The Miami Marlins topped the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in the 10th inning Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 41,575 on the west coast. Giancarlo Stanton, on a 2-2 pitch, roped a line drive home run to give the Marlins a much needed run after a disappointing ninth inning where Heath Bell was yet again ineffective. Stanton finished the night with a line of 3-5 adding a double along the way. Steve Cishek, perhaps the hero of the night, gained the win and improved to 3-0 on the young season.
The game started off very interesting to say the least. After a Jose Reyes pop out, Emilio Bonifacio (BB), Hanley Ramirez (Single), and Austin Kearns (BB) all reached to load the bases early in the first. On a 1-2 count after fouling off a number of pitches, Omar Infante drove in the first run of the night off a RBI ground out that Brandon Crawford could not field cleanly. If done so, the Giants would have easily turned a double play. Though they were just able to get one in the inning, Giants starter Barry Zito exited the first inning with 33 pitches and 2 walks. The rest of his 2.2 innings proved to be tough as Zito allowed a career high 7 walks while struggling to lower his pitch count. The Marlins added their second run the very next inning off another Giants blunder, this time by Joaquin Arias. Emilio Bonifacio hit a sharp grounder off the mound that took a funky path toward Arias. With Reyes digging towards second, Arias could not get in proper position to make the play. Unfortunately this would be the only runs the Marlins could scrape out till the tenth as the hitting woes seem to continue down this lineup. Stanton did show some pop and managed to be the only player worth noting offensively tonight.
Carlos Zambrano however was the bright spot. After getting into trouble during the first two innings, Big Z settled in and pitched marvelous baseball. Showing consistent velocity and poise, Zambrano tossed 7 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out 5. I noticed Big Z continued to smile and look happy on the mound throughout his outing. Zambrano has been a valuable asset to this team so far and has defiantly lived up to his part in the Chris Volstad trade. After 7 innings of scoreless baseball, Edward Mujica added a scoreless 8th setting up another opportunity for Heath Bell to get back on track. Unfortunately Bell continued to struggle. In fact, Bell did not record a single out and was pulled for Steve Cishek after giving up 3 hits and 1 run. Cishek entered the game and again showed why he’s considered the most reliable arm in the pen and managed to work out of a major jam, one that included the bases being loaded with the winning run on third. After Stanton’s home run in extras, Cishek came back out in the 10th and shut the door while fanning 2.
Overall, this was a very ugly game that became beautiful after the last out was recorded. Though there was zero offense, it seemed the Marlins had the momentum the whole game due to the high amount of walks and a strong outing by Big Z. It is very positive to see the team not lay down after a momentum crushing ninth inning. It was also encouraging to see Stanton swing the bat well and deliver a clutch home run in a much needed time. The Marlins will meet the Giants tomorrow (5/3) for the last game of the series as Anibal Sanchez will battle Ryan Vogelsong at 3:35 PM. Go Marlins!
Tags: Anibal Sanchez Austin Kearns Barry Zito Brandon Crawford Chris Volstad Edward Mujica Emilio Bonifacio Giancarlo Stanton Hanley Ramirez Heath Bell Joaquin Arias Jose Reyes Miami Marlins Omar Infante Ryan Vogelsong San Francisco Giants Steve Cishek