Just think if the Marlins had never traded Anthony DeSclafani to the Reds for Mat Latos, a deal that turned out poorly for Miami in the end.
The pitcher known as “Disco” in his Marlins days might have been strutting his stuff FOR them on Tuesday instead of AGAINST them, and the outcome might have turned out differently.
As it was, Miami absorbed a 6-3 loss at Great American Ball Park.
DeSclafani, whom the Marlins dealt to Cincinnati before the 2015 season, improved to 7-1 as he took care of his pitching-challenged former team.
The Marlins sent out Jose Urena, who was called up from the minors to take the rotation spot of injured starter Adam Conley, and the result wasn’t pretty.
After retiring the first two Reds batters he faced, the roof collapsed on Urena. He gave up three straight singles, a bases-loaded walk, and a grand slam to Tucker Barnhart. It was 5-1 Reds in the first.
“That first inning, that was tough,” said Urena (1-4). “I was trying to put the ball down in the zone. I couldn’t find it. I was fighting with myself. I was hanging so many breaking balls, that if I got down in the count, they were waiting for something up in the zone.”
Urena recovered, delivering five shutout innings before coming out in the sixth for a pinch-hitter. But the early damage was insurmountable for the Marlins, who couldn’t break through against DeSclafani.
“At that point, in this ballpark, you know you have a chance to get back in the game,” manager Don Mattingly said of the early 5-1 deficit. “We didn’t really mount a whole lot of charges really as far as getting to DeSclafani.”
Mattingly said he intends to keep Urena in the rotation, at least for the time being, pointing out that the right-hander made a nice recovery after his rocky first inning.
“After the first he was good,” Mattingly said. “Once we got past the first, I think he throws five zeroes. Obviously, the first hurt him.”
The Latos trade was a regrettable one for the Marlins. Latos flopped so badly that the Marlins unloaded him before last year’s trade deadline.
DeSclafani rubbed salt in that wound on Tuesday.
The Marlins nicked him for a run in the first and another in the third, a run that was self-inflicted when DeSclafani balked in Dee Gordon from third.
But they didn’t do much else with DeSclafani, who struck out six without a walk during his six innings. DeSclafani, who spent the first half of the season on the disabled list, has won seven of his eight decisions since June 10 for the last-place Reds.
“He throws the ball good,” Mattingly said. “He’s got good stuff. We had a lot of trouble with him last year.”
The Marlins trimmed Cincinnati’s lead to 6-3 in the eighth on Christian Yelich’s 13th home run, a solo shot off Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias in the eighth.
In the ninth, during Ichiro Suzuki’s at bat to start the inning, Marlins assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino was ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn for the oddest of things.
Menechino took a wad of bubble gum out of his mouth and threw it straight up in the air.
Reyburn, apparently, didn’t care for it and tossed Menechino.
“That was a crazy one,” Mattingly said.
Ichiro Suzuki tripled to start the inning. But the Marlins failed to make anything of it as Chris Johnson grounded into a double play to end the game.