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.)