The Marlins finished off the Atlanta Braves series with a wild 6-5 victory last night, taking two of three from Atlanta to start the three-way division battle off right. While the second game was dominated by Josh Johnson‘s brilliance and the first game by Chris Volstad‘s poor outing, the final game contained all offense from both sides, culminating in the first high-scoring affair of the season.
Nolasco burned by long ball
Much like last season, Ricky Nolasco was really hurt by the long ball last night. Despite forcing seven ground balls out of 13 total balls in play, two homers still left the yard at the hands of Brian McCann and Dan Uggla. McCann’s was a bit of a “gimme,” sneaking over the right field fence for a true distance of 383 feet, but Uggla’s was a classic Uggla bomb, sent down the left field line a true distance of 419 feet. However, of the two, McCann’s meant a lot more; the Braves were still down 3-1 at the time and that three-run blast brought the Braves’ chances of winning up to 64.9 percent from 47.6 percent, a whopping .173 WPA.
Other than that, it did not seem like Nolasco had a terrible game. Of his six hits allowed, four came in that disastrous second inning, and outside of that, he allowed the lone homer to Uggla and another single while striking out four hitters and walking just one. It seems we had a problem yet again with the “bad Nolasco inning,” in which Nolasco gets battered for a string of hits and runs, possibly because of his difficulty with pitching with runners on, and is otherwise excellent. I’m not concerend about this going forward, but it is disheartening to see given his excellent start to the season.
His name is Dan Uggla
You know, I thought this situation would come at a later time. I honestly felt like I wouldn’t have to see Uggla hurt us with one of his patented home runs until a little while later, but his 419-foot blast down the left field line was so reminiscent of his work as a Fish that it hurt a little to watch. I know that Uggla has started slow so far for the Braves, but he will undoubtedly catch fire and, even if he doesn’t, he should still be a solid contributor this season. However, that home run was pleasing yet difficult to watch as well because it sort of crystalized the fact that Uggla won’t be hitting those jacks for the Marlins any longer. Omar Infante it is, I suppose.
Hanley back on track
He went under the radar in this back-and-forth series, but Hanley Ramirez had a good set of games against the Braves. Ramirez had four hits in 13 PA in this series while also drawing three walks. That translated to a .400/.538/.400 line for the series, which is excellent except for one small problem: Ramirez has still yet to display power this season. His hardest hit balls have been fly ball outs, but not many have landed for extra bases. Only three of his 10 hits this season have gone for extra bases, and they have all been doubles. He has yet to go yard this season, and the Marlins are going to need him to do better in order for the team to do well. Yesterday’s three-hit performance with two walks was a good start, but Fish fans want the hard-hitting Ramirez as well.