Tagged: Anibal Sanchez

Fish Fall Short of Philths

GameFish is now a regular blogger for FishStripes.com. Read her game recaps and thoughts on the 2010 Marlins season there.

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So close.

Jorge Cantu had the perfect opportunity to extend his RBI streak another game, and the Marlins very nearly snatched victory from the jaws of an ugly defeat on a rainy night at Citizen’s Bank Park. But in the end–no cigar.

The Marlins headed into Philly riding a two game win streak, and were met with the perfect antidote to victory:Roy Halladay.

Well, on second thought, the antidote to victory may have been Anibal Sanchez, who threw 35 pitches in a disaster of a first inning. Anibal walked three and gave up three RBI singles to put the Phillies up 3-0 in their first at-bat. In the second, Placido Polanco homered off of Sanchez to give the Phillies a four-run lead, and by the fifth inning, the Marlins were in a 5-0 hole.

While Sanchez struggled, Halladay made quick work of the Fish. He allowed just two runs on eight hits in eight innings of work. In the top of the fourth, Dan Uggla hit a solo shot to left, and the Marlins added another run against Halladay in the seventh inning on an RBI double from Hanley Ramirez.

Jorge Cantu had no luck against Halladay in his attempt to add to his Major League record of 10 straight games with an RBI to open a season. Jorge was 1 for 4 with a single against the Phillies ace, and didn’t drive in a run. Cantu was the last batter Halladay faced in the game, and he flied out to right field to end the inning, and seemingly his RBI streak.

Anibal settled down after the third inning and held the Phillies scoreless through the sixth. He left the game after allowing five runs on eight hits and four walks before the Marlins went to the bullpen.

Dan Meyer‘s struggles on the mound continued in the seventh inning when he gave up three runs without recording an out. Chase Utley hit a home run to lead off the inning, and Jayson Werth and Juan Castro both drove in runs to put the Phillies up 8-2.

Leroux made his second relief appearance for the Marlins. Chris recorded the three outs that had eluded Dan Meyer, and tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

The Fish mercilessly toyed with our emotions in ninth when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs to pull within two of the Phillies.Then, it was nearly poetic when Cantu came to bat with two on and two out in the top of the ninth. Cantu, who had recorded the last out of the eighth inning, was given yet another shot at extending his RBI streak.

Unfortunately both Jorge’s and the Marlins’ luck ran out there. Cantu grounded out to end the game as well as his RBI streak, and the Fish dropped game one of their road trip to the reigning National League champs.

Can-TOO Win Another One for the Fish…

GameFish is now a regular blogger for Marlins fan blog FishStripes. Read her game recaps and thoughts on the 2010 season there.

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For the second day in a row, Jorge Cantu was the Marlins difference between a win and a loss.

Does anyone want to stop right here and imagine what the Marlins record would look like if Cantu weren’t in the lineup? Me either.

Anibal Sanchez made his first start of the season Sunday in the series finale with the Dodgers. He lasted six innings against LA, and gave up five runs (4 earned) with a little help from the Marlins less-than-s
tellar defense.

In the top of the fourth, Anibal ran into trouble. He gave up three straight singles, the last of which skipped by Maybin in center field and allowed Belliard to take third base. Anibal followed up Maybin’s error with an RBI triple to Reed Johnson, who also ended up scoring on a squeeze play to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

Cody Ross committed the Marlins second error of the game, and tenth of the young season, when he dropped a fly ball in right, allowing a run to score.

But the sloppy defense and 5 Dodger runs weren’t the bad news for the Marlins, it was Charlie Haeger and his frikkin’ knuckleball. Haeger baffled Florida’s bats through six innings, striking out a career high 12, and allowing just three hits to the Fish. Through the first three innings, Anibal Sanchez was the only Marlin to manage a hit off of Haeger, when he singled on a line drive to center field.

