Tagged: Dodgers

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.


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

SUPER Saturday

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


What a crazy night at Sun Life Stadium.

It was the first Super Saturday of the season, and the Marlins sent their ace Josh Johnson to the mound to make quick work of that annoying 9-inning thingy that fans are forced to sit through before they can enjoy the true meaning of baseball, which–as all purists know–is fireworks and a Nelly concert.

JJ was on the mound vs. Vicente Padilla, and Josh didn’t look particularly ace-like in his second start of the season. He tossed 93 pitches through five innings, and gave up three runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out seven. Josh seemed to run into trouble repeatedly, and it finally caught up with him in the fourth when theDodgers put up three runs on an RBI single from Matt Kemp, a sacrifice from Manny Ramirez and an RBI double from Casey Blake.

The Fish got on the board in the first when Hanley doubled down the left field line to score Maybin, who had singled in his first at-bat. They didn’t accomplish much more against Padilla until the fourth inning, when Gaby Sanchez put the Marlins back in business with his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to give the Fish a 4-3 lead.

LA’s bullpen took over for Padilla with one out in the fifth, and for a while made Fish fans just a little jealous of the fans wearing Dodger blue. Jeff WeaverRamon Ortiz and Ramon Troncoso held the Fish scoreless through the eighth. Outs? Holds? Scoreless innings? We didn’t think anyone but the Hopper could make those happen.

JJ left the game after the fifth with a one-run lead and in line for the win, though nobody sane expected him to actually end up with it, considering our bullpen so far this season. If anybody could make it happen, though, it was Burke Badenhop, and the Marlins held onto
their lead as Burke tossed two scoreless innings in relief.

Unfortunately, there is only one Hopper, and he can’t pitch every inning (though I have written several strongly-worded letters to Fredi this week, suggesting that very thing), so it was time for the obligatory bullpen melt-down.

Tim Wood gave up a hit and a walk to open the eighth inning. Dan Meyer replaced him and gave up a two-run single to Andre Ethier that gave the Dodgers the lead, and Veras rounded out the sucktitude when he gave up a long home run to Kemp in the top of the ninth to put the Dodgers up 6-4.

But the Marlins weren’t quite ready to admit defeat. I mean, it was Super Saturday after all.

The Fish staged a comeback in the bottom of the ninth when Gaby Sanchez singled off of Troncoso to open the inning. Then Sherrill came into the game for LA and hit Wes Helms with a pitch and walked Chris Coghlan to load the bases. Ronny Paulino pinch hit for Cameron Maybin and hit a 2-run double to tie up the game. 

In a move he may now regret, Sherrill walked Hanley intentionally to pitch to Jorge Cantu. The Dodgers clearly hadn’t heard about that whole get-an-rbi-in-every-game-of-the-season thing that Jorge’s got going right now, but he happily let them in on it. With a sac fly to center that scored Coghlan, Cantu made it five straight games with an RBI, and the Marlins won their very first Super Saturday game in walk-off fashion.

I think Jorge summed it up best in a post-game interview when he said “we like a little drama.”

So it would seem.

Marlins 7, Dodgers 6

Marlins 2010 Home Opener

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


It was a promising night for the Marlins Friday as they opened their first home series of the season at Sun Life Stadium in front of 40,666 fans–the largest home opener since 2005.

Volstad was on and dealing through six innings. He allowed just two hits and one walk to the Dodgers, and at one point retired 11 in a row. With Chris on his game, it seemed that the most abysmal aspect of the evening might prove to be Scott Stapp butchering the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner.

Of course, that was before the late-inning sloppy defense and shaky bullpen made their scheduled appearance.

Not many people had expected a pitchers duel going into the game, but Hiroki Kuroda was dealing as well, and put on a nice show through eight innings. He gave up just five hits and a walk, and struck out seven. The lone run Kuroda allowed came courtesy of Jorge Cantu, who has had an RBI in all four games the Marlins have played this season. In the bottom of the sixth, Cantu singled to score Cameron Maybin and give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

Vols ran into some trouble in the seventh when Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake both doubled to tie the game. Blake DeWitt followed with a single that put the Dodgers in the lead, and with one out, Chris handed the ball over to the bullpen.

