Miami Marlins, led by Jesus Luzardo, beat New York Mets for Skip Schumaker’s first win
On the first night this season that the Miami Marlins honored their past, Jesus Luzardo had his first shot to show the Marlins he can take the next step for his (and their) present and future.
The 25-year-old left-handed pitcher, a Parkland resident and Stoneman Douglas High alumnus, got into trouble at times but overall held his own in a 2-1 win over the New York Mets on Friday at loanDepot park — the team’s first win under first-year manager Skip Schumaker.
Luzardo threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his first start of the season, holding a stacked Mets lineup off the scoreboard despite not having his best command. Only 51 of his 91 pitches were strikes and he walked four batters in addition to giving up a pair of hits.
“Definitely emotions,” Luzardo said. “A lot of adrenaline and a lot of excitement going into the first start of the year, but I felt like we did a good job, me and [catcher] Nick [Fortes] of focusing on filling up the zone and trying to keep my emotinos in check. After the first batter, I feel like I kind of got those jitters out of the way.”
“Against one of the best teams in the league, really good,” Schumaker added. “Deep lineup. All-Stars everywhere. To show that he’s capable of going deep into the game — I think he can even go deeper. ... A great start to the season for him.”
He did so after having a breakout 2022 season, one in which he pitched to a 3.32 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 100 1/3 innings over 18 starts — the lone real blemish from that year being the two-and-a-half months missed due to a left forearm strain.
And he did so on the Marlins’ first Flashback Friday of the season, with the team wearing throwback teal pinstripe jerseys and teal hats from their inaugural 1993 season as they celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary. Luzardo, who was born in Peru to Venezuelan parents and moved to South Florida when he was 1, grew up a Marlins fan and remembered the old uniforms fondly.
Early on, he did more than enough to impress even if things got shaky.
Luzardo needed 18 pitches to get through a perfect first inning, with the count running full in all three at-bats, but he didn’t give up a hit until Starling Marte’s single to right with one out in the fourth inning. Marte was caught stealing and then he worked around a Francisco Lindor walk to get out of the inning unscathed. Luzardo then gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth to Mark Canha but negated it by getting Jeff McNeil to hit into a double play.
And then came the sixth.
After two quick outs to Tommy Pham and Tomas Nido, Luzardo loaded the bases on a Brandon Nimmo walk, Marte single and Lindor walk.
Schumaker pulled Luzardo at this point, bringing in reliever JT Chargois to face Pete Alonso. Chargois got Alonso to line out to Jazz Chisholm Jr. in left-center field to end the threat, which prompted Luzardo to begin celebrating in the dugout.
“My heart definitely dropped for a second when I saw him hit the line drive,” Luzardo said, “but I also know we play in loanDepot, so it’s kind of a graveyard for the most part. I have a lot of faith in Jazz back there. Jazz ran down and made a good play. I was extremely happy for us and for JT that he got out of that.”
Chargois pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless eighth and A.J. Puk logged Miami’s first save of the season by holding the Mets (1-1) to just one run — a solo home run by Alonso, Puk’s teammate in college at the University of Florida.
Jorge Soler and Chisholm each hit a solo home run to account for the Marlins’ runs.
Soler’s was a leadoff homer to right-center in the second inning against Mets starter David Peterson. This came after he robbed Alonso of a potential double in the top half of the inning. Soler also robbed Marte of a potential game-tying single to end the eighth.
Chisholm gave the Marlins (1-1) insurance in the eighth inning, when he took John Curtiss deep to right field.
Miami went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.