In the fourth inning, though, Jorge Cantu decided he’d had enough of Haeger and his knuckleball, and launched one of them into the center field seats. The three-run shot made it six straight games that Jorge has had an RBI. 

But he wasn’t finished yet. An RBI single from Cody Ross brought the Marlins within a run in the sixth, and Jorge followed in the seventh with a two-run double. Cantu’s five RBI matched his career high, and put the Fish in the lead, 6-5. 

Even after Cantu’s heroics, a win seemed unlikely as the bullpen took over for Sanchez, with only a teensy little one-run lead to work with. But, in an earth-shattering turn of events, two relievers not named Burke Badenhopmanaged to pitch scoreless innings. Clay Hensley didn’t allow a run in the seventh and eighth, and Leo Nunezcame in to close things down in the ninth.

Of course, it just wouldn’t have been a Marlins game, or an inning pitched by Nunez, if things didn’t get a little interesting, so Leo walked the leadoff batter and gave up a single to put runners at the corners before he got the final out of the game.

Despite bullpen drama and some really crummy defense since opening Day, the Marlins have taken their first two series of the season.

Hip-Hip Jorge!

Marlins 6, Dodgers 5

Fish <3 Fox Saturday

150758_phillies_marlins_baseball.jpgOn the very last Saturday afternoon of the regular season, Fox finally decided to grace us with a game that featured the Marlins. Boy, the national exposure couldn’t have come at a better time…you know, after the Phillies clinched the NL East, and after the Marlins had been eliminated from the Wild Card. 

But we won’t complain too much, because a Fox Saturday game appears to be just what Hanley Ramirez needed to emerge from his recent slump. Come on, we all know what a fan Hanley is of the big stage, and after getting Friday night off, he wasted no time busting out of his 0-for-11 skid on national TV.  
In his first at bat, Ramirez doubled off of Cole Hamels to drive in Coghlan, stole third, and then scored on a sac fly from Jorge Cantu. The sacrifice was Cantu’s his 100th RBI of the season, and put the Marlins up 2-0. 
Unfortunately for Hanley and Cantu, they wouldn’t last the game. In the fourth inning Hanley left with a knee contusion, and Cantu followed shortly after with a sprained ankle. Hanley is questionable for the series finale, but Cantu’s season ended when he was doubled off in the sixth.
Anibal Sanchez also seemed to be a fan of the national exposure. Or maybe he just wanted to keep up the Jekyl and Hyde routine he’s had going of late. Whichever is the case, Sanchez put in a strong performance against the Phillies. And unlike his 8-walk start earlier in the week, he was actually able to locate the strike zone Saturday. Sanchy went seven innings, and allowed only one run on five hits and two walks. The one run he gave up was naturally another *yawn* Ryan Howard home run– his 45th of the season.   
In the second inning the Fish scored a third run off of Hamels on an RBI double by [NL ROY] Chris Coghlan. Three innings and 47 pitches were all the Phillies allowed Hamels, who was pulled after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks.
The Marlins added what would prove to be a very valuable insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double by Uggla. And it was nice of Dan to drive in the extra run, because he was a big part of the reason the Fish ended up needing it. Uggla’s throwing error in the bottom of the eighth allowed Ryan Howard to reach base before Brian Sanches gave up a home run to Jayson Werth that brought the Phillies within a run. 
Brad Lidge was surprisingly not in the mood to give up any runs in the ninth, so it was up to Leo Nunez to save the game with just a one-run lead. With the help of a nice defensive play from Uggla (which partially redeemed him for his costly eighth inning error) Leo handled the Phillies one-two-three for his 26th save of the season. 
With their fourth win in a row, the Marlins improved to 13 games over .500 and took over sole possession of second place in the NL East. The win also made Fredi Gonzalez the winningest manager in Fish history. 

Wake me when this is over.

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The Marlins began their series with Atlanta Monday night at Turner Field, and were looking to bounce back from being shut out by the Mets and eliminated in the NL East Sunday afternoon.
Sadly, someone forgot to alert Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins bats as to the whole “bounce back” strategy.