Unfortunately, Hopper was  not available.

Clay Hensley came on in relief of Chris, and it seemed as though things picked up right where they left off on Wednesday night. Hensley promptly loaded the bases, and Hanley committed a costly error when he fielded a ground ball from Reed Johnson and tried to get the force out at second. He ended up throwing the ball into right field instead, which allowed two runs to score and gave the Dodgers a three-run lead.

Next up out of the pen was Jose Veras. He miraculously escaped the eighth without giving up a run, but did commit the Marlins second error in as many innings when he lobbed the ball into center field on a pick-off attempt at second base. In the ninth, Veras walked one and gave up a double before he was lifted from the game.

When Renyel Pinto came out of the bullpen, he was met with a chorus of boos from Fish fans who clearly weren’t ready to forget Wednesday’s meltdown in New York. In response, Pinto served up a double to James Loney, and (naturally) both of his inherited runners scored. Manny Ramirez singled on a pop-up that Gaby couldn’t get to, and put the Dodgers up 7-1 before the inning was over.

The Marlins did try to stage a bit of a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Wes Helms had a 2-run pinch hit double–his 45th pinch hit with the Marlins–which established a new franchise record. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. 

Jonathan Broxton finished off the Fish, striking out Chris Coghlan and Cameron Maybin to end the game, and the Marlins dropped their home opener. 

If games only lasted six innings, the Fish might have a perfect record right now.

You can’t spell Burke Badenhop without H-E-R-O


The Marlins West coast road trip ended with a bang–or perhaps a better term would be plunk–Sunday evening at Dodger Stadium.
Chris Volstad wasn’t at his greatest, giving up four runs on eight hits and walking four in 5 1/3 innings, but thankfully, the Marlins bats decided to pick up the slack. The Fish scored five runs off of starter Jason Schmidt, who lasted just three innings, and tacked on another three runs against Jeff Weaver before the real show began. 

Whether it was Hanley’s multitudinous hits and RBI that had the Dodgers in a tizzy, or the memory of Josh Johnson hitting two Dodgers–including Manny Ramirez–on Friday night, or just the simple fact they were being shelled, LA decided to take aim at the Marlins superstar. 
Still down 8-0 in the top of the sixth inning, Jeff Weaver began blatantly throwing at Hanley Ramirez. It took several tries for Weaver to actually accomplish his mission, and home plate umpire Bob Davidson warned both benches. (Which was, you know, totally fair to everyone involved.)
Despite the warning, you just can’t spell Badenhop without B-E-A-N. You also just can’t let teams take the liberty of throwing fastballs at the appendages of your star player, and unlike The Toronto Incident, there was no mistaking the intention behind Weaver’s pitches. The Fish didn’t need any more post-game Hanley drama over a perceived lack of protection from the Marlins pitchers, so in the bottom of the 7th, Burke Badenhop, our long reliever extraordinaire, took one for the team when he, uh, totally by accident, “yanked” a fastball. Unlike Weaver, the Hopper didn’t miss. He beaned Orlando Hudson smack on the backside, and was promptly ejected from the game along with manager Fredi Gonzalez. 
And that, folks, is how it’s done.
The way Hopper was greeted by teammates back at the dugout, you’d think he had just tossed a no-hitter or hit his first career grand slam. Or saved planet Earth from a falling asteroid. On the HLD&S scale of heroism, the plunking was at least on par with saving babies from a burning building.
After Hop took care of business, the Dodgers attempted a comeback of sorts, scoring twice off of Leo Nunez in the bottom of the ninth. But when all was said and done, the Marlins came out on top.
So the Fish have taken two of three from the team with the best record in baseball, won five of six on the West Coast overall, and are headed home to play some series in a time zone that is far more conducive to HLD&S’s sleep schedule. Ah, life is good.
(HLD&S blames this entry in its entirety on our overexposure to Comic-Con this past week, courtesy of FSN Florida. Please send all complaints to Frank Forte.)

