‘Consistency’ — and quoting Bob Marley — key for Marlins’ Bryan De La Cruz during hit streak
Bryan De La Cruz took a second to quote Bob Marley when explaining his approach at the plate right now.
Specifically, the Miami Marlins outfielder quoted the song “Three Little Birds.”
Yes, De La Cruz is not worrying about a thing right now.
“Like the song says,” De La Cruz said, “Every [little] thing’s gonna be all right.”
Everything indeed has been all right for De La Cruz the past few weeks. He entered Sunday’s series finale with the San Francisco Giants riding a 14-game hitting streak. That’s the longest streak of De La Cruz’s young MLB career and was the longest active streak in baseball entering the day.
Only three other players have had longer streaks this season: The Houston Astros’ Mauricio Dubon (20, from April 2 to April 26), the Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryson Stott (17, from March 30 to April 18) and the Boston Red Sox’s Masataka Yoshida (16, from April 20 to May 7).
During this run, which started on May 4, De La Cruz is hitting .364 (20 for 55) with five doubles, three triples, nine RBI and nine runs scored. His on-base-plus-slugging mark is 1.015.
“It’s about consistency,” De La Cruz said Saturday. “It’s about being in the play with tranquility and serenity. Looking at the pitchers, looking at the pitches and doing the same thing — not trying to change things. If things are working, just keep it the same way.”
This run of success has immediately followed an eight-game stretch in which De La Cruz posted just a .069 batting average and struck out in 18 of his 30 plate appearances. Of the two hits he did get, he was thrown out on the basepaths in one of them trying to turn a single into a double.
He didn’t let the mini rough patch faze him, though.
And now De La Cruz is once again showing flashes of what he can be at his peak, as he has done multiple times since the Marlins acquired him from the Houston Astros at the 2021 trade deadline for reliever Yimi Garcia.
De La Cruz entered Sunday with a .291 batting average that ranks second on the team only behind Luiz Arraez (.387). His 10 doubles are tied with Arraez for the team lead. His 18 RBI are second only behind Jorge Soler (24). And his five home runs are third behind Soler (11) and Jazz Chisholm Jr. (seven).
“He’s still growing as a hitter,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “He’s a young hitter. He had a really good second half last year and so far has had a really good six weeks. I don’t think he’s done growing as a hitter. It could be even better than what you’re seeing so far. I don’t want to put numbers on what a guy’s capable of doing because it’s going to be ultimately up to the player, on his preparation and his work.”
The Marlins’ 1-0 win over the Giants on Sunday marked just the second time in franchise history the team won a game in which the only run scored was unearned.
Jon Berti’s eighth-inning single to right against San Francisco’s Taylor Rogers scored Garrett Hampson, who reached on a J.D. Davis fielding error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
The other instance in Marlins history of a 1-0 win with the run being unearned: Sept. 24, 2001, against the Atlanta Braves. Preston Wilson led off the second inning of that game with a double and moved to third base on a double steal with Mike Lowell as the trail runner as Charles Johnson struck out swinging for the second out. Braves catcher Javy Lopez’s throw to second base to try to catch Lowell went awry, allowing Wilson to score.
The Marlins have two shutout wins this season, both 1-0 victories. Before this year, the Marlins’ last 1-0 win was Aug. 5, 2020, at the Baltimore Orioles.
Jeff Conine part of Panthers’ pregame festitvities
Jeff Conine, known by many Marlins fans as Mr. Marlin and currently a special assistant to Marlins chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman, will bang the ceremonial drum at FLA Live Arena ahead of Game 3 of the Florida Panthers’ Eastern Conference finals game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
The Panthers are 2-0 in the best-of-7 series after beating the Hurricanes 3-2 in quadruple overtime on Thursday and 2-1 in a single overtime on Saturday.