Coming off of his gorgeous eight-inning shutout last week, Anibal did a complete about-face against Atlanta. He only allowed two hits and three runs to the Braves, but to say Sanchez “struggled” with his control would be putting it as mildly as possible. To struggle with control, there has to actually be a small amount of control with which to struggle. Ani walked a career high eight batters in the game, including three walks in the first inning to load the bases with no one out. McCann grounded out to score a run, and a fly ball from Garret Anderson put the Braves up 2-0. 

Ani settled in slightly after the first, and allowed just one more run courtesy of a solo homer to Chipper Jones in the third inning. He managed to last five innings for the Marlins, which may be close to miraculous, considering the trouble he had commanding his pitches. But, at the risk of sounding like a broken record (see yesterday’s recap), the game was already over. The Marlins were blanked, again, so Sanchez could have struck out fifteen and allowed just the solo shot to Chipper, and he still would have been tagged with the loss. 
Jair Jurrjens allowed five hits and one walk through his seven innings of work, and once again the Fish couldn’t get a run to cross the plate. There were opportunities, but any and all attempts to capitalize on said opportunities were met with failure. In the seventh inning, the Marlins had runners at the corners with no outs, and once again could not bring a single runner home.
As previously discussed, scoring runs is generally a requirement for winning ball games, and so the Marlins dropped their second straight, and reduced their wild card elimination number to one. 
It’s not as though all of HLD&S’s post-season hopes were dashed Monday night. Forget the post-season. Right now we are lamenting the fact that this is our last week to watch Marlins baseball for another six months, and the Fish are making it about as exciting as watching dust gather on great-grandma’s porcelain doll collection.

Double Dip

3500560729_8bd39e168f.jpgThe Marlins treated us to twice the recommended daily allowance of baseball Tuesday as they faced off with the Phillies in a doubleheader at Land Shark Stadium.

Game one featured Marlins ace Josh Johnson on the hill for the Fish, and JJ impressed by striking out ten Philthies through five innings of work. But Josh also gave up four runs on seven hits in those five innings, and since the Fish bats were about as hot in game one as a glacier in Antarctica, that was bad news for the Marlins. 
Part of the problem for the Fish was Joe Blanton, who shut down the Marlins offense through seven innings, striking out nine and allowing only two hits. 
Burke Badenhop tossed two scoreless innings in relief of JJ, but in the eighth he got into some trouble and allowed four runs to the Phils. Andrew Miller recorded the last out of the eighth, but not before demonstrated his dominant pitching skills by walking three and giving up a ninth run to Philadelphia.
The Marlins did finally get on the board against Sergio Escalona in the bottom of the inning, but by then the deficit was a bit much to overcome, and the Marlins dropped game one of the series.
*deep breath*
Anibal Sanchez was on the mound for the Fish in game two of the doubleheader, and recalled the days of yore (come on, 2006 can totally be considered “yore”) with his lights out pitching. Ani allowed just two hits to the Phillies in eight innings, and struck out seven.
While Sanchy was busy shutting down the Phils, the Marlins were busy trying to hit the snail-speed pitches of Grandfather Time, aka Jamie Moyer. Moyer went seven innings for Philadelphia and allowed nine hits to the Marlins. 
In the bottom of the second, Uggla hit his 30th home run of the year, becoming the first Marlin to hit 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons. Cody went yard in the fourth to put the Marlins up 2-0, and in the fifth Hanley doubled to drive in the third and final run of the game.
Leo Nunez handled his 24th save with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Marlins split the doubleheader.

The Curse of the GABP

GABP curse.jpgThe Marlins had lost eight games in a row at the Great American Ball Park going into a four-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati.

