Tagged: Chris Leroux

Fish Wrap – Marlins 10, Reds 2

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

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The Marlins have definitely shown us their ability to battle* their way to wins so far this season, but in their series finale against the Reds Thursday, they finally took a break from the dramatics and made it look easy. (At least much easier than trying to identify players at the park, as everyone from Hanley to the ball boys donned number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.)

It started with good pitching as fans saw glimpses of the Josh Johnson of old on the mound. JJ dominated Cincinnati through six innings, giving up only one run on five hits and striking out ten.

While Josh held the Reds to one run, the Marlins offense was on fire against Aaron Harang. They scattered four runs over the first four innings, and chased Harang from the game when they added another five runs in the fifth.

Cody Ross was 3-for-5 in the game with two doubles and three RBI. Cameron Maybin was 3-for-4, and hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla and John Baker each had a pair of RBI, and Jorge drove in a run on a double in the fifth inning. With that hit, Cantu extended his record-breaking RBI streak to ten games to start the season, and 14 games dating back to the end of 2009.

Clay Hensley tossed two scoreless innings in relief of JJ, and Chris Leroux made his first appearance of the season for the Marlins in the ninth. He gave up triple to Gomes and allowed a run in his debut, but that was all for the Reds.

After dropping the first two games in miserable fashion, the Fish split the series, and are headed to Philly with a little win streak in the making.

* “battle” is a registered trademark of Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, and is used with permission.

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And the Fish Take the Series.

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Look, kid, we’re beat. Our friggin’ arms are about to fall off in here, and it’d be huge if you could do us all a solid and go at least six tonight.”
Brendan Donnelly’s words to Sean West may not go down in history as the most inspirational pre-game pep talk of all time, but they were all the rookie needed to hear as he made his way out of the bullpen to take the hill in the final game of the Marlins series with the Astros Thursday night at The Shark. 
Actually, to be perfectly honest Donnelly’s words probably won’t go down in history as anything, since I just made them up. But I’m pretty sure somebody had to have said something to West to inspire an outing in which he walked nobody, struck out three and allowed just five hits and one run through six innings of work. Whatever the reason behind his performance, I (obviously) think I speak on behalf of the entire Marlins bullpen when I say THANK YOU, Sean West.
Jorge Cantu got the scoring started off for the Fish when he took a little break from his, uh, break from hitting home runs, and went deep against Mike Hampton in the bottom of the first to give the Marlins the early 2-0 lead. Ronny Paulino also hit a solo shot off of Hampton in the fifth that put the Marlins up 3-1 as the Astros went to their bullpen.

In the end, it turns out the Fish didn’t actually need any of the half-dozen runs they scored off of reliever Chris Sampson in the sixth, but it was entertaining to watch them do it anyway. Ten Marlins came to bat in the inning, and RBI from Helms, Gload, Coghlan, Bonifacio and Ramirez put another six runs on the board to make it a 9-1 ball game. 

After the game, Sampson, who walked two and gave up five hits and six runs in 2/3 of an inning, was optioned to AAA… and another one bites the dust courtesy of the Fish and their smoking bats.

Chris Coghlan’s single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to twelve games, while Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-4 to stretch his own hit-streak to nine games. As a team, the Marlins extended a streak as well– the Fish have now logged double-digit hits in ten straight games, with 11 hits off of the Astros in the series finale.
Brian Sanches pitched two scoreless innings in relief of West, and Chris Leroux–who was recalled from AA Jacksonville Thursday to take Tim Wood’s place on the roster, and promptly sent back there after the game–gave up two walks, two hits and a run to the Astros before he recorded three outs in the ninth. (We’re going to have to stop allowing Matt Lindstrom to give these kids pointers before they pitch.)
The Marlins took three out of four from the Astros, and remain 4 1/2 games back from the Phillies in the East, and three games back of the wild card-leading Rockies, who are in town for a three-game series which starts tonight.
Let’s hope the Fish have some hits left in them for the weekend.

The Win-Streak Endeth

tired bullpen.jpgThey say all good things must come to an end, and the Marlins, led by Ricky Nolasco, proved the old adage true in very convincing fashion Wednesday night at Land Shark Stadium as they took on the Astros in the third game of the series. 