No No-No!!!!!!!

cody no-no.jpg

Multiple NOs followed by exclamation marks are what you will typically hear me shouting during Marlins’ games these days, but thanks to a hyphen and a Cody Ross, yesterday the shouting took on an attitude of joy for a change.

First things first. 

I was full of confidence as John Koronka took the mound for Florida in the final game of their series with LA yesterday afternoon at Land Shark Stadium. Mostly I was thinking to myself, “gosh, it’s a good thing the Marlins don’t read this blog for advice, otherwise Burke Badenhop would be starting right now instead of this beastly lefty who will more than likely pitch real great today.”

I am shocked. Simply shocked things didn’t turn out that way.
On a day we needed our starter to go deep into the game, Koronka delivered a solid 2 2/3 innings. Yeah. The box score will tell you he earned only four of the six runs he allowed, but the HLD&Score will tell you that John actually earned every single run fair and square, thanks to his own awful fielding.
While Koronka worked on getting himself designated for assignment, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw decided to get cute and toss a no-hitter through seven innings, making for just an extremely enjoyable afternoon overall for Fish fans.
Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning hitless and down 11-0, I consoled myself with the fact that the last time the Marlins were getting blown out this bad at home, we got to watch Cody Ross pitch an inning in relief. Maybe Cody would take the mound again and give us something to smile about as the Fish sank to fourth place in the NL East.
Well, he didn’t end up on the mound, but Cody did treat us to both of the only things we had to cheer about all game long. First, everybody’s favorite former rodeo clown busted up the no-hitter with a double to lead off the eighth inning. Then, just for effect, Cody added a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, solidifying his role as in-blowout entertainment. And the hot, angry, frustrated crowd goes wild.  
I think it was fitting that the former Dodger would be the one to dash Kershaw’s no-hit hopes (and geez, probably save the kid’s arm so he could, like, use it again sometime). 
12-5, Dodgers.
Oh, and by the way, Koronka has been designated for assignment. Seems the Marlins are suddenly keen on not calling up real bad bad pitchers simply because they are left-handed, and are instead flirting with the idea of starting [lowly right-handed dudes] Penn or Badenhop in the newly vacated spot in the rotation. Gosh, what a crazy idea I hadn’t thought of before. So crazy it just might work.

Welcome to Hell.

rapuano is the devil.jpgAnd what hell might I be referring to, you ask? Would it be the hell that involves the Fish dropping another five straight? The hell where our team is now two games under .500 after starting the season 11-1? The hell of Dan Uggla’s .182 BA and his present “automatic out” status that is greatly contributing to the Marlins’ inability to win ball games? The hell where even Jorge Can’tu? Or perhaps the hell of a rotation that will now feature Andrew Miller and John Koronka to compliment the all new Ricky YESlasco we’ve been enjoying this season? 

Well, no. Not any of the above. The hell of which I speak would be the seventh circle of hell also known as an umpiring crew which features Joe West and Ed Rapuano. Now, I am not typically an umpire-basher, having spent a little time in blue myself (I was god-awful. Thank you for asking). BUT there are a few exceptions to my support of baseball’s officiators. Their names are Joe West and Ed Rapuano.
The way I see it, umpires should be about as recognizable as the ladies in skimpy dresses who open briefcases on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Sure, you know they’re there, and they help move the game along, but it’s not like they’re the main attraction, and you definitely can’t tell them apart. When I know an umpires name and face like the back of my hand and am filled with a sense of dread upon seeing him, there is a problem. When the Marlins even-tempered skipper only gets tossed from games when the two of them are involved, there is a problem. When an umpire makes a call, then changes his mind because the almighty Joe Torre takes exception to it, well, you get the idea.
I won’t blame last night’s loss on Ed and Joe, seeing as the Marlins are getting pretty good at losing without help from blue. But I will say that last night was one of the worst excuses for officiating that I have seen in a long while. Seriously, the last time I can remember the umpiring being this bad was when… oh yeah. They were there for that game, too.