‘Thunder’ brought it on the mound for six innings.
Then ‘El de Bocachica,’ the ‘Steckasaurus’ and ‘ACon’ backed him up.
Those were the names on the backs of the jerseys of the guys who helped the Marlins snap a seven-game skid against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night with a 1-0 shutout win in front of 7,792 at Marlins Park.
As part of Major League Baseball’s Players Weekend, players wore nicknames from their little league days or that have been given to them over the years as part of the event meant to showcase players’ personalities in a fun way.
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‘Thunder’ a.k.a. Dan Straily threw those first six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while striking out four and walking only one on 98 pitches.
“I think Wally [bench coach Tim Wallach] and [outfielders coach] Freddie [Gonzalez] might be the only ones that call me that,” Straily said of the nickname. “I came up with a different one, but they felt that wasn’t acceptable. They shot down a lot of nicknames that we tossed out there.
“But this weekend is always a lot of fun, bringing a positive light into baseball. You get to see guys play a little bit of themselves out there. It’s just fun to get out there and wear different gear for the weekend and it kind of reminds you that we’re out there playing a game and it’s cool to see some different personalities pop out around baseball.”
The Marlins (52-78) beat Atlanta (72-56) for only the fourth time in 16 games this season and recorded their 10th shutout for the season.
Tayron Guerrero, who wore ‘El de Bocachica,’ which in Spanish means ‘The guy from Bocachica’ referring to his hometown in his native Colombia, threw a scoreless seventh.
Drew Steckenrider, or ‘Steckasaurus,’ took care of the eighth finishing it with by blowing a 96-mph fastball past Ronald Acuna, Jr. to strike him out looking.
“We’ve been using Steck in the ninth, but the way their lineup was set up there we knew it was the way to go there,” Mattingly said.
And Adam ‘ACon’ Conley closed it out in the ninth for his second career save as he retired three lefty hitters - Adam Duvall, who flew out but nearly homered on a 375-foot drive to right center, Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis.
“I think there’s been flashes of a lot of talented players and a lot of good baseball players out there,” Conley said. “I think it’s just a matter of each of us putting it together and feeding off each other.”
The Marlins scored their lone run in the fourth when Brian Anderson doubled and Derek Dietrich singled. They were Miami’s first two hits of the game and the only damage they’d muster off Braves’ starter Mike Foltynewicz, who pitched six innings.
Derek Dietrich received the Marlins’ ‘MVP Chain’ after the game, and also got a chance to hang out with DJ Pauly D, of the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore,” who threw the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
“I think I’ll go help him DJ tonight,” Dietrich said jokingly. “I didn’t watch the show very often but for some reason I got the comparison to that guy. Maybe it’s the gel and the hair. Maybe it’s a small resemblance.”
Straily shut out the Braves (72-56) for the second time having also thrown seven scoreless innings on May 18 in a 2-0 Marlins’ win in Atlanta.
“Any time you come down to these matchups there’s no strangers in these lineups,” Straily said. “It’s the fourth time this season and the ninth or 10th time in the past two seasons that I’ve faced their same lineup. So really it just comes down to execution.”
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