A bold move to a different banana-colored bench than we anticipated | Keep it a Buck(et)
Instead, rookie right-hander Eury Perez (5-2, 2.47 ERA) will get the start for Miami.
Just 20 years old, Perez is having an amazing season. At 6-foot-8, he has shown stellar body control, repeating his delivery with ease while flashing a 98 mph fastball.
However, Perez — who has yet to face the Cardinals — is coming off the worst start of his brief major league career. He lasted just one-third of an inning on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, when he gave up six runs on seven hits in a 7-0 loss
“Sometimes good pitchers get hit hard,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said when asked to explain Perez’s poor start. “We’re not concerned.
Schumaker added that Perez missed his desired locations on many of his 35 pitches.
Prior to that, Perez had the longest active scoreless streak in the major leagues at 21 innings. His ERA had dipped to 1.34 before he was humbled by the Braves, who have the best record in the majors.
While Perez is looking for a comeback on Thursday, the Marlins as a team are riding high. They posted a 5-4 win on Monday, a 15-2 blowout victory on Tuesday and a 10-9, walk-off win on Wednesday to set them up for the chance at the sweep
“It was a crazy game,” Schumaker said of Miami’s most latest triumph, which ended on a two-out, two-run error by St. Louis reliever Jordan Hicks. The Marlins blew an early 5-0 early and later squandered an 8-7 advantage in the top of the ninth before their final rally
The Cardinals, who have lost six of their past eight games, will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (5-5, 4.60 ERA) on Thursday
In three career starts against the Marlins, Flaherty is 1-2 with a 3.50 ERA. He won his one previous start at Miami, when he tossed six scoreless innings of one-hit ball on April 7, 2021
Flaherty was once an ace: He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2019 after going 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA. He made 33 starts that year. In the two full non-COVID years since then, Flaherty experienced shoulder issues, averaging just 11 1/2 starts per year.
This year, the Cardinals are 10-6 when starting Flaherty, who has earned victories in his two most recent appearances. He fired six shutout innings to beat the New York Yankees on Saturday
“I thought he did a really nice job with this fastball today,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after that contest. “Some for balls just off the plate, but did a nice job of living down and away and mixing his slider and the curveball. … Overall, really nice job.
Flaherty has been better on the road, posting a 3.73 ERA in nine starts. In seven home starts, he has a 5.86 ERA.
He has a 5.34 ERA in 12 starts working with catcher Willson Contreras this year. In four starts with catcher Andrew Knizner, Flaherty has a 2.45 ERA.
Knizner, though, was placed on the injured list on Wednesday due to a groin injury. To replace Knizner, the Cardinals recalled catcher Ivan Herrera, who could get the start on Thursday
Herrera, 23, hit .308 with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 50 games for Triple-A Memphis this year. He broke into the majors with St. Louis last year, going 2-for-18 (.111) with one RBI in 11 games.
“He’s been productive and equally as important, the reports on him behind the plate have been good,” Marmol said. “He’s working at it — not only working with pitchers, sequencing and game-calling, but receiving. We feel he’s making some good strides.”
–Field Level Media