Tagged: Ricky Nolasco

Fish Beat Grandfather Moyer

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

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The Marlins and Phillies faced off for game two of their series at a very chilly Citizen’s Bank Park Saturday, and like Friday, the first inning wound up being the deciding factor. This time, though, it was advantage: Marlins.

With Jamie “Freaking” Moyer on the mound, the Fish put up a five-spot in the first inning. Cantu started up a brand new RBI streak when he singled in Maybin, Uggla drove in a run with a single of his own, and Ronny Paulino delivered the big blow in the inning with a three-run homer to left field.

It seemed the Fish had solved Grandpa Moyer, who has traditionally owned them on the mound, but he settled in after the first, and didn’t allow another run through six innings.

The story of the game, though, was Ricky Nolasco, who was about as “on” as it gets. Ricky pitched his fourth career complete game with 109 pitches and allowed just 5 hits to the Phillies, and very nearly threw a shutout. He carried it all the way to the second out in the ninth inning, when Jayson Werth hit a home run to put the Phillies first and only run on the board.

The Phillies didn’t have a hit against Ricky until two outs in the bottom of the fourth when Chase Utley singled. Ricky ran into a little trouble in the sixth when he gave up a single to Bryan Schneider and walked Victorino and Utley to load the bases for Ryan Howard. But Howard grounded to first and Ricky escaped the inning with his shut-out intact.

Ricky even worked the bat a little in the game, with a two-out hit against Moyer in the fourth.

Behind Ricky No-No’s fantastic start, the Marlins split the series with the Philths, and have a chance at the win in Sunday’s finale.

Not much in life feels quite as good beating the Phillies.

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Fish Wrap – Marlins 5, Reds 6

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

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It was the long ball and a dude named Scott Rolen that did the Marlins in.

The Fish opened a four-game set with the Reds at Sun Life Stadium Monday night, and continued their new trend of dropping the first game of every series. Ricky Nolasco was on the hill for Florida and Johnny Cueto made the start for Cincinnati.

The Reds grabbed a 2-run lead in the second when Scott Rolen hit his first home run of the game (it’s never a good sign when they have to be numbered), and Laynce Nix added an RBI single.

In the bottom of the inning, Cueto hit Dan Uggla and loaded the bases on singles to John Baker and Cody Ross. Gaby Sanchez grounded into a double play to score one run, but that’s all the Marlins could manage to extract from a bases loaded, no out situation.

Things went downhill a bit for Cueto in the bottom of the third. Maybin singled and Hanley walked before Jorge Cantu continued his campaign to have RBI in every game this season, and doubled to drive them both in. With Uggla at bat, Cueto balked to advance Jorge to third, and Uggs doubled to drive in the fourth run of the game.

Ricky must not have been feeling the whole prosperity thing the Fish had going for him, because the very next inning he gave up home run #2 to Scott Rolen. In the sixth, Ricky served up his third long ball of the game, a two-run shot to Orlando Cabrera to give the Reds a 5-4 lead.

Cueto was finished after five innings, which was good news for the Marlins, considering the Reds bullpen has stunk even worse than theirs so far this season. Unfortunately, they didn’t stink enough.

With two on in the seventh, Ronnie Paulino pinch hit for John Baker and hit an RBI single to tie the game.

After Ricky gave up five runs in six innings, the Marlins bullpen took over and managed to hold the score for three innings for the second game in a row. Tim Wood made three quick outs in the seventh, Clay Hensley pitched out of a jam in the eighth, and Leo Nunez worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

With one out in the bottom of the inning, the Fish had a good chance to walk off. They loaded the bases, but Paulino struck out and Cody grounded out to push the game into extras.

After proving to be the most valuable arm out of the ‘pen through the first week of the season, it was The Hopper who ended the bullpen’s scoreless inning streak. He issued his first walk of the season to Joey Votto and gave up his first run–an RBI single to none other than the pesky Scott Rolen to put the Reds in the back in the lead.

This time, they held on. The Fish went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the tenth, and dropped game one to the Reds.

