal between the pair of touchdowns.

After the game, I asked Xavier Restrepo, who plays offense and special teams what he thought about the overall unit’s performance.

I also asked Van Dyke that with Miami’s 48-33 win, did this win send a message to college football fans that the Hurricanes should be taken seriously in 2023. We also talked about that if this signature victory will enable the Hurricanes draw higher crowds as the season progresses. Miami drew 49,024 vs Miami (Ohio) and 48,792 against Texas A&M.

You can see those videos in this story.

When you break down this contest by the numbers, Texas A&M held the first down advantage 26-16 and led time of possession 32:05-27:55. The Hurricanes led in total yards 451-433 but self destructed by amassing 10 penalties for 115 yards.

Individually, Van Dyke was 21-30-374 yards and five touchdowns. He didn’t throw any interceptions for a passer rating of 229.7.

George had five receptions for 94 yards and three touchdowns.

There was one moment at the 1:58 mark of the fourth quarter that looked worse than it subsequently became. Kam Kinchens was carted off the field due to a serious injury. 

He was taken to the hospital but during the post-game press conference, Cristobal became more upbeat that the injury wasn’t as serious as it looked. The Hurricanes Medical staff did a great job taking precautionary measures as both teams looked at Kinchens with deep concern.


Cristobal was still excited about the win against a top caliber opponent and going into tonight’s contest against vs Bethune Cookman 1-1), Miami is now ranked 22 in the polls. 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s expected to occur tonight.

On September 3, 2022, the Hurricanes crushed the Wildcats 70-13 at Hard Rock Stadium.

I’m not expecting much different in this contest. All Miami can hope for is keeping the key players sharp and seeing others get playing time for depth purposes. 

Scott Morganroth can be reached at and you can see his broadcasts on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. There is no cost to Subscribe.

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