‘Jazz’ putting on a show with the Marlins

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Sheldon LongleySend an emailApril 20, 2023 98 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Miami Marlins’ Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr., left, celebrates with Jorge Soler (12) after hitting a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, in Miami, Florida. AP

To say that Bahamian Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. is back to being the electrifying player he was prior to a back injury last season, might be an understatement.

The Miami Marlins’ outfielder put on a show on Tuesday, and carried it over into Wednesday, enjoying one of his best stretches of the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) season so far.

Chisholm has hit safely in his last three games, including blasting his second home of the season in a 4-2 win for the Marlins over fellow Bahamian Antoan Richardson and the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. Richardson is a first base coach with the Giants.

In the final game of the three-game set at loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday, Chisholm had a hit in six at-bats – tied for the most at-bats he’s had in one game in his four-year career. For the series, he went 4-for-13 with a home run, four RBIs (runs batted in) and two runs scored. The Marlins lost on Wednesday, 5-2, in 11 innings, but won the series against the Giants two games to one.

The Tuesday game might have been Chisholm’s coming out party for the 2023 season.

Batting in the number six position on Tuesday, the 25-year-old Chisholm had a towering three-run home run in three at-bats, giving the Marlins a 4-2 cushion over the Giants in the bottom of the fourth inning and they never looked back. They went on to win by that same score.

With the Marlins trailing 2-1, Chisholm jumped on a 1-0 pitch from Giants’ reliever Jakob Junis, an 85.8 miles per hour (mph) changeup that missed its spot, and sent it to deep right center field, giving the Marlins the lead. Later in the game, Chisholm got a great jump on a shot from Mike Yastrzemski that had extra bases written all over it. Chisholm tracked it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch, leading to MVP (Most Valuable Player) chants from the crowd in attendance, particularly from his supporter section of loanDepot Park, known as the Jazz Band.

“Honestly, I can’t really remember the route,” said Chisholm to Marlins’ beat reporter Christina De Nicola about the catch. “That was just a blacked-out moment where I just put my head down and just started running for the ball. Honestly, I saw the ball hit and I literally said, ‘I can’t catch this ball’. I just went, and by the time I got to the ball, it was still in the air. So that’s all I got on that.”

When asked about the catch, Marlins’ Manager Skip Schumaker said: “He’s a super athlete. He’s so quick that he’s one of the only guys that I’ve ever been around that you have to actually slow him down because he’s so quick and so twitchy. Nobody really has that.”

Chisholm appears to be one of those hitters who could produce no matter where he is inserted in the lineup.

“Big home run. Obviously, the ball in the gap was huge that he ran down. You guys all saw him in Spring Training to now. We’re only two weeks in and he’s running down stuff both to the gap and in getting really good jumps,” said Schumaker. “What a difference even from the first game to now. Just like [Jorge] Soler could carry you, Jazz can do the same thing. And when both those guys are going, then we’re doing ok.”

Marlins’ outfielder Jorge Soler batted in the designated hitter position on Tuesday and finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. On Wednesday, he was 1-for-3. Back in the lead-off spot on Wednesday, Chisholm finished the game 1-for-6.

“You just hit the learning curve,” said Chisholm. “Beginning of the season, I wasn’t hitting the changeup. … It’s just the learning curve. That’s why it’s like the ‘don’t panic’ button.”

Chisholm volunteered to move to center field from the infield this season, paving the way for Miami to acquire 2022 American League Batting Champion Luis Arráez from the Minnesota Twins who has been hitting the cover off the ball in his time in Miami. The 26-year-old Marlins’ second baseman from Venezuela in hitting a league-leading .438. He is also leading the league in on-base percentage (OBP) at .493.

As for Chisholm, he looks comfortable in center field and is starting to produce at the plate. He is hitting .235 with three home runs, eight RBIS and seven runs scored this season. Last year, he had a batting average of .254 with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs and 39 runs scored before getting injured and sitting out most of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Despite losing yesterday, Chisholm and the Marlins have won six of their last eight games and have crawled back into contention in the National League East Division of Major League Baseball. They have a 10-9 win/loss record on the season and trail the front-running Atlanta Braves (14-5) by four games in the standings.


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