Save the Game, Wood You?

GameFish is now blogging regularly for FishStripes. You can check out her game recaps and thoughts on the 2010 Marlins there.
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It’s not every day a pitching staff coughs up a 6-1 lead, walks nine, balks in a run, and still walks away with a victory. 

Apparently Wednesday was not every day. 

The Marlins were back in action at Citi Field for game two of their series with the Mets, and after the disaster also referred to as Opening Day, I think the goal in mind for almost everyone on the team was “do the opposite of what I did on Monday.” 
That strategy worked through six innings. 
The Marlins lineup fared much better against John Maine than they did against Johan Santana. They tagged him for four runs in five innings, and between Maine and the Mets bullpen, the rest of the bats came out of hibernation. 
Cantu was the first Fish to drive in a run this season, and he also became the first to go deep, homering off of Maine in the third inning. Hanley and Uggla added solo shots of their own, and every Marlins position player had at least one hit in the game. 
In his first start of 2010, Ricky was “splendid” (to borrow Rich Waltz’s favorite adjective), and allowed three runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5 Mets. It was also encouraging, after a rough go of things Monday, to see the Fish fielding their positions a little more neatly than they did on Opening day. 
Things were going charmingly well, the season opener was being chalked up to rust and jitters, and with a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, most fans had penciled in a “W” for Ricky and the Fish. 
And then the rest of the game happened. 
Ricky ran out of gas in the seventh. He walked off the mound with one on, two out, and a comfortable four-run lead, and thus the game became one giant blur of badness. 
Renyel Pinto came in for Ricky, but rather than record the final out of the inning, he gave up a hit, struck a batter to load up the bases, and then walked in a run before he was replaced by Jose Veras. 
Veras didn’t fare much better than Pinto on the mound. His very first pitch was a wild, high fastball that got away from Baker and very nearly allowed a run to score. He managed to escape the seventh inning without allowing a run, but in the eighth Jose gave up two hits, walked two, and was tagged with three runs. 
Then it was Leo Nunez who came in with two out in the 8th to attempt a 4-out save of the game, but what he accomplished instead was to walk two batters, balk in the tying run, and blow the save. 
The defense also seemed to take its cue from the relievers, and got sloppy again after Ricky left the game. Uggla committed a throwing error trying to turn a double play, and Chris Coghlan inexplicably airmailed a throw to home plate that could have produced disastrous results. 
By all accounts the Fish deserved to lose the game. But in the top of the 10th against Takahashi, Wes Helms singled, a sac bunt from Cogz moved him to second, and Ronny Paulino drove in Uncle Wes with a pinch hit single to reclaim the lead for the Fish. 
With only a one-run lead to work with, Tim Wood did what our closer could not– he came into the game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and recorded the very first save of his Major League career to even the Marlins record, and the series. 
Whew. 
Pat yourselves on the back, Fish fans. You’ve just survived your very first bullpen implosion of the season.
Marlins 7, Mets 6

Ask and you shall receive…

008101209_marlins_.JPGHLD&S would like to think that all the drama in Wednesday’s Marlins-Braves series finale was a response to Monday’s lament about making the last few games of the season a bit more thrilling than watching paint dry. But whether or not that was the case, the rubber match at Turner Field was one exciting game to witness. 

