Additional Thoughts on Yesterday’s Marlins v. Cardinals game

After a long drive home and some time to give the game a good think, I have some additional thoughts on the game, both teams, and some other various things.

First off, the game was much better, and much closer, than you might think by look at the final score of 7-0. All of the scoring came in the 7th Inning or later, and five of the Cardinal runs came off of a rather shaky Marlins bullpen.

courtesy of MLB.com

Both Pablo Lopez and Jack Flaherty were dealing through six full innings. Lopez had great location and was consistently in the low to mid 90s. I was very impressed. Flaherty had both his fastball (low 90s) and his change-up (mid 70s) working very well, and it was tough for the Marlins to catch up with such a drastic velocity change pitch-to-pitch. The bullpens were the difference here. The Cardinals have arm after impressive arm coming out of the pen. The Marlins need…well, they need more help.

Both teams had some lousy at-bats, which is understandable given that it is still the first week of the season. (The old chestnut about good pitching beating good hitting holds true, especially in April.) A couple of players looked like they were dogging it on pop flies, which is never a good look. There were a lot of long outs to right center for both teams, which is unfortunate for the Marlins given that they play 75 more games at Marlins Park loanDepot Park this season.

Overall, the Marlins played like the young team that they seem to be. Some guys need just a few more games to get on track and they will come good. Others, well, I’m sure I’ll be seeing a few here in Jacksonville at some point this season.

As for the the environment surrounding the game, the Marlins did well to provide a safe and socially-distant environment for the fans, even if some of the bozos attending the game weren’t quite as helpful as they could have been adhering to the mask protocol. The in-game hype crew could barely be heard, so once more people are there to get hyped, maybe they can turn the speakers up. The cashless policy throughout the stadium was fine, even if it’s a chore to use a card for even the smallest of purchases. I did find the staff to be clueless on the Marlins Rewards program, both on the mechanics of the program as well as what qualifies for points. Parking by Smartphone App was fine – and hey, a reduction to $15 (plus tax) is great – but given the small attendance, and the number of away fans, it might have been more effective and less confusing to collect money at the garage entrance.

A socially-distanced loanDepot Park

Finally, a point on aesthetics. For the love of god Marlins, please please please ditch these awful alternate black uniforms that have a black logo and black numbers outlined in a dark blue. It was absolutely impossible to see the names of numbers of the players at all. I know black is a team color, but please use it as an accent color or a background color, and not a prime jersey color. Or a prime color for anything else. Miami is such a colorful city, that literally any other color with even a modicum of brightness can and should be used for uniforms. Black jerseys are gross, not as cool as you think they are, and just passé.

The game was a fun way to start out the season. Like I said previously, man, was it great to be back at the ballpark. Here’s to many more games in 2021!

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