After a rough start to the season, the Miami Marlins came home looking to turn things around. After taking two of three from the Houston Astros, the Marlins were able to sweep the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon. The Marlins completed their home stand 5-1. The Marlins outscored their two opponents 33 to 19 in the six games.
The Marlins are on a four-game winning streak and sit at 7-6, over .500 winning percentage for the first time in 2012. The Marlins are now 2.5 games back of the Washington Nationals, headed into a series with the division leader. Here is the series preview for the two rival NL East teams.
Ricky Nolasco started the game for the Miami Marlins and it was apparent early on that he did not have his best stuff on this afternoon.
Nolasco retired the first two hitters of the game with ease. Then Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano got back-to-back singles before Nolasco retired Ian Stewart to get out of the first inning scoreless.
After a Jose Reyes strikeout, Emilio Bonifacio walked and stole second base. Hanley Ramirez lined a base hit to set up the Marlins first and third with just one out. Logan Morrison drove in Bonifacio with a broken bat single. Giancarlo Stanton then grounded out to score Ramirez. The Marlins had a 2 to 0 lead after one inning.
On the Barney triple, Giancarlo Stanton misplayed the ball, which allowed Barney to get a triple as well as allowing the three runs to score. Overall, Stanton had a horrible game in right field. He missed a chance to throw a runner out at third and missed a catch-able ball on a diving attempt. Stanton has not been at his best early on in 2012.
In the third inning, a rare occurence took place. After a Jose Reyes walk, Emilio Bonifacio grounded into a double play. I highly doubt you will be able to see that again anytime soon.
The third inning was the Marlins huge inning. Hanley Ramirez led off the inning with a bunt single, a bunt he only took to match Ian Stewart beating out a bunt hit to Hanley. On the first pitch, Hanley was up and running and stole second base. After a Logan Morrison walk and a Stanton ground out to move Hanley and LoMo to second and third, Gregg Dobbs delivered a big two-run double to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead. Later that inning, Nolasco lined a broken bat single to extend the Marlins lead to 5-3.
That would be all the scoring we would see for the day. The Marlins bullpen took over for Nolasco after 5.1 innings. Mike Dunn, Ryan Webb, Randy Choate, Edward Mujica, and Heath Bell combined to go 4.2 innings of hit less ball to win the game for the Marlins. In fact, the Marlins bullpen did not allow a base runner in the game.
Bell converted his second straight save after blowing the first two. The key for Bell, keeping hitters off of the bases and pitching effectively. Bell struck out two of the three hitters he faced.
Very good team win for the Marlins on Thursday afternoon. They will be right back at it tonight against their divison rivals, the Washington Nationals. Tonight’s pitching match up is Carlos Zambrano vs Ross Detwiler.
Prediction: The Nationals win 5-2. Big Z goes only 3 innings for the Marlins, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits. Detwiler, meanwhile goes 7 strong shutout innings for the Nationals.
Topics: Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, Darwin Barney, David DeJesus, Edward Mujica, Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, Houston Astros, Ian Stewart, Jose Reyes, Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins, Mike Dunn, Randy Choate, Ricky Nolasco, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Webb, Starlin Castro, Washington Nationals