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.
Um, Hanley? Did you hear what Uggla said about your mom?
Obviously, walking Chipper Jones was the thing to do in the top of the tenth inning Thursday night in the series finale against Atlanta. I mean, come on, Chipper is Chipper, and who could have foreseen that Brian McCann–who was 0 for his last five games against the Fish–would choose that specific moment to decide to snap out of his Florida funk?
Then again, we can’t blame the game entirely on McCann. Javier Vazquez undoubtedly influenced the catcher’s turnaround with one of his own. After four straight losses to the Marlins, something suddenly inspired Vazquez, and he held the Fish to one run over seven innings.
Rick VandenHurk deserved a better result from his start, as he went six, giving up just two runs and striking out a career-high nine batters. Unfortunately, the only run support Vandy’s teammates could generate was on an RBI single from Ronny Paulino in the 5th.
Cody Ross homered off of Vazquez in the eighth, and Cantu tied things up on a lucky RBI chopper to send the game into extras, but that’s where the comeback ended. Luis Ayala served up the three-run shot to McCann in the top of the tenth, and this time the walk-of magic was a no-show for the Marlins, who dropped the finale, settling for the series win.
We will resist the urge to complain about Land Shark’s “no brooms” policy, since obviously, it helped us to not look idiotic at the stadium Thursday.