While the rest of the Fish continued their trend of leaving men on base, Dan Uggla did his level best to singlehandedly supply the Marlins with enough offense to win the game. Uggs hit his 20th home run of the season in the second, and drove in two more runs with a single in the seventh to give the Fish three of their four runs on the night. Meanwhile, the bullpen, after a less-than-stellar showing Tuesday, held the Nats scoreless over four innings.
But since that’s not how baseball works, instead, fans are likely nursing throbbing headaches, dehydration and nausea due to the gallons of liquid happy amnesia they downed after one of the most depressing ends to a game in recent memory.
But let’s start at the beginning, which was decidedly less mournful.
On the three-year anniversary of his no-hitter, Anibal Sanchez had a strong start for the Fish. He struck out five and allowed just four hits and two walks to the Nationals through six scoreless innings. The problem at first was that J.D. Martin decided to put in a quality start of his own, and held Florida to just two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The 100th home run of Hanley Ramirez’s career put the Fish up 1-0 in the top of the fourth, and the Marlins tagged Martin for one more run with two out in the seventh, when Chris Coghlan hit an RBI single to give the team a two-run advantage.
With two out in the bottom of the eighth, and the Marlins up 2-0, Renyel Pinto decided he was done pitching. He proceeded to give up a walk, a single, and another walk to load the bases before Fredi pulled him in favor of Kiko Calero. Kiko was unable to get out of the inning unscathed, and gave up a two-run single to Mike Morse to tie up the game.
Fish fans rejoiced in the top of the ninth when Nick Johnson played hero and hit a two-run single to give the lead back to the Florida Marlins, but the rejoicing was premature, considering Leo Nunez was heading to the mound in the bottom of the inning.
It happened really fast, sort of like a multi-vehicle crash that takes just a few seconds, but feels like it’s happening in slow motion. The first pitch Nunez threw to Willie Harris was launched into the seats, and the score was 4-3. Next, Leo gave up an infield single to Cristian Guzman. And as a grand finale, Ryan Zimmerman jacked a walk-off, two-run shot.
The Marlins have just been swept by the Nationals.
If you want to know all the gory details, unfortunately you’ll have to look elsewhere, as the cocktail of prescription narcotics that I downed to ease the pain of this series have really clouded my memory of the afternoon’s events.
I do seem to recall that things started out splendidly for the Fish on Thursday in the series finale at Nationals Park. The Marlins scored two runs in the first and another 4 in the second, and chased starter Craig Stammen after just 1 2/3 innings.
That provided a comfy six-run cushion for Chris Volstad, who held the Nats scoreless through three before he decided he was no longer a fan of prosperity. Chris gave up three runs in the fourth inning, and after John Baker hit a two-run shot in the top of the inning, Vols proceeded to give up another four runs in the fifth–thanks in part to the obligatory long ball and a costly error by Jorge Cantu. That was the end of Volstad’s afternoon.
So the Marlins saw a 6-0 lead evaporate Thurdsday, and things just went downhill from there. Or, things had already gone downhill, so they decided to dig a tunnel to the center of the earth and continue the ride.
The Fish were clinging to an 8-7 lead in the seventh when at some point (I was barely conscious by then) Fredi got tossed for arguing balls and strikes. Brian Sanches gave up a home run to Elijah Dukes to tie up the game. Then Luis Ayala gave up four runs in the eighth, one of which was balked in by Brendan Donnelly. And this is where I lose the will to live er, to recap this game.
The whole “sweep-avoidance” thing didn’t turn out so well for the Marlins as they lost their third straight game in our nation’s capital. The Fish are now seven games behind the Phillies as they head to Philadelphia, and while there are 54 games left in the season, this series definitely begs the question: are any of the remaining games even going to matter?
Sorry. If you’re looking for optimism today, you stopped at the wrong blog.
It’s great to see that the Marlins can take care of business against teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs. The problem, though, is that it also makes losing to bottom-dwelling teams like the Nationals just that much more infuriating.
Rick VandenHurk was on the hill for the Marlins in game two of the series at Nationals park Wednesday night, and for some reason Vandy decided it would be a pretty swell idea to throw batting practice to the home team.
Henricus gave up home runs to Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn in the first inning, and another long ball to Ronnie Belliard in the fourth. Cristian Guzman’s double in the third drove in a run, and his RBI triple in the fourth capped off the scoring for the Nationals.
After just four innings, VandenHurk was done. Uh, but by that point, so was the damage.
It wouldn’t be enough, though. Five runs on four hits–three of which were home runs–from the not-so-incredible Hurk were all Washington needed to take a series from the Marlins for the first time since 2007.
After four straight series wins, the Marlins have dropped two in a row to the worst team in baseball. That is just good, good stuff.
We did learn a valuable lesson tonight, though, as Emilio Bonifacio made his first start for the Fish in center field– Boni can pretty much be counted on to go hitless no matter what position he’s playing.