Eric Lauer battles with command issues in start vs. Marlins

MIAMI— 11 days ago, rookie left-hander Eric Lauer took the hill against the Marlins and was unable to get out of the third inning, giving up seven hits and five earned runs in a blowout loss

On Friday night, Lauer took the mound at Marlins Park to face the same team in their throwback uniforms. He ended up laboring through five innings; allowing six hits, three runs. and a career-high seven walks.

All seemed to be going well for the Ohio native until the bottom of the fourth, when he walked Justin Bour to lead off the inning. Cameron Maybin followed with a double to advance Bour to third, and Lewis Brinson brought him home two batters later on a sacrifice fly to deep left field.

After intentionally walking the number eight hitter Yadiel Rivera, pitcher Caleb Smith brought home the second and final run of the inning on his first career base hit.

Lauer walked the next batter before escaping further damage.

In the fifth, Lauer again found himself in trouble. The Fish loaded the bases with two outs via two hits and a walk. Yadiel Rivera then worked a five-pitch walk to bring home another run.

It would take seven more pitches for Lauer to retire Caleb Smith and finally get out of the inning.

All in all, it was a mixed bag of results for the rookie, who has been looking for any kind of consistency in what has been an up-and-down rookie season. In his 111 pitches, Lauer did induce 11 swinging strikes and get 16 called strikes. He also averaged 91.2 mph on his fastball, which was up nearly two ticks from his previous start against the Marlins.

However, his calling card in the minor leagues was stellar command. That obviously has not translated to the big leagues yet. With tonight’s start, Lauer is currently walking an average of 5.49 batters per nine innings.