Tagged: Andrew Miller

Somebody Fetch Me My Antidepressants

andrew-miller-marlins-loss.jpgSunday’s game was a pretty big one for the Marlins. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to mention that to Andrew Miller. 

After the Fish dropped the first two games of the series and saw Saturday’s promising start by Josh Johnson rained out, the Marlins needed Big Game Andrew to come up with a quality outing to give the team a chance to salvage at least one game of the series. 
Instead, Miller chose the finale against the Phillies to have the exact opposite of a quality outing, and pitch horrendously (which may be putting it mildly). 
In the top of the first on Sunday afternoon at Land Shark Stadium, sighs of relief were breathed when a wild Miller managed to wiggle out of a bases-loaded situation without the Phillies scoring, thanks in part to a heads up play by Emilio Bonifacio. But BGA wasn’t so lucky in the second.

With two outs and the pitcher at bat, that elusive third out evaded Andrew again. Three singles later, the bases were loaded, and Miller hit Chase Utley to score the first run of the game. Things went (even more) downhill from there. By the time he was yanked, Andrew had given up four runs on six hits and four walks. 

We’re not exactly sure at which point Miller decided that less than three innings was anywhere remotely close to an acceptable start, but for the second game in a row he lasted only 2 2/3.
To be fair, Andrew Miller could have pitched a perfect game, and it would not necessarily have earned him the win on an afternoon when the Marlins lineup was playing a delightful game of “Who Can Leave the Most Men On.” Of course, HLD&S would never dream of taking anything away from talented Phillies rookie J.A. Happ–we tip our cap to you, sir– but the Fish did their best to make him look good on the mound Sunday afternoon. For real. When the bases are loaded and there are no outs, not scoring would seem to require a lot more effort than just giving in and putting a run or two on the board.
For the second game in the series the Marlins matched the Phillies in hits, but completely failed to hit when it actually mattered. The Fish blew every chance they were given, went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and were shut out by the Phils for the second time in the series. It actually caused us physical pain to watch.
The one thing Marlins fans had to cheer about in an otherwise maddening game was the bullpen, which pieced things together admirably after Miller hit the showers. Brian Sanches pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Burke Badenhop struck out the side in the top of the fifth and tossed a scoreless 6th, Luis Ayala and Renyel Pinto followed with scoreless innings of their own, and after Dan Meyer gave up a run, Brendan Donnelly handled the last two outs of the ninth. Unfortunately, their very nice effort was wasted due to the fact that–as previously mentioned–NO ONE on the Marlins squad could manage to hit with runners in scoring position. 
The Marlins have lost three in a row, have dropped every single game they have played against the Phils at Land Shark this season, and fall to seven games behind their division rivals as they head back out West to face several teams that, unfortunately, are not the Nationals.
HLD&S is officially depressed.
Rick Vanden Hurk has been called up to start Monday night in San Diego. Andy Gonzalez was optioned to AAA to make room for the Incredible Hurk on the roster. 

Reason #678,883,215 to Hate West Coast Road Trips


I knew better than to turn off the TV. 

I knew
it, and yet the beckoning of my pillow and binky uh, blanket were far too strong to resist. It
didn’t help that Andrew Miller had been yanked from the game after just 2 2/3 innings, leaving the Fish in a 6-run hole to open their series against the Diamondbacks. 

Losing sleep for an exciting
game is one thing. Losing it to watch the Marlins get routed is quite another. Off to bed I went. 

And then?

Well, then all… heaven broke
loose. Heaven, as in THE BIGGEST INNING IN MARLINS HISTORY and the biggest comeback of the season. The Fish, who were down 7-0 at one point, scored 10
runs in the eighth inning. The go-ahead run came on a pinch-hit, 3-run shot by Brett
Carroll–the first pinch-hit home run of his career. 

And I was asleep. 



I woke to the news of the Marlins comeback mocking me from my radio, unsure whether to rejoice that they won, or weep bitterly that I missed one of the most exciting innings of all time. I opted for a little of both, but never again will that decision have to be made. Because I don’t intend to miss any more Marlins baseball. Ever.

Tonight, as The Fish get set for game two
against Arizona, I’ll be enjoying a dinner of No Doz, Five Hour Energy
shots and triple espressos, washed down with some Red Bull and perhaps a Monster
Energy drink or two. 

Score all the early runs you want, D-Backs,
but I will not be deterred. 

