1) Things that will help the Marlins keep alive their tiny flicker of hope of making the playoffs, and 2) Things that will help the Marlins have plenty of time to play golf and engage in other activities–which do not include playing Major League baseball–in October.
As the Marlins went for a sweep of the Mets Thursday afternoon at The Shark, there was decidedly more of the latter.
Anibal Sanchez was pretty much outstanding in his last outing, and Fish fans were hoping to see more of the same from him as he faced the Mets in the final game of the series. Instead, what they got to see was a massive struggle to get through the fourth inning. Anibal would last just 3 2/3 against the Mets, giving up four runs (2 earned) on eight hits and throwing 82 pitches in the process.
The unearned runs came courtesy of some sloppy defense by Gload and Sanchez, who each committed errors in the game that resulted in two runs for New York.
It didn’t help that Tim Redding started for the Mets, and the Fish could only manage five hits off of him through 6 2/3 innings. Chris Coghlan hit a pair of solo home runs–one in the first and one in the sixth inning–and Dan Uggla added a solo shot of his own in the seventh, which accounted for all three of the runs the Marlins managed to put on the board.
Three runs may be enough to win a game when your pitchers are on, but on an afternoon when Florida’s arms gave up ten runs, the long balls were not enough.
Christhian Martinez came into the game in relief of Sanchez and gave up four runs in the fifth inning. In fact, New York scored off of every Marlins pitcher who entered the game Thursday, which was incredibly fun to watch (or listen to/receive texts about/follow on game day while watching nervously for your boss to walk by your cubicle–it was a day game after all).
Bad starting pitching, bad relief pitching, poor defense and a lack of offense… I read somewhere that those things generally do not add up to a win. They sure didn’t in this game.
The Fish took two of three from the Mets in the series, and didn’t lose any ground in the East or in the Wild Card, thanks to the Rockies and Phillies being so kind as to lose Thursday as well. More importantly, though, they didn’t gain any ground, either. With a little over a month left in the season, that’s going to be necessary, and soon.