It finally happened on Sunday afternoon. A Miami Marlin hit a home run for the first time in Marlin Park history. That means Marlins fans finally got to see the home run structure in action! Not only did the structure go off once, but Hanley Ramirez was able to generate a lot of excitement for the fans as well.
The Marlins finally got a game going off on the right foot. For the first time in the three game series, the Marlins were able to keep the Houston Astros off of the scoreboard in the first inning. Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez was able to work around a walk to get the Marlins out of the first inning without allowing a run.
To open the second inning, Omar Infante deposited a ball over the left field wall for the first home run hit by a Marlin at Marlins Park. The fans finally got what they have been waiting to see, the home run structure in action.
It’s good for the fans,” Ramirez said. “I’m happy they got the chance to see that.”
The Marlins lead was short lived, however. J.D. Martinez, a Miami native, continued to harass the Marlins in his homecoming. Martinez hit a double off of the Marlins starter to even the game at 1 in the third inning.
The Astros were able to tack on two more runs in the fourth inning. One of the runs were unearned after second baseman Omar Infante botched a double play that could have limited the damage to just one run. The Marlins were able to get one of those runs back after Logan Morrison drove in Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the fourth.
Anibal Sanchez was lifted after 6 innings. Sanchez did not have his best stuff today, but was able to keep the Marlins in the game. Ryan Webb was able to deliver a scoreless seventh inning for the Marlins. This set up for a wild eight inning.
Left hander Mike Dunn entered to pitch for the Marlins. After a lead off single by Brian Bogusevic, Dunn was able to strikeout the next two Astros. Jose Altuve was able to drive in Bogusevic on an RBI double to extend the Astros lead to 4-2.
The Marlins entered the bottom of the eight inning trailing 4-2. Emilio Bonifacio led the inning off with a walk. Hanley Ramirez lined a deep shot to straight away center, the ball left the ballpark and just like the game was all tied. Ramirez was able to give the Marlins new life.
In the tenth inning, the Marlins had runners on the corners with two outs. The Marlins bullpen though was short on available pitchers. Due to this, Joey Cora elected to allow relief pitcher Chad Gaudin to hit for himself, instead of using the veteran slugger Austin Kearns. Unfortunately for the Marlins, Gaudin bounced out to end the inning.
The Astros were able to threaten the Marlins in the top half of the eleventh inning. After a walk and a double, the Marlins decided to intentionally walk Carlos Lee to walk the bases loaded. Gaudin was then able to induce a ground ball out by Bogusevic to end the threat and the inning.
The Marlins came to bat in the bottom half of the inning determined to end the game. John Buck led the inning off with a base hit. Buck was lifted for Brett Hayes as a pinch runner. Chris Coghlan sacrificed Hayes to second base. Astros manager then made a questionable decision to walk Reyes to face Bonifacio with runners on first and second with one out. After a wild pitch, the decision was made to walk Bonifacio to load the bases to face Hanley Ramirez.
Take a look at the video to see for yourself what happened next.
Ramirez delivered two big hits for the Marlins on Sunday afternoon. Ramirez added a WPA (win probability added) of .678 in today’s game. That is a very big number. Ramirez is now 7 for his last 9 in the past two games. Ramirez raised his batting average in those two games from a pathetic .133 to .282. Marlins fans should be very encouraged by this recent run by Ramirez. If he can sustain this over the course of the season, the Marlins will be in great shape.
The Marlins were able to win a series that they should have swept. Next up for the Marlins will be the Chicago Cubs. I will have a game preview post up tomorrow. Will Stanifer will likely have his five predictions up as well.
Tags: Anibal Sanchez Austin Kearns Brett Hayes Brian Boguesevic Carlos Lee Chad Gaudin Chicago Cubs Chris Coghlan Emilio Bonifacio Giancarlo Stanton Hanley Ramirez Houston Astros J.D. Martinez John Buck Jose Altuve Logan Morrison Miami Marlins Mike Dunn Omar Infante Ryan Webb