May was owned by Giancarlo Stanton and his impressive power, is June going to be the month of reemergence to superstardom for third baseman Hanley Ramirez? Since the month of May, Hanley has hit .317/.358/.520 with six of his now ten home runs. Ramirez on Saturday afternoon became just the 8th hitter to have a multiple homer game against Cole Hamels. Hanley hit two out and drove in three of the Marlins five runs, in a 5-4 victory over the Phillies.
The Marlins picked up a win after dropping the first game of the month of June. The win was an imporantant one for a team that only won a total of five games in the entire month of June in 2011. The win moved the Marlins to 1-1 for the month, after posting a franchise best 21-8 record in the month of May.
The game did not start as planned for the Marlins. The team was down 1-0 after the first inning. Juan Pierre led the first inning off with a single for the Phillies and later scored on a Carlos Ruiz single. The Phillies would then tack on two more runs on a Hunter Pence two-run home run in the third.
With a 3-0 lead, at home, with their ace on the mound, the Phillies looked well on their way to a second straight victory over the recently hot Marlins. But that is when Hanley Ramirez took over the game. With the bases empty in the fourth inning, Hanley Ramirez sent a ball into the the bleachers to cut the Phillies lead to 3-1. The home run was not without controversy, as the umpires had to review it to make sure that a fan did not reach over to grab the ball before it went out. Replays showed that a kid reached out for the ball, but the umpires determined that the ball was in fact leaving anyways, so the home run call stood as called.
The Marlins would then add on another run in the in the same inning, when Justin Ruggiano drove in Logan Morrison on a double. It was the right handers fourth at-bat as a Marlin, and his second big hit. Ruggiano hit his first home run as a Marlin last night in a pinch hitting role. Ruggiano’s big hit cut the Phillies lead down to just one run.
In the sixth inning, it was Hanley time again. After Omar Infante reached base on an infield single, Hanley took Hamels deep for the second time in the afternoon. It was the tenth of the season for Ramirez, and the second of the game. Ramirez now has the team record of most multi-homer games at 12. Ramirez’s second home run also moved him into sole possession of the second spot in Marlins home run franchise history.
More importantly, the two-run shot gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead over the Phillies. The Marlins were able to add onto the lead with an insurance run in the seventh inning. After Chris Coghlan led the inning off with a walk, Ricky Nolasco laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Coghlan to second. Jose Reyes then extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a two-out double to extend the Marlins lead to 5-3.
That insurance run proved to be important for the Marlins an inning later. Ozzie Guillen decided to send out Ricky Nolasco out for the 8th inning. Jimmy Rollins led the inning off with a triple. That was followed by a Juan Pierre walk. Ozzie then made the move for Steve Cishek. Cishek deserves the credit for the save in this game as he came into a higher leverage situation and performed his duties exceptionally.
After allowing a sacrifice fly score Rollins and cut the Marlins lead to 5-4, Cishek was able to strikeout Carlos Ruiz. Cishek then walked Shane Victorino, before he got long-time Marlin killer, Ty Wigginton, to strike out swinging, on a nasty slider. Cishek continued his excellent pitching in his young career and essentially saved the game for the Marlins on this afternoon.
Ozzie Guillen stuck with Nolasco too long, only because Nolasco had a low pitch count. Nolasco had not been dominant in this appearance and was about to go through the Phillies lineup for the fourth time. Traditionally, the fourth time does not result in successful numbers for a pitcher. Ozzie should have gone to Cishek to start the inning off, but he decided to wait and it almost cost the Marlins the lead.
In the ninth inning, Heath Bell was brought in again. As Marlins fans have grown accustomed to the past few seasons, no save opportunity ever goes smoothly for the team. Placido Polanco started the ninth with a lead-off single with to start the ninth, Bell was able to recollect himself and retire the next three hitters to finish off the game. Bell recorded no strikeouts on this afternoon, which has been a major part of his turnaround of late, but he still looked decent.
Giancarlo Stanton has not started the month of June out in the same fashion as his May. Stanton is now 1-for-7 this month with four strikeouts. It’s just two games into the month, so this should not be read into much though.
Tomorrow these two teams will be right back at it to finish off the three game series. The pitching match-up will be Joe Blanton for the Phillies and Carlos Zambrano for the Marlins. The Marlins on paper hold the advantage, but it should still be a close game.
Prediction: Marlins win the game and series. Zambrano hits a home run to give the Marlins the lead for good in the fourth inning. Marlins win the ball game 7-5. Heath Bell picks up another save.
Topics: Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Zambrano, Chris Coghlan, Cole Hamels, Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, Hunter Pence, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Jose Reyes, Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins, Omar Infante, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Ricky Nolasco, Shane Victorino, Steve Cishek, Ty Wigginton