In today’s Plate Appearance of the Day series, we take a look at Florida Marlins pitcher Nate Robertson, only as a hitter.
Today’s Season: 2010
Seasonal Game: 82, July 5th, 2010, Florida Marlins visit Los Angeles Dodgers.
Plate appearance: 28-of-76
Seasonal Outlook: Coming into the 2010 season, the Florida Marlins were trying to build on their two winning seasons in a row. They had completed the 2009 campaign with an 87-75 mark, placing them second in the National League East behind the Philadelphia Phillies by six games. Instead of getting themselves ahead of the pack, however, they were standing in place. After the events of July 4th, the Florida Marlins sat fourth in the NL East, nine-and-a-half games behind the division leading Atlanta Braves, seven-and-a-half behind the New York Mets, and four-and-a-half behind the Phillies. The Marlins were ahead of only the Washington Nationals, by three games at the season’s mathematical midpoint.
In the NL West, the Dodgers were looking to finish above .500 for their fifth season in a row, and make the playoffs for the fifth time in their last seven seasons. After 81 games, they were second in the division at 45-36, three-and-a-half games behind the San Diego Padres.
In Dodger Stadium with 47,801 in attendance, Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed starter John Ely threw his first pitch at 6:11 PM local time, a called strike to Florida Marlins leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan. Coghlan went on to hit the fifth pitch of the at bat into center field, and later scored on a Hanley Ramirez sacrifice fly.
By the time Nate Robertson made his second plate appearance of the day, in the top of the third inning, the Marlins were holding on to a 5-1 lead, with two outs, Mike Stanton on first, and Cody “The Boss” Ross on third base.
First pitch: Ball one low. Ely reached back and fired an 87 MPH fastball, which Robertson easily laid off.
Second pitch: Another 87 MPH fastball, but pitcher Robertson, in the final season of his nine-year big league career, hit what would be the last hit of his career at baseball’s top level. It was a single right up the middle that easily scored Ross and moved Stanton to second base.
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After: The results of this at bat gave the Florida Marlins a 6-1 lead for Robertson. He went on to pitch six innings, and allowed four runs (three earned), striking out two and allowing seven hits and a walk. Clay Hensley also allowed a run in relief, but Robertson’s final RBI-single was enough for the Marlins to earn the victory, the final one of Robertson’s career.
The Rest of the Season: The Florida Marlins went 41-39 the rest of the way to finish just below .500, at 80-82. The mark was good enough for third in the NL East, 17 games behind the Phillies and 11 games back of the wildcard winning Braves.
The Dodgers fared no better through the rest of the season, going 35-45 over the final 80 games to finish even with the Fish at 80-82. If you’re interested, here’s the full game, courtesy of MLBGlobal09:
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