Takeaways as second-inning disaster dooms Marlins in series-opening loss to Brewers

With the Miami Marlins still in the thick of the National League playoff race with a week and a half left in the regular season, they can’t afford to have many more games like they had Friday.

Even more specifically, they can’t afford to have innings like their second inning on Friday.

The Marlins gave up a season-high 12 runs in the second inning of their 16-1, series-opening loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at loanDepot park. The loss marks Miami’s most lopsided defeat of the season and matches the most runs the Marlins have given up in a game this season (also on June 30 in a 16-4 loss to the Braves).

Miami falls to 79-75. Milwaukee, which clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in five years, improved to 88-66.

Just how bad was that second inning? It featured two Marlins pitchers, 15 batters, 56 pitches, nine hits (including two home runs), three walks and, ultimately, a dozen Brewers crossing home plate.

Heading into Friday, the Marlins had allowed 12 or more runs in a game just five times this season. Coincidentally, the most recent was a 12-0, series-opening loss to the Brewers in Milwaukee on Sept. 11.

“It wasn’t a good game,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “I think everybody just wants to eat, get the [heck] out of here and come back tomorrow. Do the best they can to flush it and try to win a game tomorrow.”

For what it’s worth, the most runs allowed in an inning in franchise history is 14, done on June 27, 2003, in a 25-8 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Miami’s offense didn’t fare much better, logging just four hits and getting its only run on an eighth inning solo home run from Jon Berti.

Here are three takeaways from the game.

Bullpen game backfires

Friday marked the fifth time in the past 16 games the Marlins have thrown a bullpen game. They are 3-2 in those games, with both of those losses coming against Milwaukee.

JT Chargois opened the game but didn’t make it through the first inning. He got two outs and walked two before Schumaker turned to Steven Okert, who got the final out of the first inning.

And then came the trouble.

Okert walked Willy Adames to lead off the second and then gave up a two-run home run to Josh Donaldson. After striking out Brice Turang, Okert then issued back-to-back walks to Blake Perkins and Christian Yelich.

Time for a pitching change, so in enters Bryan Hoeing — expected to be the Marlins’ long reliever for the game.

Hoeing gave up hits to each of the first five batters he faced, got a groundout, then gave up three more hits, including a two-run home run from Yelich that capped scoring, before the inning mercifully ended.

“Flat-out terrible,” Hoeing said.

Hoeing ultimately threw three innings and gave up another run in the fifth.

George Soriano followed with 1 2/3 innings, giving up a three-run home run to Yelich in the sixth, before Johnny Cueto threw a scoreless seventh and catcher Jacob Stallings pitched the eighth and ninth innings to cap the blowout.

Stallings became the second position player ever in Marlins history to pitch at least two innings in a game. The other: Brett Eibner, who pitched two innings in an 11-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 22, 2020.

Early nights for Arraez, Burger

All-Star second baseman Luis Arraez returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing two games with a left ankle sprain. Third baseman Jake Burger also started after leaving Miami’s loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday with right quad tightness.

Neither stayed in the game for too long.

With the game as lopsided as it was after the second inning, Schumaker took the two infielders out of the game before the start of the third inning.

Jon Berti replaced Burger at third base, while Garrett Hampson, who started at shortstop, moved over to second base (and then eventually moved to center field when Jazz Chisholm Jr. was taken out of the game). Joey Wendle finished the game at shortstop.

Where things stand in the playoff race

With the loss, the Marlins are one game back of the Chicago Cubs for the National League’s third and final wild card spot with eight games left in the regular season. Miami is also a half-game ahead of the Cincinnati Reds (79-76), who lost 7-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

Miami, which owns the tiebreaker against both the Cubs and Reds, has two home games left against Milwaukee before finishing the season on the road with three games apiece against the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cubs have two games left against the Colorado Rockies before playing three games at the Atlanta Braves and three at the Brewers.

The Reds have two games left against the Pirates, two at the Cleveland Guardians and three at the St. Louis Cardinals.