Big Fourth Inning off Bumgarner Sends Marlins to Victory over Diamondbacks

Jean Segura of the Marlins tags Corbin Carroll of the Diamondbacks
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 1

MIAMI, Apr. 14 — A five-run fourth that saw the Miami Marlins send nine batters to the plate gave them all the runs they needed en route to victory over the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, 5–1, Friday night. The big inning came off Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner, with the Marlins notching seven hits in the inning out of nine total off Bumgarner. The performance saw Bumgarner’s ERA jump from 7.27 to 7.90.

Bumgarner traded zeroes with Marlins starter Trevor Rogers through the first three and a half innings. The Marlins had a runner reach scoring position in the first after shortstop Jon Berti singled to left and designated hitter Garrett Cooper reached on a 5–4 fielder’s choice force play. Right fielder Jorge Soler walked, putting runners on first and second with one out. Center fielder Bryan De La Cruz hit a grounder to third. Evan Longoria hustled to touch third and fired to first, but his throw was too far to Christian Walker’s right for the first baseman to pick the short hop. Left fielder Avisail Garcia could not capitalize, grounding to the mound for the third out. No Diamondback reached scoring position in the first four innings.

Marlins Make Big Two-Out Rally

Then came the fateful bottom of the fourth. De La Cruz and left fielder Avisail Garcia led off with singles to left, putting runners on first and second for first baseman Yuli Gurriel. His liner to short went straight into the glove of Nick Ahmed for the first out. Third baseman Jean Segura hit a grounder to third that had a chance to be an inning-ending double play. Longoria touched third and fired to first, but the throw arrived a split second too late to retire the hustling Segura.

The Marlins capitalized on this opportunity, and they did so quickly. Catcher Jacob Stallings singled to left, scoring Garcia and advancing Segura to third. Second baseman Garrett Hampson doubled to left on the first pitch, scoring Segura and advancing Stallings to third. Two pitches later, Berti doubled to the left-field corner, scoring Stallings and Hampson. With the score now 4–0, catcher Gabriel Moreno visited the mound to try to settle Bumgarner down. After Berti stole second, Cooper brought him in with a single to center. A fly to left by right fielder Jorge Soler stopped the bleeding and ended the inning, but the Marlins now held an emphatic 5–0 lead.

Rogers and Marlins Relievers Shut Down Diamondbacks

Rogers kept cruising until the top of the seventh, when a pair of singles brought the hook from manager Skip Schumaker. The hits came from Longoria and Carroll, and they went to left and right, respectively. Longoria advanced to third on Carroll’s single, putting runners on the corners as new pitcher Huascar Brazoban toed the rubber. Ahmed was due up, but with a right-handed reliever coming in, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo brought up a left-handed pinch-hitter, Pavin Smith. After Carroll stole second, Smith grounded back to the pitcher, forcing the runners to stay put. When Moreno followed with a grounder to the left side, Longoria scored easily. Carroll briefly hesitated before bolting to third. Berti alertly whipped the ball to third, where Carroll was a dead duck. The half-inning ended when Thomas grounded to first unassisted.

Diamondbacks long reliever Peter Solomon relieved Bumgarner in the sixth and pitched three innings of two-hit ball. The Diamondbacks could not solve the two Marlins relievers who came after Brazoban, Dylan Floro and A.J. Puk. This made the 5–1 score final, dropping the Diamondbacks to 8–6 and bringing the Marlins to .500 at 7–7.

Difference between the First Three Innings and the Fourth

Bumgarner had an effective first three innings, struggled mightily in the fourth, and pitched an effective fifth. Lovullo saw the difference as “making some middle-middle mistakes, and (the Marlins) were capitalizing.” In the first three innings, Lovullo thought Bumgarner “was very good moving the ball around the zone” and was “throwing some really good pitches arm-side.”

Bumgarner said the difference was “hard to say, really.” He continued, “They jumped on some balls early. A couple of them I got behind. It just didn’t go my way there for a minute. We could have made better pitches, but some of them were still pretty good. Just kind of got away from me out there. Don’t really have a good answer for you. I wish I did.”

Moreno said “location” was the key to Bumgarner’s success in the first three innings. He chalked the struggles in the fourth up to “things that happen in baseball.” He added that Bumgarner was “doing his work out there” before saying, “Give credit to the hitters” and “they came out aggressive. At the end of the day, just gotta give them credit.”

Pitch Clock Not to Blame

Bumgarner did not blame the pitch clock but said, “Momentum is definitely a real thing. We’re all still learning the game within the game since everything’s changed a little bit. I would have liked to have been able to slow everything down and bore everyone into making a few outs there, but that’s not the case.”

Lovullo felt like something could have been done. He said, “Slowing the game down at the right time — whether Bum is able to do it on his own or by creating a mound visit — I feel like we could have done that.”

Plate Discipline

Prior to the game, Lovullo said his team needed to improve on plate discipline. Specifically, he said “Good hitters are patient and draw walks.” Friday night against the Marlins, the entire Diamondbacks team walked once. Lovullo brought that up after the game, saying Rogers had “a lot of swing and miss.” He continued, “We’ve got to shrink the zone. It’s okay to take a strike that you’re not looking for. Be stubborn, be disciplined. Wait for one pitch in one spot. But I thought there was some deception there. (Rogers) had a good outing. You don’t go as deep into the game as he did unless things are going well.”

More on Bumgarner

When asked where the team goes from here with Bumgarner, Lovullo initially said he didn’t know but added, “Same direction that we’ve been going. Keep going out there and giving him an opportunity to win baseball games. That’s what he’s here to do (and is) all he wants to do.” Does that mean Lovullo feels his spot in the rotation is up for discussion? Lovullo said the staff would look at “information and data like we do after everybody starts” to figure out the best path forward before concluding with, “So for me right now, no.”

Bumgarner had an extra two days between starts, with Drey Jameson starting Wednesday in Bumgarner’s normal place in the rotation and the off-day Thursday. But Bumgarner mentioned that it “wasn’t quite as smooth as it may have looked, getting a couple of extra days.” He added, “There’s a lot of stuff going on” but added that he’d like to keep any further information secret.

It was well known that Bumgarner worked hard in the offseason to try and get back to form. When asked if the hard work made his season-opening struggles even more disappointing, Bumgarner said, “It’s disappointing regardless, not just because of that. I just want to come out and give us a chance to win. That’s it. But it’s a long season, and I’ve started off worse than this more than one other time. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Looking Ahead

Rogers (1–2) earned the win for the Marlins while Bumgarner (0–2) took the loss for the Diamondbacks. The pair will play again Saturday afternoon at 4:10 pm Eastern/1:10 pm Arizona Time. Diamondbacks right-hander Ryne Nelson (1–0, 4.91 ERA) will face Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (0–0, 4.70 ERA).

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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