Tagged: Orioles

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.

Stormy No Longer Raining on Your Parade.

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As your leading source of up-to-the-minute Fish coverage, HLD&S is the [three-thousand-and-] first to report that Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom is on the DL with an elbow sprain, and is expected to miss at least the next six weeks of the season.

Don’t panic. 

We realize that the Marlins are suddenly down one extremely satisfying target of fan fury, but relax, people. With just some minor shifting of ill will, you can be back to blasting Matt on message boards and sports talk radio call-in shows in no time. 

Simply transfer all Lindstrom-related anger from “inability to close games” to “you’ve been playing with discomfort in your elbow for a @#%!$ month, Matt?!?!” and you’re good to go.

See how that works? Malice intact. Crisis averted. However, If you don’t find it satisfying enough to rail on a player who no longer has an impact on the games at hand, we recommend you find a new player on whom to focus all your hatred. Now, if only we could think of such a player. Hmmm.

Leo Nunez is the most likely candidate to replace Lindstrom as closer, but he wasn’t available to pitch Wednesday night as the Fish took on the Orioles in game two of their series. Dan Meyer took the ball instead, and recorded his first career save with a perfect inning. 

Maybe Fish fans have just been conditioned for drama like Pavlov’s dogs, but we felt oddly let down as out number three was recorded without so much as a three-ball count or a fly ball to the warning track. Our fingernails remained intact through all three outs. Not a single expletive erupted from our throats. Our hearts did not skip a beat– not even a minor palpitation. Meyer came in and, well, closed the game. 

Three up, three down. 

Apparently Dan hasn’t read the same version of Closing 101 that our last several ninth-inning men have.

And speaking of other ninth-inning men, does anyone else find it odd that Fish closers always seem to come down with some sort of  mysterious “injury” at the most convenient times? Jorge Julio, Kevin Gregg, and now Matt Lindstrom. We’re not conspiracy theorists by any stretch, but consider our curiosity piqued. 

In other late-breaking news, the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco won game two against the Orioles, extended the team’s winning streak to four games, and are a game over .500. 

Another Stormy Night at Land Shark Stadium.

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And we aren’t talking about the weather.
When Jorge Cantu slapped a single to left to score Bonifacio in the bottom of the 12th, a 5-year-old Orioles fan scrunched up his face, threw back his head and wailed unabashedly and inconsolably, tears gushing down his little cheeks. 
If it were socially acceptable for grown adults to express their feelings in such a manner, HLD&S would have created a similar spectacle in the top of the ninth, when Matt Lindstrom obliterated a beautiful start from Andrew Miller, a grand slam from Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins’ 3-run lead.
“Stormy” recorded the first two outs in the ninth inning against the Orioles Tuesday night, then proceeded to give up two runs on four straight hits. After Lindstrom was lifted, Brian Sanches allowed a run to score, sending the game into extra innings. 
And that is the last time HLD&S will turn to our neighbor in the top of the ninth to remark on what a charmingly fast-paced game we are enjoying.
After a few scoreless innings from Burke Badenhop, and some stellar defense from the Fish, luckily–or perhaps more fitting a word would be miraculously–Bonifacio managed not to swing at four balls from Brian Bass to draw a leadoff walk in the twelfth. Emilio then took second on a wild pitch and scored on Jorge Cantu’s single, almost making us forget about all the rest of his at-bats in the game. (Almost.)
We’ll just save the whining about Lindstrom continuing to close. To say that Marlins fans are growing weary of the ninth-ining theatrics is stating the overly obvious, and anyway, who else is going to pitch the ninth? Kiko Calero is already on the DL, and Leo Nunez was taken out of the game in the eighth inning Tuesday due to an ankle sprain. Plus, given Fredi’s “stick with him” position, resistance is futile. Matt Lindstrom is the closer, and we will all continue to experience elevated blood pressure, mild strokes, panic attacks and hyperventilation in save situations until he finally learns how to get that third out, or blows enough games to be demoted from his current role. 
Incidentally, after nearly every game Brett Carroll plays, there is an intense struggle between our desire for all major news outlets to shout from the rooftops the greatness of his cannon of an arm, and the selfish desire to keep Brettley as unheralded as possible so that teams will continue to foolishly try and run on him. What to do, what to do.
The Marlins seventh win in the last ten games brings them back to .500 for the first time since May 13th. 


In a HLD&S exclusive, Bullpen catcher Jeffrey Urgelles was seen displaying a bit of a temper after the Fish Matt Lindstrom blew the lead in the ninth against the Orioles Tuesday night. Fans who witnessed the scene were mildly surprised, as it’s pretty rare to see a show of emotion from the Marlins bullpen. Um, but then again, it has to be extremely physically taxing trying to hold that “please enjoy my bottom, ladies” pose through extras. (We recommend Icy Hot, Urgs.)

Fish, Birds and Bids.

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Move along, Girardi and Burnett. There are some new… old faces in town tonight as the interleague parade of former Marlins continues at Land Shark Stadium. The good news, though, is that these faces will more than likely not attract a crowd of 30 thousand excessively noisy haters of the home team, or increase your chances of getting punched in the face at the ballpark by 67%. And we’re perfectly OK with that.
Marlins fans may get a chance to see former Fish Robert Andino in action tonight at short as the Fish open up their three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Of course, we like Dino and we wish him the best in tonight’s game, but most fans would agree that the trade has worked out very nicely for both teams involved. Andino has been impressing in Baltimore since Cesar Izturis went on the DL, and obviously Hayden Penn has been just huge for the Fish this season, so…  
And hey, remember Mark Hendrickson? He was really, uh, tall for the Marlins in 2008. We’ll more than likely see him out of the bullpen at some point during the series, and if memory serves correctly, goodie. 
FSN Florida Fantasy Auction
Tonight is Fox Sports Florida’s Fantasy Auction to benefit the Florida Marlins Community Foundation‘s “Cornerstones for Kids” program. This means a couple of things. 1) About halfway through the night you will be willing to donate your entire life savings to the FMCF if FSN promises to stop broadcasting shots of their tiki doll instead of pertinent game replays, and 2) fans at the park and at home will have a chance to bid on some very exciting items, which the foundation has decided should not include HLD&S’s suggestion of a prize pack that would be sure to bring in loads of cash for charity:
We’re assuming it would take less than 30 minutes to have Bonifacio sent down. 
I guess if the goal is to not make as much money as possible, I can understand the foundation’s exclusion of our suggestion this year. Bid on something, like our favorite Fish site does each year. It’s for a good cause.