Despite the bats showing up for the second night in a row, the real show Wednesday was Ricky Nolasco. In his final start of 2009, Ricky pitched like a man possessed, striking out batter after batter after batter. 
At one point, Nolasco struck out the side in three consecutive innings (third, fourth and fifth), becoming just the fourth pitcher in history to do so. The nine straight K’s were also one short of the Major League record.   
Against Javier Vazquez, the Marlins provided some run support for the dealing Nolasco, and scored three times in the second inning. Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla both hit RBI singles, and a wild pitch scored a run to give the Fish a 3-0 lead. Ross Gload went deep off of Vazquez in the fifth, hitting a two-run shot to put the Marlins up 5-0. 
The Braves finally got on the board against Ricky with two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh. With two out, Garret Anderson singled and Yunel Escobar reached on an error by Hanley. Adam LaRoche drove in both runs with an RBI single, and erased the shutout of Atlanta. 
Ricky recorded his sixteenth strikeout of the game in the eight inning, and his night was done after 7 2/3 innings and 123 pitches. Ricky gave up four hits, two unearned runs, and recorded a career high 16 strikeouts in the start. The K-fest set a franchise record for most strikeouts in a game, and Ricky also plowed through his career high for strikeouts in a season, ending 2009 with 195.
As if Ricky’s display wasn’t excitement enough, the Marlins generously gave us a nail-biter of a ninth inning, where–to quote Nolasco in the understatement of the week–“it got a little interesting.” 
Leo Nunez walked Brian McCann to lead off the bottom of the ninth, a botched double play and error by Jorge Cantu advanced McCann to third base, and Yunel Escobar singled to drive in the run. With one out, Wes Helms committed the second error of the inning on a throw to first that ended up in the dirt and allowed Matt Diaz to reach. Omar Infante added a pinch hit RBI single to bring the Braves within a run.    
After the performance of a lifetime, Ricky Nolasco was getting dangerously close to a no-decision. Leo walked Nate McClouth to load the bases, and the call to the bullpen brought out veteran Brendan Donnelly. 
Donnelly’s very first pitch in the game got by Ronny Paulino, and Matt Diaz started for home. He retreated as Paulino got to the ball, but couldn’t get back to third before the catcher picked him off for the final out of the game.
With that out, Donnelly got his second save for the Fish, and Ricky Nolasco won his 13th game of the season.
While HLD&S is appreciative of the Marlins attempts at entertaining us in the last few days of 2009, we could do without the cardiac arrest. And seeing as all four of Atlanta’s runs were unearned, we could also do without the sloppy defense.
But now we’re just nit-picking.
Though it’s true that nothing can compare to the feeling of one’s own team making it to the post-season, essentially taking the chance away from a division rival is kinda fun too.

That Blew. In More Ways Than One.

blow nose.JPGFish fans had boxes of tissue at the ready as the Marlins kicked off their final (sniffle) home series against the Mets Friday night at Land Shark Stadium.  

Little did we know we’d need said tissues for more than just saying goodbye to the 2009 season.
Rick Nolasco was on the mound for the Marlins, and if you erased the second inning of the game, he was outstanding. Ricky’s only spot of trouble came in the second when he gave up three hits, including a three-run homer to Jeff Francoeur to put the Mets up 3-0. 
Ricky bounced back, and lasted seven innings against the Mets, allowing no runs and just one more hit after the second inning.

In the meantime, the Fish had base runners in every inning, but they couldn’t put anything together against Mets starter Tim Redding until the bottom of the fifth. With two men on, Hanley tied up the game with one swing of his bat, a three-run jack to make it a 3-3 ball game. 

Gaby Sanchez pinch hit for Ricky in the bottom of the seventh and drew a walk off of Redding. After a call to the bullpen, Pedro Feliciano threw a wild pitch to advance pinch runner Bonifacio to second, And Feliciano intentionally walked Hanley. With two out, Jorge Cantu doubled to drive in Bonifacio and Hanley, and put the Marlins up 5-3.
Brendan Donelly pitched the eighth inning for the Marlins, and some sloppy defense got Brendan and the Fish into trouble. Brian Schneider reached on an error by Dan Uggla, Angel Pagan singled, and Luis Castillo hit a sac bunt to advance the runners to second and third for David Wright. Donnelly struck out Wright, but a passed ball by Ronny Paulino allowed Schneider to score, and the Mets pulled within a run. 

