Trevor Richards has good memories of his brief time living in Milwaukee.
But he’ll likely want to forget the one that involve pitching there upon his return.
The Marlins’ rookie, who a year and a half ago worked a job for six months at a brewery near Miller Park during his journey to the majors, got a rude homecoming from the tenants of that ballpark Friday night as the Brewers routed the Marlins 8-0 and handed them their second consecutive lopsided defeat.
The Marlins have been outscored 20-3 in two games against the Brewers and 32-4 in their past three defeats. It was the seventh time so far this season that the Marlins have allowed eight or more runs.
“Tonight we get in trouble early, a lot of pitches early, a lot of deep counts early into areas of the bullpen you don’t want to get into at all, but obviously we’re not into that ballgame long enough,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We’re not going to go out and bang the ball around with anybody, but if we’re in games we’re going to find ways to score runs. For me, tonight basically what it was all about was not being able to stay in that game long enough.”
Richards had trouble putting away hitters from the outset, walking three batters and forcing in a run with the bases loaded in the first inning.
He limited the damage to that until the dam burst in the fourth inning when the Brewers scored five runs with two outs.
Richards was one strike away from retiring Lorenzo Cain to end the frame, but walked him.
The next three pitches from Richards settled the outcome quickly.
Christian Yelich hit the first pitch – an 82-mph changeup - for a triple off the wall.
Ryan Braun hit the first pitch – an 80-mph slider – over the left center field wall for a two-run homer.
Travis Shaw hit the first pitch – a 91-mph four-seam fastball – over the center field wall for a solo home run.
And after issuing his sixth walk of the game to Eric Thames, Mattingly ended Richards’ outing with the Brewers comfortably ahead by six runs.
"I just left some pitches up," Richards said. "They were attacking early. I left some breaking balls, some off-speed up early, and they made me pay."
Richards, who made his fourth career start, threw 102 pitches over only 3 2/3 innings, and his ERA climbed to 6.16 in 19 innings pitched this season. It was a stark contrast from Richards' previous start last Saturday when he allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Miami.
The Brewers had good approaches at the plate as well, fouling off 12 pitches during a first inning in which Richards threw 39 pitches.
"The command wasn’t as good tonight as it was the other day," Mattingly said. "And that’s really what we talk about before the game is that consistency of your starting pitching and that’s where you get into the young guys where one’s good, one’s rough. He’s just not quite at that point where we’re getting consistent starts to keep you in the game."
The Marlins (5-14) were shut out for the third time this season and lost for the fifth time in six games. The Marlins are 1-11 in the 12 games they have scored three runs or fewer.
"It's pretty bad right now," Miguel Rojas said. "We have to find a way to start playing better, overall. We're not going to win games if we don't score runs. Even with Trevor fighting for outs early in the game, he fights through the first couple of innings. We have to find a way to score runs. Even if we throw a one-run game, we're not going to win if we don't score."
Perhaps the one plus of the evening for Miami was another impressive outing in relief by Tayron Guerrero, who walked his first batter after replacing Richards, but proceeded to strike out the next four he faced.
Guerrero, a 27-year old rookie, had four pitches clocked at over 100 mph by MLB’s Statcast tracking system during his 1 1/3-inning, 24-pitch outing.