I don’t even intend to blink. 


Fish Win. For Real.


While the majority of the nation celebrates Independence Day, HLD&S is celebrating a far more important event in history: the Marlins have finally won a game against the Pirates this season. 
Big Game Andrew had a nice night on the mound (other than trying out his best Chris Volstad impersonation by serving up two home runs), and earned a win for the first time in almost a month as the Fish took on the Buccos in game two of the series at Land Shark Stadium. Miller gave up a total of three runs on eight hits and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings.

While BGA did his thing, Hanley decided that after going 0-for-4 Friday night, he’d had enough of this “no RBI” business. The All Star shortstop jacked the first pitch he saw from Zach Duke, and put the Marlins up 2-0 in the first. 

Meanwhile, Emilio Bonifacio worked to shift Fish fans back to the “love” side of their love/hate relationship with the third baseman. Boni went 4-for-4, tripled, and scored a pair of runs in the game. And we can’t really complain about that, now can we? (Trust us, we’ve looked at this from every angle. We can’t make it work. Sigh.)
Brian Sanches struck out three in an inning of relief, and Dan Meyer closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the season.
The Marlins have defeated the Pirates. And they managed to do so without so much as a one-minute rain delay.
Let the fireworks commence.

Another Stormy Night at Land Shark Stadium.

stormy stadium.jpg

And we aren’t talking about the weather.
When Jorge Cantu slapped a single to left to score Bonifacio in the bottom of the 12th, a 5-year-old Orioles fan scrunched up his face, threw back his head and wailed unabashedly and inconsolably, tears gushing down his little cheeks. 
If it were socially acceptable for grown adults to express their feelings in such a manner, HLD&S would have created a similar spectacle in the top of the ninth, when Matt Lindstrom obliterated a beautiful start from Andrew Miller, a grand slam from Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins’ 3-run lead.
“Stormy” recorded the first two outs in the ninth inning against the Orioles Tuesday night, then proceeded to give up two runs on four straight hits. After Lindstrom was lifted, Brian Sanches allowed a run to score, sending the game into extra innings. 
And that is the last time HLD&S will turn to our neighbor in the top of the ninth to remark on what a charmingly fast-paced game we are enjoying.
After a few scoreless innings from Burke Badenhop, and some stellar defense from the Fish, luckily–or perhaps more fitting a word would be miraculously–Bonifacio managed not to swing at four balls from Brian Bass to draw a leadoff walk in the twelfth. Emilio then took second on a wild pitch and scored on Jorge Cantu’s single, almost making us forget about all the rest of his at-bats in the game. (Almost.)
We’ll just save the whining about Lindstrom continuing to close. To say that Marlins fans are growing weary of the ninth-ining theatrics is stating the overly obvious, and anyway, who else is going to pitch the ninth? Kiko Calero is already on the DL, and Leo Nunez was taken out of the game in the eighth inning Tuesday due to an ankle sprain. Plus, given Fredi’s “stick with him” position, resistance is futile. Matt Lindstrom is the closer, and we will all continue to experience elevated blood pressure, mild strokes, panic attacks and hyperventilation in save situations until he finally learns how to get that third out, or blows enough games to be demoted from his current role. 
Incidentally, after nearly every game Brett Carroll plays, there is an intense struggle between our desire for all major news outlets to shout from the rooftops the greatness of his cannon of an arm, and the selfish desire to keep Brettley as unheralded as possible so that teams will continue to foolishly try and run on him. What to do, what to do.
The Marlins seventh win in the last ten games brings them back to .500 for the first time since May 13th. 


In a HLD&S exclusive, Bullpen catcher Jeffrey Urgelles was seen displaying a bit of a temper after the Fish Matt Lindstrom blew the lead in the ninth against the Orioles Tuesday night. Fans who witnessed the scene were mildly surprised, as it’s pretty rare to see a show of emotion from the Marlins bullpen. Um, but then again, it has to be extremely physically taxing trying to hold that “please enjoy my bottom, ladies” pose through extras. (We recommend Icy Hot, Urgs.)