But all that was about to change. The curse was about to be broken, and the Marlins would prove once and for all that they are able to win games in the great state of Ohio.
Er, or that’s what we were hoping for as the series began Thursday night, but Anibal Sanchez was not in complete agreement with our personal hopes and dreams. At least not in the first inning.
Sanchez Struggled* in the first, leading off the game by giving up a home run to Darnell McDonald. Next, Anibal loaded up the bases, and Jay Bruce doubled to put the Reds up 3-0 over the Marlins.
After the first inning, Sanchez settled down and pitched four scoreless innings, but the damage, as they say, was already done. 
Against Matt Maloney, who was making a spot start for the Reds, the Fish only mustered two runs on seven hits. In the fifth inning, the Marlins scored twice when Hanley singled for his 100th RBI of the season, and Dan Uggla added an RBI double. Chris Coghlan also treated fans with a 4-for-4 performance in the game, but the Marlins couldn’t add on.
Both bullpens did a nice job in the remaining four innings of the game, and shut out their respective opponents. The Hopper tossed 1 2/3 innings, and Tim Wood finished things off for the Marlins. Unfortunately, three is greater than two no matter how you do the math, and so the Fish dropped their ninth straight game at the Great American Ball Park.
The curse apparently continues.
*Although we do understand how difficult it would be to write about Anibal without the inclusion of this phrase, Sanchez Struggled is a registered trademark of HLD&S, and is not to be used without the express written consent of this blog and its affiliates. 

When it Rains, it Pours.

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One Marlins vs. Braves ticket: $20
One rain poncho: $5
Waiting in the pouring rain for three hours and staying to the bitter, 1:05 AM end of yet another disappointing game: Totally. Not. Worth it.
There are some things money can’t buy. A gun with which to off oneself after enduring the torture of Tuesday night’s Marlins-Braves game is not one of them.
The twenty or so fans who stayed to watch game two of the Marlins-Braves series at Land Shark stadium were treated to a three hour rain delay, followed by a three-hour asphyxiation of any (sane person’s) remaining hope of October baseball for the Fish.
Anibal Sanchez was on the mound for Florida, and despite his claim of feeling “comfortable,” he didn’t really make it look easy from our view in the bullpen box (then again, the sight line from said box could be partially to blame). Ani gave up a run in the first, but his real struggle came in the third inning when he walked the ($#%! @#%$ &*%$ $#@% %@$!) pitcher to lead off the inning, balked in a run, and gave up a two-run double to Brian McCann. Sanchez’s night was over after allowing three runs on five hits in five innings of work.

Tim Hudson, meanwhile, made his first start for the Braves since returning from Tommy John surgery, and pretty much pitched like a walking advertisement for the benefits of going under the knife. Hudson gave up six hits and two runs–courtesy of a Jorge Cantu RBI single in the bottom of the second–in a solid 5 1/3 innings of work. 

You can’t spell Burke Heinrich Badenhop without “he be back,” and when Anibal’s night ended, the Hopper made his triumphant return from the DL. He was immediately back to his smooth, long-relieving ways, tossing two scoreless innings for the Fish. Renyel Pinto followed by giving up a run to Atlanta in the eighth, driving the final nail into the Marlins coffin, as the Fish just couldn’t muster enough offense to make up for it.
The Braves pen held the Marlins to a grand total of two hits over 3 2/3 innings, one of which was a solo shot to Uggla in the bottom of the ninth that brought the Marlins within a run. Here’s where Renyel Pinto holding the game would’ve come in handy, but there are no do-overs in baseball, so that is how the story ended for Florida Tuesday night.
To make matters worse, Hanley Ramirez left the game in the fourth inning with tightness in his hamstring, and is day-to-day. Will the good news never stop?
The 30 or so Fish fans who waited out the rain delay were thanked for their loyalty utter insanity with yet another loss, and even more distance between their team and the other teams in the wild card race (you know, the ones who actually have a chance of winning it).
HLD&S is exhausted, drenched, and frustrated with the Fish.