Miami Marlins squeak out victory behind strong start from Nolasco
By Ehsan Kassim
So maybe my suggestion this morning in the series preview was not too outlandish. Last season when the Miami Marlins left AT&T Park, they were sitting at 29-19, the second best record in the National League. The team struggled mightily after that. So maybe returning to the last place they had some good success could turn things around for the team?
The Miami Marlins got a very strong start from Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco went 7.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking one hitter (intentionally), but recorded only one strikeout. Nolasco was not fooling hitters too much, but he was able to limit the damage today. Even with a strong start by Matt Cain, Ricky Nolasco came out of this game as the winner. Ricky’s record now is 3-0. Nolasco has dominated the Giants for his career and improved on his remarkable numbers at AT&T park.
The Marlins did not seem to solve their offensive woes on this evening, given that the Marlins were facing one of the top pitchers in baseball, this was at least expected.
The Marlins were able to put across their first run of the ball game in the top of the fourth inning. After Jose Reyes led off the inning with a walk and stole second base. Hanley Ramirez came to the plate. On a pitch in the dirt, Reyes was able to take third base. Then Hanley slapped a single past the drawn in infield to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. It was good to see Hanley come up big in a run scoring opportunity and give the Marlins a lead.
To lead off the fifth inning, Giancarlo Stanton lined a home run over the left field wall. According to Tommy Hutton, the ball took just 3.7 seconds to leave the park. It was Stanton’s second homer of the season, and the second in his last three games. The Marlins are sure hoping his bat is heating up.
The Giants lone run of the game off of Nolasco in the sixth inning, when Pablo Sandoval lined a home run down the right field line to cut the Marlins lead in half, 2-1.
The Giants threatened to tie the game in the eight inning after getting runners on the corners with no one out. Nolasco was able to settle in and induce Melky Cabrera ground ball that kept Gregor Blanco from scoring from third. With runners on second and third and one out, Ozzie Guillen decided to walk Sandoval intentionally.
Edward Mujica was then brought into the relieve Nolasco. Mujica immediately was able to induce a ground ball double play off the bat of Buster Posey to get the Marlins to the ninth with the lead.
Ozzie showed faith in his closer, handing the ball to him once again in a one-run ball game. This time, Heath Bell was able to come through for the Marlins, pitching a one-two-three inning. The Marlins held on to win the game, 2-1.
The Marlins will be right back in action once again tomorrow. It will be another late night with the Fish, as the game is scheduled for 10:15 PM EST. You can look for a game recap shortly after the game concludes. Carlos Zambrano will take the mound against Barry Zito.
Prediction: Zito will flirt with a perfect game through eight innings and the Giants will jump on Zambrano for 8 earned runs in just two innings.
(I really hope this reverse psychology can help the Marlins start a winning streak.)
You can ‘Like’ Marlin Maniac by clicking here. You can follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac and you can follow Ehsan Kassim on Twitter at @ehsank24.