In the span of about six minutes inside loanDepot park on Monday, rookie outfielder Jesus Sanchez showed how he can impact a game both in the batter’s box and in the field.
Not to be outdone, fellow rookie Jazz Chisholm Jr. showcased a double-dose of his power as well within a span of three innings and then used his speed to his advantage help seal Miami’s second walk-off victory of the season — an 8-7 win over the Washington Nationals in 10 innings to begin a three-game series.
Together, Sanchez and Chisholm are providing a glimpse of what having multiple power-hitting lefty bats can do for a lineup — and played pivotal roles throughout Miami’s latest rally.
“You need to have left-handed bats in your order,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You see the better teams have a number of them, maybe not guys that play every day but at least in platoon-type roles. You see San Francisco and you see LA [Dodgers] and certain teams, they can go line up and put your righties in a bind if they’re good. So it’s nice to have the power and the pop out of those guys. I mean, it’s today’s game. You’ve got to be able to score runs. Those are quick runs.”
Before diving deeper into Sanchez and Chisholm’s power surge, a quick recap of the win that moved Miami to 64-86:
The Marlins rallied back from being down three runs twice, erasing a 3-0 deficit with a three-run third inning and coming back from a 7-4 deficit with three runs in the seventh to force extra innings. They escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 10th when Josh Bell hit a groundball to Lewin Diaz at first base that turned into an inning-ending double play. Diaz threw to Nick Fortes at home for the forceout and Bell was ruled out when Fortes’ throw hit Bell, who was running on the grass in fair territory.
Chisholm, Miami’s automatic runner at second base to start the bottom of the 10th, then scored the deciding run when he stole third and came home on a wild pitch. It was Miami’s second consecutive walk-off win in extra innings following Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I love being on base with those opportunities where I can run and go hard and the adrenaline’s pumping,” Chisholm said. “As soon as they told me I was on a second base, I was so excited to go out there. I was like, ‘Y’all are giving me this opportunity? All right! I’m out there.’”
OK. Back to the rookie hitters.
Let’s start with Sanchez. The 23-year-old sent an Erick Fedde curveball thrown over the heart of the plate a projected 421 feet to right-center field to tie the game 3-3 in the third inning. It was Sanchez’s 13th home run of the season and his 10th that went at least 400 feet according to Statcast.
A half inning later, Sanchez made a web gem of a defensive play. He overran a Lane Thomas fly ball down the right-field line, backpedaled after running into foul territory and caught the ball bare-handed.
“I was just running hard, running really hard after the ball,” Sanchez said. “I was trying to be very careful with the wall. I was looking at the wall, and then looking at the ball and then suddenly I looked at the ball and I passed the ball completely. I didn’t have any reach with my left hand, so I just pull that right hand and suddenly I grabbed it.”
His manager’s perspective, put more succinctly: “Jesus makes it interesting.”
Chisholm, meanwhile, had his first career multi-home run game, going deep in the third and fifth innings. He sent a Fedde cutter into the upper deck in right field in the third inning to score Miami’s first run of the game, two at-bats before Sanchez’s game-tying home run. In the fifth, Chisholm lifted a curveball at the bottom of the strike zone and sent it a projected 427 feet to right-center field.
The 23-year-old middle infielder now has 17 home runs and 24 stolen bases this season, his most recent coming in the 10th inning Monday and putting him in position to score when Sam Clay’s 2-0 sinker skipped past catcher Keibert Ruiz.
He has a chance to become the first Marlins player since Hanley Ramirez in 2010 to record at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season. Only four players have ever accomplished the feat in franchise history (Ramirez in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010; Derrek Lee in 2003; Preston Wilson in 2000, 2001 and 2002; and Cliff Floyd in 1998 and 2000).
Movin’ on up
Two of the Marlins’ top prospects, one pitcher and one position player, will finish the minor-league season with Triple A Jacksonville.
Right-handed pitcher Max Meyer and outfielder Peyton Burdick are being promoted to the Jumbo Shrimp’s roster this week after spending the season with the Double A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Pensacola’s season ended last week. Jacksonville still has 10 more regular-season games.
Meyer, the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2020 who is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in Miami’s system and the No. 31 overall prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, started 20 games for the Blue Wahoos this year. He had a 6-3 record with a 2.41 ERA (the lowest among all Double A pitchers) and 113 strikeouts (the sixth-most in Double A) against 40 walks over 101 innings in that span.
Burdick, the No. 14 prospect in the Marlins’ system and their third-round pick in 2019, had a .231 batting average with 52 RBI and 71 runs scored in 106 games in Double A. The 24-year-old struggled early in Double A, with his batting average dipping to .077 through the first two weeks of the season, before settling in at the plate. He set the Blue Wahoos’ single-season records for home runs (23) and walks (76) along the way.
▪ Miguel Rojas is day-to-day with a left knee contusion.
▪ Pablo Lopez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
▪ Neither Jesus Aguilar (left knee inflammation) nor Jorge Alfaro (left calf strain) are participating in baseball activities.
▪ Jon Berti (concussion) is participating in baseball activities.