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.
Kiko Calero replaced Ayala with men on first and third and nobody out, and Everth Cabrera hit a sac fly that put the Padres up 7-4 over the Fish. That added another run to Ayala’s wildly impressive three-run, four-hit, one-third of an inning.
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.
Obviously, walking Chipper Jones was the thing to do in the top of the tenth inning Thursday night in the series finale against Atlanta. I mean, come on, Chipper is Chipper, and who could have foreseen that Brian McCann–who was 0 for his last five games against the Fish–would choose that specific moment to decide to snap out of his Florida funk?
Then again, we can’t blame the game entirely on McCann. Javier Vazquez undoubtedly influenced the catcher’s turnaround with one of his own. After four straight losses to the Marlins, something suddenly inspired Vazquez, and he held the Fish to one run over seven innings.
Rick VandenHurk deserved a better result from his start, as he went six, giving up just two runs and striking out a career-high nine batters. Unfortunately, the only run support Vandy’s teammates could generate was on an RBI single from Ronny Paulino in the 5th.
Cody Ross homered off of Vazquez in the eighth, and Cantu tied things up on a lucky RBI chopper to send the game into extras, but that’s where the comeback ended. Luis Ayala served up the three-run shot to McCann in the top of the tenth, and this time the walk-of magic was a no-show for the Marlins, who dropped the finale, settling for the series win.
We will resist the urge to complain about Land Shark’s “no brooms” policy, since obviously, it helped us to not look idiotic at the stadium Thursday.
When Jamie Moyer is starting a game against the Fish at home, you pretty much have two choices, Marlins fans: 1) heavily medicate yourself and watch only the top half of each inning, or 2) skip the game to do something that doesn’t make you feel like ripping all your hair out and screaming, and just check the box score the next day to confirm all of the zeros you knew were coming anyway.
Things didn’t go so well for the Marlins at the Trop this weekend.