The Marlins surprised the league, as they defeated the powerful St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in Miami. This is the first of three game set at Marlins Park and the Cardinals came in hot with the best batting average and ERA in the month of June. The Marlins sent its star rookie Jose Fernandez to the hill against recently reinstated veteran Jake Westbrook.
God, I can’t wait when Jose is pitching in the Playoffs for the Marlins.
He was knocked around a little bit in the first inning, giving up 2 runs (one earned), but after that nothing could stop him. He struck out ten batters, a career high, and made mince meat of the Cardinals stout lineup. He went 7 innings and pitched 107 pitches, another season high. Jose Fernandez has more than established that he is not only the Marlin’s best pitcher, but one of the best in the league. When he pitches this masterfully, almost no one can beat him. However he wasn’t the only reason why the Marlins won the game.
After the Cardinals took an early two run lead, I immediately thought about how the Marlins don’t score a lot of runs and that the team may be in trouble. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. Juan Pierre extended his season high hit streak to ten games, with a 2 for 4 performance. Adeiny Hechavarria continued with his good hitting and is raising his batting average above the Mendoza Line. Each starting batter on the Marlins had at least one hit, including an RBI single by Jose Fernandez and RBI double by Greg Dobbs. Stanton though provided the most pop in the batting department, though.
In the best game since his return, he went 3-4 with two doubles and a single. His mammoth two-run double in the fifth broke the game open and gave the Marlins a 3 run lead.
After Fernandez left, Chad Qualls came to pitch the eighth inning and while he got two outs he did give an RBI double and the Cardinals threatened to tie the game. Redmond chose to put Mike Dunn to pitch against the lefty John Jay and it paid off. Dunn struck him out on a 3-2 pitch, destroying the Cardinals momentum.
Cishek pitched a perfect ninth against three left handed batters, to seal the victory.
This was an excellent game and I think the Marlins are gonna start turning the corner from being the worst team in the Majors. The 2013 Marlins are certainly not a very good team but with such a young roster it is to be expected. With this victory it shows that the Marlins are much closer to being a good team than most people believe. While they won’t contend this year, I don’t expect them to finish the year in last place. They should be able to surpass the fledgling Mets. That would be an improvement over the last two years and the future will definitely be bright.
The Marlins play Cardinals two more times this weekend.
Until next time, Go Fish!
And optimism is better than pessimism.