The Marlins lost the first game of their series against the Brewers in Milwaukee, the loss had them falling to eight games behind the division-leading Nationals. The Marlins got a huge offensive game from Justin Ruggiano, but Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano blew two leads, as the Brewers took this game in comeback fashion.
The game got off to the perfect start for the Marlins. Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez both singled to left field to start the game. Then, a rarely out of control Zack Greinke walked Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases. Greinke then was able to settle down and get a huge strikeout of Logan Morrison. The inning had a very June feeling after LoMo’s strikeout, as the feeling was that the Marlins would not get anything out of the inning.
Fortunately, the Marlins have a scorching hot bat on their side in Justin Ruggiano. With the bases loaded and one out, Ruggiano squeaked a ball into left field, past Aramis Ramirez that score Reyes and Ramirez. The Marlins had a 2-0 lead over Greinke after just half an inning.
Zambrano would be quick to give back one of the two runs the Marlins scored in the bottom of the first inning. After retiring the first two hitters, Big Z hit Ryan Braun, then went on to walk three straight hitters, the last being Rickie Weeks, which scored Braun from third. The Brewers were on the board with no base hits to their name.
The Brewers then tied the game in the bottom half of the second after a Ceasar Izturis triple and Greinke sacrifice fly. After the Izturis triple, Zambrano was able to settle down, retiring the next Brewers ten hitters, before a Carlos Gomez homer in the fifth.
With Zambrano settling in, the Marlins were able to grab control of the ballgame in the third inning. After a Hanley walk, Logan Morrison doubled to right to score Hanley from first. The Marlins regained the lead, 3-2. The very next hitter, Ruggiano, continued his hot hitting, by hitting a deep home run to left field. That gave the Marlins a 5-2 lead, and put Greinke on the ropes for his first loss at Miller Park, ever.
Marlins catcher John Buck was thrown out of the game before the sixth after complaining about a questionable check swing call to the home plate umpire Derryl Cousins. After watching replays, it was very obvious that Buck did not swing. He was also very upset about some of the calls that Greinke and the Brewers were getting and Big Z was not. Here is a video of what happened.
Brewers tied the game when Travis Ishikawa singled off of Zambrano, driving in two runners. It was obvious at that the time that Zambrano was too tired to go on. Ozzie should have taken him out after the fifth inning, but that is his call, not mine. Unfortunately, it was a move that bit the Marlins in the but.
But this was not the deciding outcome in the game, as the eight inning was the inning that proved to be the pivotal inning for the Marlins.
The Marlins got a leadoff double in the eighth and could not score. The Brewers got a leadoff double in the bottom half and parlayed it into the game-winning run. That was the Marlins story of June, and two days into July, the inability to drive runners in from scoring position is still a major factor.
After Stanton reached on his double, Corey Hart made a nice defensive play to rob LoMo of a hit, but it did move Stanton to third with one out. The next hitter, Ruggiano was robbed of a base hit on a great play by Aramis Ramirez. That was followed up by an intentional walk to Dobbs and a four-pitch walk to Omar Infante. Brett Hayes was then robbed by Ramirez, as the Marlins were denied a run in the eight.
Rickie Weeks led off the eight inning with a double and was followed up by a Martin Moldonado single to right to setup the Brewers with runners and first and third, no one out. Norichika Aoki was then able to execute the perfect bunt to score Weeks. The Brewers took the lead and John Axford was able to finish the Marlins off, easily.
The he Marlins take on the Brewers again today at Miller Park. at 4:10 PM ET. On the mound for Miami will be Anibal Sanchez, and he will face Marco Estrada of the Brewers. The Marlins will need this game to even the series and try to establish some winning before the All-Star break.