The Miami Marlins picked up their second home win of the season Thursday afternoon, sneaking in a game when most South Florida sports fans were likely still basking in the euphoria of twin playoff victories from the hometown Heat and Panthers. In doing so, they salvaged a split with the Nationals, and possibly their season as well, beating the visiting Nationals 5-1.
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Reeling from a disastrous six-game stretch that saw Giancarlo Stanton go 5 for 23 with twelve strikeouts at the plate, manager Don Mattingly sat the superstar, along with reigning NL Batting Champ Dee Gordon for the final game of the homestand. Facing off against Max Scherzer, this looked more at first glance like a waving of the white flag than a shrewd and winning strategy.
Guess we’ll just add that to the long list of reasons I’m not a member of the coaching staff.
Hey, I did say it was a long list. Lay off, my birthday’s coming up.
In any event, fueled by a sensational fill-in performance from Ichiro Suzuki and one timely blast from Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins took down one of the top five pitchers in the NL with three of their regulars out of the lineup. In fairness, Washington benched a couple starters themselves. Not too shabby though, with the only blemish being that Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler was only able to go five innings. Good enough for his first win of the year, but concerning considering another heavy load of bullpen work was needed and Jarred Cosart takes the mound tomorrow.
And now we Stat Wrap:
- Ichiro Watch: Ich went 2 for 3, moving to 2,942 hits. 158 away.
- That’s 1 shy of Frank Robinson and a tie for 32nd all time.
- Marcell Ozuna moved back to Mendoza with his second homer.
- The 3-run, 1st inning blast answered a Bryce Harper solo shot.
- Harper’s HR was his sixth off of Tom Koeheler all-time.
- That’s the high mark for both players in head to head matchups.
- That said, Koehler gave up only one more hit the rest of the day.
- Which was two more hits than the Marlins pen allowed in 4IP.
- Every member of Miami’s bench has a higher batting avg than five of the team’s eight starters, by at least a fifty point margin.