Kevin Slowey’s Winless Drought Comes To End
The last time that right-hand starting pitcher Kevin Slowey received a winning decision was on September 18, 2010. At least, that was the case. Slowey finally earned a win today, May 5, 2013, pitching seven scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing two hits and walking a pair while striking out seven during the Miami Marlins 14-2 victory. Slowey has pitched well for the Marlins thus far, as he entered this game with an ERA of 2.15 and a WHIP of 1.009, and has definitely pitched well enough for at least three or four wins. As it stands, Slowey’s ERA is now 1.81.
Slowey, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Saturday and came into the game with an average of 0.96 runs of support per game, lowest in the Majors, found himself at the plate in the top of the first inning, before he had even thrown a pitch. The Fish had scored a total of eight runs in the six games Slowey had started, but today, he found himself staring at Phillies lead-off hitter Freddy Galvis with a five run lead in the bottom of the first, more runs than the Marlins struggling offense had given him in any game this year, thanks to a Marcell Ozuna one out, two run double that was very close to a grand slam (required a review to be sure), and a Adeiny Hechavarria two out, three run triple off of the struggling Roy Halladay.
As it turned out, Hechavarria would not be done with the bases loaded in the game, as he came up in the same situation in the third inning, this time with no outs, and lined his first career grand slam just over the wall in right field (which, like Ozuna’s double, had to be reviewed). Hechavarria ended with the career high seven RBI, which tied a Marlins franchise record, achieved previously by Cody Ross against the Mets (9/11/06), Gary Sheffield against Philly (9/18/95), and Greg Colbrunn against the Giants (7/18/95). Hechavarria, incidentally, returned on Thursday’s game after sitting on the DL with an issue in his throwing arm.
After three innings, the Fish had already given Slowey more runs in that span than they had all season, and Slowey surely appreciated the offensive help. Throughout the game, Slowey paced himself and kept Philly hitters off the bases with some defensive help from centerfielder Justin Ruggiano, who made an impressive diving catch to rob Chase Utley of at least a double. At the plate, Ruggiano reached base five times, being hit by a pitch twice (both by Halladay and with two strikes), walking once, and hitting a pair of home runs. By the time Slowey left the mound after the seventh, he had been supplied 10 runs from the Marlins offense, who would score 4 more over the final two innings. Relievers A.J. Ramos and Jon Rauch combined to finish off the game, with Ramos allowing two runs (one earned) and making a throwing error that allowed Carlos Ruiz to score the first run for Philly (Ben Revere would later score the other in the same frame). The Fish split the 4 game weekend series with the Phillies, and their record now stands at 10-22, with 5 wins in their last 8 games.
In other Marlins related news, Marcell Ozuna has been tearing the cover off the ball, getting hits in each of his first six games, including four hits in this game, where he reached base five times with two doubles, two singles, and a walk with three runs batted in. Ozuna hit his first career home run in Saturday’s game off of Cole Hamels in the Marlins 2-0 victory, which also happened to be the first career victory for fellow rookie prospect Jose Fernandez, who pitched a career high seven shutout innings, striking out nine. Currently, the 22-year-old Ozuna is hitting .478 (11-23) with four doubles, a home run, and four runs driven in. Marlins reserve outfielder Austin Kearns was placed on the bereavement list, and catcher Kyle Skipworth was given his second call-up of the season to take his place. Second baseman Donovan Solano has sat out the last two games with an injured side and has been replaced currently by Chris Valaika. Solano may be moved to the DL in the coming days. The Marlins travel West to play the San Diego Padres for a three game set starting Monday.