A few things were different in Saturday’s game against the Cubs: Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of the year, and it was Mike Dunn who blew the lead rather than Steve Cishek. But the more things change, the more things stay the same: the Marlins had almost no offense, and – get this – they lost.
Alex Sanabia pitched into the 7th inning, becoming only the second Marlins starter all year to pitch more than 6 innings so far that year. Let that sink in. Twenty-four games in, and twice has a starting pitcher gotten an out in the seventh inning. While it was Sanabia who took the loss, it was Mike Dunn who ought to shoulder the blame for the loss. Sanabia gave up a leadoff single to Welington Castillo in the 7th inning, then retired Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney. Julio Borbon came up to pinch-hit for starter Travis Wood, and as everyone knows, if a left-handed batter pinch hits, the manager MUST bring in a left-handed reliever. In came Dunn, who promptly walked Borbon and gave up a single to David DeJesus to score the Cubs’ third and final run.
The Mighty Marlins Offense ™ mustered 5 hits and 2 runs, both runs coming on solo shots by Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Olivo. That doesn’t mean there weren’t opportunities, though. The Marlins did leave 5 men on base and, in another one of those things that stayed the same, were hitless in 3 chances with runners in scoring position. In the 7th inning, Justin Ruggiano walked and Joe Mahoney singled, giving the Marlins two on with nobody out and an opportunity to get the run back. But Miguel Olivo hit into a double play, and Chris Valaika flied out to end the threat. The Cubs don’t like winning that much either, though, so they gave the Marlins another shot in the 8th inning, when Juan Pierre led off with an infield single and advanced to second with two outs after Carlos Marmol threw one of his patented wild pitches. Giancarlo Stanton walked, and then Austin Kearns – you know, the cleanup hitter hitting .174 – grounded out to shortstop.
Up next: The Marlins will try again against the Cubs at 1:10 on Sunday. Ricky Nolasco takes the bump for the Fish, unless Jeffrey Loria changes his mind.