Fish, Birds and Bids.

hula girl.JPG

Move along, Girardi and Burnett. There are some new… old faces in town tonight as the interleague parade of former Marlins continues at Land Shark Stadium. The good news, though, is that these faces will more than likely not attract a crowd of 30 thousand excessively noisy haters of the home team, or increase your chances of getting punched in the face at the ballpark by 67%. And we’re perfectly OK with that.
Marlins fans may get a chance to see former Fish Robert Andino in action tonight at short as the Fish open up their three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Of course, we like Dino and we wish him the best in tonight’s game, but most fans would agree that the trade has worked out very nicely for both teams involved. Andino has been impressing in Baltimore since Cesar Izturis went on the DL, and obviously Hayden Penn has been just huge for the Fish this season, so…  
And hey, remember Mark Hendrickson? He was really, uh, tall for the Marlins in 2008. We’ll more than likely see him out of the bullpen at some point during the series, and if memory serves correctly, goodie. 
FSN Florida Fantasy Auction
Tonight is Fox Sports Florida’s Fantasy Auction to benefit the Florida Marlins Community Foundation‘s “Cornerstones for Kids” program. This means a couple of things. 1) About halfway through the night you will be willing to donate your entire life savings to the FMCF if FSN promises to stop broadcasting shots of their tiki doll instead of pertinent game replays, and 2) fans at the park and at home will have a chance to bid on some very exciting items, which the foundation has decided should not include HLD&S’s suggestion of a prize pack that would be sure to bring in loads of cash for charity:
We’re assuming it would take less than 30 minutes to have Bonifacio sent down. 
I guess if the goal is to not make as much money as possible, I can understand the foundation’s exclusion of our suggestion this year. Bid on something, like our favorite Fish site does each year. It’s for a good cause. 

Happy Birthday to You.

reynolds cake.jpgHappy (belated) birthday, Andrew Miller! Thanks for going 7 innings strong against the Diamondbacks last night on your big day. That was swell. 

Gee, I hope you enjoyed the bullpen’s gift to you– Cristhian Martinez, who came into the game and erased all of the good you did on one lousy pitch to Mark Reynolds. Nothing says “happy birthday” quite like a blown save. (It was nice to see your teammates all pitch in with sixteen strikeouts, too. I’m sure that was on the top of your birthday wish list as well.) 
The icing on the cake? The Marlins just dropped three of four to a team with one of the worst records in baseball, and sink four games under .500.
This losing business is getting really, really old.
4-3, Diamondbacks.

Oh, [len] Dorf.

ohlendorf fish fan.jpgWell it had to happen sometime, I suppose. I mean, did any of us really believe the Marlins would go 161-1? OK, so maybe some of us did. But after Ross Ohlendorf manhandled the Fish through seven innings last night, it would have taken a little more than the usual late-inning heroics the Marlins have been serving up to extend their win streak to 8 games. The Fish opted for nothing even remotely resembling an attempt at heroics, and went quietly into the night. They went quietly. As my neighbors can probably attest, I did not fare so well in the silence department. 8-0, Pirates.

So the streak has been snapped, thanks to “The Dorf,” as he has been dubbed here on HLD&S. But seriously, let’s not stop handing out due credit just yet. I mean, Andrew Miller contributed as well (the name he’s been dubbed here on HLD&S will only appear as “**** **** **** ****”, so I won’t bother with it). Unfortunately, Miller’s was a contribution we could all have done without. 4 2/3 innings. 4 earned runs. 4 walks. Several wild pitches. All the skill of a wet rosin bag in holding runners. Not exactly the quality start we were all hoping for, not on a night when our ‘pen was really in need of a rest, and especially not as the nation watched, anticipating the moment they could collectively yell, “Ha! Told you it was a fluke.”
After the game, Miller was promptly put on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain. Seems he’s been heroically pitching through the pain in hope that if he ignored it, it would just go away (I use this method of dealing with life quite often, and can tell you that it does not work about 99.97% of the time). 
Oh dear. Whatever will the rotation do without the solid/dependable/commanding/real good pitching of Andrew Miller? Well, I’ll tell you what we’ll do: Pittsburgh, we see your Ross Ohlendorf, and we raise you one Burke Badenhop. Ohhhh yeah. Thought you had the corner on the weirdly-named pitcher market, didn’t cha? Pffff. In your face.
The Hopper, aka Mr. Congeniality (a name he earned himself this year at fanfest, trust us), joins the team today in Pittsburgh to take Miller’s place in the rotation. And while he had struggles of his own last season, I think I can say with confidence that there’s no way he could do any worse than a wounded Miller. Or just a Miller, period. (Pretty please, Hop.)
Your Florida Marlins are now 11-2. And that ain’t bad.