The Marlins lost to the Indians on Friday night, 6-2, no thanks to third base umpire Andy Fletcher.
In the bottom of the first inning, with a runner on first and no outs, Jason Kipnis swung on a 3-2 fastball outside from Miami starter Andrew Cashner. Adeiny Hechavarria fired to second to catch Carlos Santana in a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play, and that’s where the fun ended for the Marlins. Third base ump Andy Fletcher ruled no swing on Kipnis’, uh, swing, turning a two-out, no runners on base scenario into a no out, two runners on base headache.
A shaky start for Cashner took a dark turn after the botched double play, leaving the right-hander with six hits, six earned runs, six strikeouts, and a career-high six walks after five innings. The Marlins fared no better at the plate, helping Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco to his third double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
Still, it’s easier, and not entirely unreasonable, to blame the ump for this one. Without that walk, the Marlins might have had to contend with a one-run game instead of a four-run deficit. After tonight’s loss, they’ll have to hope Jose Fernandez’s command doesn’t give the umpiring crew any leeway tomorrow.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”