To be honest, I’m not really sure why anyone would want to suffer the torture of reliving the nightmare that was Wednesday’s game, so if you want to spare yourself the agony, feel free to stop reading right…here
But in case you happen to enjoy mentally brutalizing yourself, I’ll go ahead and share the highlights (lowlights?) of the contest. 
To put it simply, game three went real bad for the Fish as Nolasco lasted all of 3 1/3 innings and gave up a career-high ten runs to Houston. 
The Marlins’ already overworked bullpen, which handled 4 innings in Monday’s game and another 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday, had to be called on once again to piece together the game. Tim Wood took over for Ricky and allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings of work, courtesy of the second three-run homer of the night by Hunter Pence. Calero, Pinto and Donelly each pitched scoreless innings, and Matt Lindstrom–still not looking terribly sharp after is return from the DL–gave up two hits in the eighth, one of which was a home run to Geoff Blum. 
The Marlins offense scored five runs off of Astros starter Bud Norris, and with 14 hits managed to extend their streak of games with double-digit hits to nine. Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, and Chris Coghlan extended his personal hitting streak to 11 games when he hit an RBI single in the eighth. But the Marlins’ offense couldn’t overcome the rough start by Ricky Nolasco, and the Fish fell to the Astros to snap their five-game win streak. 
Losses happen. One thing is certain, though– they’re going to keep happening if our starters don’t go deeper into games. The bats may be hot right now, but the unfortunate reality is that even double-digit hits and runs are not always going to overcome a rotation of starters who last a mere 3-5 innings a night. 
Sean West will get a chance to reverse the recent trend tonight as the Fish go for the series win against the Astros. If his last outing is any indication, um, we could be in for a fun night. Thankfully Chris Leroux and his fresh arm were called up from Jax today (to replace Tim Wood, who was optioned to AAA after the game), and are on standby in case West decides he’s only good for three innings. 

Ugly Red Hats Contribute to Fish Fall to Second Place (Or it could have been how badly they played. It’s a toss-up.)

red hat.jpgWell it was fun being in first place for 24 hours. Or maybe first place wasn’t fun, and that’s the reason the Marlins decided to try their absolute hardest to get out of it as they opened their series against the Pirates Friday night at Land Shark Stadium. Mission accomplished, boys.

Here’s the game in a nutshell:
The pitching sucked. 
The defense sucked.
The offense sucked.
 
The red hats sucked. 
But the two rain delays were just downright pleasant, so… 
Oh, you wanted a more extensive recap? Well we’d really rather not dwell on any of it, but OK.
  
The biggest news of the night was Han-RISP‘s RBI streak ending at ten games. The demise of the streak was pretty understandable, considering that there usually need to be runners on base in order to, you know, bat them in. Then again, Hanley went 0-4 on the night, so we won’t blame it all on the lack of offense in front of him.  
Chris Volstad continued his tradition of giving up the long ball excessively, surrendering two home runs–four runs total- in his three innings of work, before the second rain delay of the game shortened his outing. Tim Wood pitched three scoreless innings in relief, which would have been exciting had Chris Leroux not followed him with a three-run inning that ultimately put the game out of reach for the Fish.
As previously mentioned (see above), the defense sucked.
Offensively, there just wasn’t much going on, thanks mostly to Charlie Morton, who held the Marlins to one hit through six innings. Johnny Bakes did his best to get something going for the Fish, knocking in the first run of the game when he doubled in the seventh, and adding a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. Ross Gload also drove in a run on a pinch-hit single in the seventh, but thanks to the pitching and defense, four runs weren’t enough as the Marlins lost to the Buccos for the fourth time this season.  
Official HLD&S Position: We still hate the red hats.

Fish Continue to Ruffle Feathers

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Maybe it’s the month of June. Maybe it’s interleague play. Maybe it’s Hanley’s rediscovery of the joys of hitting the long ball. Or maybe we just find it difficult be intimidated by a team whose mascot is about as formidable as a cotton ball. 
Whatever the reason, the Fish keep winning, and we keep liking it.

The Marlins pounded the Orioles 11-3 Thursday night, sweeping their second set of fowl in the last two weeks, and improving to 7-2 against their feathered friends this season. Just in case you were keeping track. (We thought so.)

The series finale was a good old-fashioned clubbing of the Orioles, as Sean West threw a shut out through six innings, and the Fish took batting practice off of Rich Hill in the meantime. Every Marlin in the starting lineup had a multi-hit game, save Chris Coghlan. Cody Ross and Dan Uggla each hit two-out, two-run shots, and Hanley hit another *yawn*–excuse us– grand slam. We vaguely recall a time when those things were rare and exciting. Vaguely.
HLD&S would like to extend a warm welcome to Tim Wood, who made his Major League debut for the Marlins in the seventh inning, and was greeted heartily by being nearly decapitated before he went on to pitch two scoreless innings. We would like to extend a similar, though slightly less warm (let’s say roughly room temperature), welcome back to Chris Leroux, who gave up three runs to Baltimore in the ninth inning. To be fair, we can certainly understand why a three-run ninth would be what the pitcher thought was expected of him.
The Marlins find themselves two games above .500 and only one game behind Philadelphia as they head to Tampa this weekend to finish up interleague play. Good thing devil rays are often* referred to as the birds of the sea. 
*by “often,” we obviously mean once. On this blog.