When the Miami Marlins and the host Milwaukee Brewers wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon, at least part of the focus will be on the leadoff men.
In the first two games of the series, an 8-0 Miami win on Monday and a 5-4 Milwaukee victory on Tuesday, Brewers leadoff batters Kolten Wong and Tyrone Taylor combined to go 6-for-8 with one homer and three RBIs.
Meanwhile, Marlins rookie leadoff batter Jazz Chisholm left Tuesday’s game due to a strained left hamstring.
The Miami second baseman is unlikely to play on Wednesday and could be headed for the injured list, which would be a shame for the Marlins because he is hitting .290 with four homers, 11 runs, seven stolen bases and a .926 OPS.
Chisholm showed what he can do in Tuesday’s first inning, legging out an infield hit on what would’ve been a routine groundout for most major league batters. He then stole second and came around to score thanks to a groundout and a sacrifice fly.
In his place, the Marlins inserted 21-year-old rookie second baseman Jose Devers, who appears overmatched at the plate at this stage of his career. He is hitless in six at-bats with four strikeouts this season.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said postgame regarding Chisholm, “I don’t know if it’s something that we can wait on and see what it looks like (Wednesday), if it is a cramp or not, but it’s probably something we’ll be cautious with. I’m not in a position to make that decision right now.”
Mattingly also had a comically blunt answer when asked what the Marlins would do without Chisholm.
“We’ll just replace him,” Mattingly said before laughing. “We’ll move on until (he’s) back. It’s the same with (injured Marlins starters Starling Marte, Jorge Alfaro and Brian Anderson).
“We’ll bring somebody in and expect to win. You don’t want to lose anybody. But in a long season, you’re going to lose guys, and you have to keep moving.”
The Brewers have had their own injury issues. On Tuesday, they placed catcher Manny Pina on the injured list with a fractured toe and infielder Daniel Robertson on the seven-day concussion IL.
“It’s swollen and purple,” Pina said of his toe, which endured two encounters with foul balls. “I’m in a lot of pain.”
The Brewers have had more than a dozen players go on the injured list already this year, including stars such as Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain.
Still, the Brewers are looking to win their third straight series. After a 1-3 start, they have gone 13-6.
The Brewers have yet to announce their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s series finale. Whoever they choose will have to be careful with Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who has hit four homers in his past five games.
Miami will start right-hander Sandy Alcantara (0-2, 3.34 ERA), who is looking for his first win this season despite pitching well overall.
Alcantara is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three career appearances against Milwaukee. In his one start against the Brewers, he held them to one run over seven innings in 2019.
In his first three times out this year, Alcantara was credited with quality starts. But that was not the case in his two most recent starts as he allowed a total of six runs in 11 1/3 innings.
–Field Level Media