Last night, the rubber. Today, the sweep?
I think the questions regarding run support for our rotation will begin to fade away after last night’s 9-1 win over the Cubs. Last night, a pair of sculpture-spinners from Donnie Murphy and Hanley Ramirez gave the Marlins an ample cushion from which to watch Mark Buehrle work. With 99 pitches over eight innings, Buehrle threw five K’s with no walks and gave up one earned run.
The Matt Garza-led Cubs had a rough night of it. Garza only lasted five and one-third innings before being replaced by Lendy Castillo. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, “14 hits and nine runs is no way to get through a baseball game, son.”
The game got off to a slow start through the first two innings, until Murphy parked a fastball on a 2-1 count in the bottom of the third with John Buck sitting on first from a lead-off walk.
Cubs fans were able to hold on to hope when Buck walked again in the fourth to load the bases; this time, Murphy fanned for the last out of the inning, stranding three runners.
The good-for-us, bad-for-them news really got rolling in the fifth. Hanley Ramirez pounded a two-run coffin nail into deep left-center field.
In the sixth, a Gaby Sanchez RBI double sent Matt Garza to the dressing room, and Lendy Castillo took over, promptly giving up two singles and another double before closing the inning.
Two base hits and a wild pitch finally put the Cubs on the board in the top of the seventh. Rodrigo Lopez came in to pitch for the Cubs to start the bottom half of the inning, and Chris Coghlan came in as Logan Morrison’s knee saver when LoMo drew a walk. A sacrifice fly by Donnie Murphy put Cogs across the plate brought the score to 8-1 at the end of seven.
After a leadoff triple by Jose Reyes in the eighth, Chris Coghlan grounded into half of a double play that allowed Reyes to score and Cogs to reach first.
Ryan Webb took over from Buehrle in the Ninth, ending the game in eight pitches.
Defensively, the Marlins played a journeyman’s game, with two double plays and only one error, charged to Hanley Ramirez for mis-gloving a hot grounder up his forearm in the fifth, allowing Geovany Soto to reach first base.