Marlins pitcher Trevor Richards probably didn’t start getting nervous until after he walked off the mound at Fenway Park Wednesday night.
He had big plans for the next day when he got back to Miami.
And Richards got the result he was hoping for.
Richards took advantage of the team’s day off Thursday to go to the beach and set up a surprise marriage proposal to his longtime girlfriend, Aunna Beckemeyer.
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Richards popped the question by the shore at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables.
She said yes.
“She started crying, and was excited and happy,” Richards said. “She knew I had a ring and that it was coming pretty soon, but I think she thought I’d wait until the offseason. I wanted some element of surprise in there.”
Richards, 25, said he had spent over a week planning the right way to ask Beckemeyer, whom he’s been dating for the past 10 years and met during his sophomore year of high school.
“It worked perfectly with the off day and having thrown the day before,” Richards said. “I just took the day and did it. They set up a picnic on the beach. I took her out there and surprised her with that and then proposed on the beach.”
Richards arrived back in Miami earlier that morning when the Marlins returned from their two-game series against the Red Sox in Boston. He pitched 5 2/3 innings the night before, allowing three runs and getting a no-decision in a game the Marlins eventually lost after an 11-run meltdown in the seventh inning.
It was an off-the-field highlight in what’s been a solid rookie season on the mound for Richards, who has solidified a spot in the Marlins’ rotation, after an improbable three-year journey from pitching in the independent leagues to the majors.
“She’s been with me through it all,” Richards said. “I’m so grateful to her and I’m lucky to have her.”
The Marlins are planning to mix up the order and pieces in their starting rotation after their September call-ups on Saturday.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly did not specify who would be promoted to the majors, but said the team intended to go with a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season once extra pitchers are called up.
This would allow for the team to give their established starters extra rest while giving opportunities to pitchers they hope to evaluate that have had fewer or no major league outings.
Mattingly said the team also wants to monitor the amount of innings of their more frequently-used relievers during the final month of the season.
“One thing we do want to do is look at some of our young guys, see how they pitch, but facing teams like the Phillies and the Nats, you really want to still throw your main guys at them out of respect to everybody in the league and we’ll be doing some of that,” Mattingly said. “We want to see guys be able to pitch deeper and face guys a third time through the order if they can make adjustments and how they navigate that.”
Sandy Alcantara, the Marlins’ top-rated pitching prospect, is expected to be one of those joining the rotation.
Alcantara, who made one start for the Marlins on June 29 before he was sidelined by a right armpit infection, pitched his latest outing at Triple A New Orleans on Thursday. In 5 2/3 innings, Alcantara gave up four runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out three on 103 pitches.
Right-handed prospect Jeff Brigham (10-3, 2.36 ERA in 95 1/3 minor-league innings in 2018) is a candidate for a call-up, and the Marlins may also bring up Dillon Peters, who is already on the team’s 40-man roster.
THIS AND THAT
Garrett Cooper underwent surgery Friday on his right wrist. The injury limited Cooper to play only 14 games in his first season with the Marlins.
Saturday: Miami Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-9, 4.91 ERA) vs. Toronto Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (7-10, 5.18), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
Sunday: Marlins RHP Pablo Lopez (2-4, 4.14) vs. Blue Jays RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-7, 5.02), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
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