Before Braves reliever Jordan Walden uncorked a wild pitch with a runner on third base in the top of the ninth tonight, the Marlins hadn’t scored since the fifth inning on Thursday against the Pirates. As Adeiny Hechavarria crossed home plate on the errant pitch, he broke a scoreless tie, allowing for closer Steve Cishek to nail down the save.
Tonight’s game was a pitcher’s duel through and through. Braves starter Alex Wood held the Fish scoreless through six innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi was even better, shutting the Braves out over seven, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out eight. Both bullpens held the opposition down, Walden’s mistake aside.
Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano continued his extensive offensive slump. An 0-for-3 night left him hitless in his last 41 at-bats. His last hit came more than a month ago on July 8. The record for most consecutive hitless at-bats is 46, set by Eugenio Velez — then of the Dodgers — in September 2011.
The Braves, by the slimmest of margins, finally have their 14-game winning streak snapped. They lose for the first time since July 25 against the Mets.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.