On Sunday, the Marlins promoted shortstop prospect J.T. Riddle to replace the injured Adeiny Hechavarria. MLB Pipeline ranked Riddle as the club’s 12th-best prospect. He appeared in his first game on Tuesday, but went 0-for-4 against the Braves.
Riddle was looking for his first hit on Wednesday and found it in the top of the second inning against Jaime Garcia. With an 0-2 count, Garcia threw a curve that bounced in the dirt in front of the plate. Riddle checked his swing, but still made contact with the ball, which weakly rolled down the third base line in fair territory. Adonis Garcia made a valiant effort to barehand the ball and throw across the diamond, but Riddle beat the throw and was ruled safe for his first major league hit.
Riddle’s family, in attendance at Marlins Park, was bewildered by what went on. His stepfather (and coach) was asked if that was how he envisioned J.T.’s first major league hit and he said, “No, but we will take it.” His mother said, “I just wanted him to hit the ball. I was kind of worried, but we’ll call it a hit, I guess.” His sister said, “I thought it was a crazy hit.”
The Marlins lost Wednesday’s game 5-4 to the Braves.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.