After a rather exciting game for Fish fans, the top of the ninth inning was a real pleasure to witness. Leo Nunez came in and gave up two straight singles to Murphy and Francoeur to open the inning, walked Jeremy Reed on four pitches, and blew the save when Cory Sullivan singled to drive in two runs and put the Mets in the lead. 
Nunez struck out David Wright to end the top of the inning, but the damage was done. And unlike Wednesday, this time there was no walk-off magic to speak of. 
Ross Gload had a pinch hit single, but that was all Francisco Rodriguez allowed in the bottom of the ninth. Rodriguez closed the door and the Fish dropped game one of their final home series in heartbreaking fashion. 
Please pass the Kleenex.
6-5, Mets

Marlins make it two in a row in Cinci

If there was any lingering doubt as to whether the Marlins were really through with their losing ways in Cincinnati, they were laid to rest Saturday night when the Fish and the Reds faced off in game three of their series at the Great American Ball Park.

It was once again a good night for pitching. Ricky Nolasco put in a beautiful four hit, ten strikeout, seven inning performance, and Bronson Arroyo matched it with a nice night on the mound himself, allowing six hits to the Marlins through eight strong innings of work. 
The teams hit two home runs apiece to account for the only scoring in the game. 
The Reds took the lead in the first on a solo home run by Drew Stubbs, and maintained their lead until Jorge Cantu tied it up on a home run in the fifth. That was all the scoring the Fish could manage through the first seven innings of the game, so when Ricky gave up a solo home run to Ryan Hanigan in the seventh, he exited down 2-1, and in line for the loss. 
But after Ronny Paulino doubled in the eighth, Ross Gload pinch hit for Ricky and went deep to give the Marlins the lead, and a chance for Ricky to win the game.
Brian Sanches handled the eighth and one out of the ninth, and Dan Meyer got the second out of the ninth before Matt Lindstrom finished things off for his 15th save of the season. 
Thanks to Gload’s gritty pinch hit home run, Nolasco got the W, and the Marlins took their second game in a row at the Great American Ball Park.

Fish & Chirps Series Off to a Bad Start

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You are amused by the title of this post. I promise.
HLD&S would like to issue a hearty congratulations to its readers for making it through the last several days as your seventeenth-favorite Marlins blog… uh… vacationed in Maui. Now pat yourself on the back, and prepare to read the most electrifying game recap of your entire lifetime. (Or, you know, just get ready for more of the usual drivel.)

There were 19 games left in the season going into Monday night’s series opener with the Cardinals, and the Fish were well aware that every game from there on out needed to be played as though it was game seven of the World Series, if they are to have any hope of winning the Wild Card.* 

Let’s just say that if the Marlins had been playing game seven of a World Series, there would have been no champaign corks popping in their clubhouse at the end of it.

Ricky Nolasco was on the hill for the Marlins and promptly gave up four runs to the Cardinals in the first. He made some good pitches, and the Cardinals hit them. And he made some bad pitches, and the Cardinals hit those too. Ricky threw 45 pitches to get through the first two innings, but he settled down a bit, and got through three without allowing another run.
Former Fish Todd Wellemeyer didn’t fare too well against the Marlins, who scored single runs in the second and third, and followed with a four-run fourth inning to claim the lead. Coghlan tied up the game when he tripled with two men on, and Nick Johnson hit a two-run shot that gave the Fish a 6-4 advantage. 
Wellemeyer’€™s night was over after he gave up six runs on nine hits in just four innings, but in the bottom of the fourth, it was apparent Nolasco wanted nothing to do with prosperity. Ricky did away with the lead and then some as the Cardinals scored three runs on a triple by Lugo and a sac fly by Albert Pujols that put St. Louis up 7-6.
Nolasco was finished after seven runs on ten hits in five innings, and the game would come down to a battle of the bullpens. That was unfortunate, seeing as the Marlins only managed two measly hits off of five different relievers in the last five innings. And seeing as the Cardinals were treated to Matt Lindstrom in the eighth.
Matt gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning, including a three-run shot to Colby Rasmus that officially sealed the Marlins fate. 
With 18 games left in the season, nights like this will do nothing to help the Marlins cause. The Fish dropped game one of the series, and continue to fade like an old shirt.
Please pass the ketchup and vinegar.
*As discussed in previous entries, HLD&S has no false hopes of this actually happening, but it does make for more exciting blogging if we keep up the facade.