From the perspective of the Miami Marlins, this might not be the right time of year to face MacKenzie Gore, the Washington Nationals’ prized 24-year-old left-hander.
Gore, who will start against the host Marlins on Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game series, has become accustomed to fast starts. It’s the summer that causes him trouble.
In eight career April starts, Gore is 5-1 with a 2.55 ERA. In eight career May games, Gore’s ERA is 2.43. But his ERA slips after that to 7.27 in four June games and 10.97 in four July contests. He has never pitched beyond July due to an elbow injury he sustained as a rookie last season.
Overall this season, Gore is 3-2 with a 3.29 ERA and an average of 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Gore pitched four scoreless innings against the Mets in his most recent start on Friday, but he was forced to exit due to a high pitch count (96).
Gore, who has yet to face Miami in his career, has a plus-plus fastball with elite velocity and ride.
“MacKenzie Gore is real,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said after his team rallied to beat Washington 5-4 on Tuesday night on Jorge Soler’s walk-off homer. “They are a tough team to play against because their effort is always 100 percent.”
Offensively, the Nationals are led by DH Joey Meneses, who is batting .295 with the help of a hot streak this month. He’s hitting .311 (19 of 61) in May.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Meneses has been squaring up the ball more, resulting in an increase of pulled shots to left field.
“He’s not getting beat as often,” Martinez said of Meneses. “He’s been working hard on getting his foot down, being on time or a little early.”
Meanwhile, the Marlins got bad injury news on Tuesday as center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. was ruled out for four to six weeks. He suffered a toe injury on Saturday when he ran into the outfield wall trying to make a play.
Chisholm is perhaps Miami’s most dynamic player, hitting 39 homers and stealing 49 steals since the start of the 2021 season.
He now becomes the third Marlins outfielder on the injured list, joining Jesus Sanchez (hamstring) and Avisail Garcia (back).
“It’s a tough loss,” Schumaker said of Chisholm. “I’m looking forward to getting him healthy.”
The Chisholm injury brings into question — again — some of Miami’s offseason decision-making. The Marlins acquired second baseman Luis Arraez, a move that has paid dividends as he leads the majors with a .386 batting average. Miami also traded shortstop Miguel Rojas.
But instead of moving Chisholm from second base to shortstop — the position he grew up playing — the Marlins made him a novice outfielder.
As for Miami’s starting pitcher on Wednesday, it’s right-hander Edward Cabrera (2-3, 5.35). He is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three career starts against Washington.
The Marlins are 4-4 this year when pitching Cabrera, who has just one quality start this season. That came April 18, when he allowed just two runs in a season-high six innings in a win against the Giants.
With a poor start on Wednesday, it is possible Cabrera could be sent to the minors. The Marlins’ rotation already includes Sandy Alcantara, Jesus Luzardo, rookie Eury Perez and Braxton Garrett, and starting pitcher Trevor Rogers is expected back this month. Johnny Cueto is still on the injured list.
–Field Level Media
Right-hander Jose Berrios will be out to give the Toronto Blue Jays their third consecutive strong start and a series win over the visiting Houston Astros on Thursday night. After…
The Atlanta Braves will send major league strikeout co-leader Spencer Strider to the mound on Thursday as they shoot for a three-game sweep against the visiting New York Mets. The…
On Tuesday, the Chicago White Sox and host New York Yankees played a one-run game through hazy skies due to the remnants of wildfires from Canada. A day later, New…
Spencer Strider, Justin Verlander square off in Atlanta
White Sox, Yankees set for DH after postponement
Red Sox look to clean up defense in finale in Cleveland