By Mary Lynch
Andrew Nardi, a left-handed pitcher drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2019, was called up to the major leagues this week, debuting on Aug. 16 in a home game against the San Diego Padres.
But it was his second big-league appearance, on Aug. 20, that really sent shivers through Nardi’s family and friends. That’s when Nardi, 24, pitched in his first game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium.
Nardi is the son of Tony and Liz Nardi, both of whom grew up in Eagle Rock. He is the nephew of Mike Nardi and Paul Nardi and the grandson of Barbara Nardi, a beloved longtime resident of Eagle Rock who passed away last year at age 88.
Nardi, a reliever, pitched the bottom of the sixth inning in the game against the Dodgers. It was a perfect night for baseball. The heat wave that had engulfed L.A. all week had broken. There was a touch of fall in the air.
Nardi gave up a lead-off single to Max Muncie. He struck out Trayce Thompson; the third strike was a swing and a miss of Nardi’s 97 m.p.h. fast ball. He gave up a double to Cody Bellinger, putting men on second and third, and then he walked Austin Barnes to load the bases.
Next, showing grace under pressure, Nardi faced Mookie Betts and Justin Turner. Betts flied out in shallow, left-field foul territory. Turner hit a ground ball to short for the force out at second.
And with that, Nardi was out of the inning with two hits, one walk, one strikeout and no runs.
The Dodgers easily won the game, 7-0. But not one of those runs was off the Marlins’ Andrew Nardi.