Tagged: Sean West

Super Saturday ends on a high note

default.jpgIt was the final Super Saturday of the season as the Fish and Mets faced off for game two of their series at Land Shark Stadium, and Marlins fans were looking to rid their mouths of the awful taste left from Friday night’s blown save.

The Marlins grabbed an early 2-0 lead off of John Maine in the second inning. Cantu and Uggla singled, and John Baker walked to load the bases. A ground ball from Brett Carroll scored the first run, and Uggla scored when Maine threw a wild pitch with Sean West at bat. 
West did well enough to earn his eighth win of the season with a quality night on the mound. He pitched five innings, giving up seven hits to the Mets. Fernando Tatis tied the game with a two-run homer in the fourth, and New York took the lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by David Wright. 
The Marlins answered back with a vengeance in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five runs off of Maine. Perhaps they were fired up when Cody Ross was hit on the hand by a pitch, and had to leave the game. Or maybe that had absolutely nothing to do with the offensive explosion that ensued. But either way, the bats suddenly came alive. 

Jorge Cantu hit an RBI double to tie the game, Dan Uggla drove in a run with a single, and Cameron Maybin hit a three-run shot to give the Marlins a 7-3 lead, and chase Maine from the game. Elmer Dessens took over for Maine and gave up an RBI double to Brett Hayes, who pinch-hit for Sean West. Chris Coghlan capped off the inning by doubling in a run to put the Marlins up 9-3. 
Badenhop relieved West and allowed just one hit as he held the Mets scoreless through two innings. Carlos Beltran hit a home run off of Brian Sanches in the top of the eighth to make it 9-4, and then came Florida’s obligatory struggle to put the game away. 
In the top of the ninth, Matt Lindstrom gave up a single and a double, and then allowed two runs to score on a throwing error–the Marlins’ third error of the game–before the call to the bullpen mercifully came. 

It was Brendan Donnelly who handled the last out of the ninth inning. Donnelly struck out Carlos Beltran to end the game, and earn his very first save for the Fish. 
A nice note on which to end the final Super Saturday of the Marlins season.
9-6, Marlins

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W O W (West Outduels Wainwright)

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The Marlins had the special privilege of facing Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright as they took on the Cardinals Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. 
With Sean West on the mound, I’ll be honest and admit that HLD&S mentally prepared a recap of the loss in advance. It went something along the lines of: The Marlins were no-hit last night, while rookie Sean West was brutally slaughtered by Pujols, et. al. Our season is over. Go watch football.
It would seem that we despaired a bit too soon, though.  
While Wainwright was, well, Wainwright Tuesday night, Sean West was apparently not in the mood to be outdonedueled. Not even by a pitcher who had three times as many wins as West on the season. 
The two pitchers traded scoreless innings back and forth until the bottom of the fifth, when two singles and a walk got Sean into a bases-loaded jam. With one out and Albert Pujols up, Fish fans muttered multiple expletives as they imagined the worst outcome was mere moments away, and resigned themselves to the fact that the Marlins were going to have to score at least five runs off of Wainwright and the Cardinals bullpen if they were to have any hope of winning the game. 
But Sean West simply ignored the eruption of the crowd, laughed in the face of imminent failure and limited the damage in the inning to just one run. Pujols hit a sac fly to left field that scored the first run of the game and gave St. Louis the lead, and West struck out Holliday to end the threat.
The Fish may have been spurred on by the adrenaline rush of such a close call in the bottom of the fifth, because they finally got on the board in the sixth inning. Nick Johnson singled off of Wainwright, and Dan Uggla jacked his 29th home run of the season to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals. 

Sean West lasted through the sixth inning before he was lifted. The lefty gave up just one run on six hits in his six innings of work, and struck out a career-high nine Cardinals in the process. Wainwright went on to complete the seventh inning, and finished the night having allowed seven hits and two runs, while striking out eight.

Protecting a very fragile one-run lead against a potent lineup, the Marlins went to the bullpen. The ‘pen must have been sprinkled with some of Sean’s magic dust, as they gave up just one hit to St. Louis in three innings. Nunez struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his 21st save, and to preserve Sean West’s seventh win of the season. 
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of the miraculous, the Rockies lost, moving the Fish to within 4 1/2 games of the Wild Card lead.

Recipe For a Sweep

recipe.gif1 opponent that sucks real bad

1 whole bunch of hitting 
An overabundance of run-scoring 
a pinch of real good relief pitching 
1 broom 

Directions: Win first two games of series. Mix above ingredients thoroughly. Bake at 375 for 3 ½ hours, or until Mets fans can no longer be heard in the stands. Garnish with broom. Serve immediately. 
The Marlins were once again in line for a sweep as they faced the Mets Thursday night at Citi Field, and after the bullpen blew their chance Sunday against the Nats, it was nice to see them actually execute the sweep this time. 
For the second night in a row, the Marlins had a nice start to the game. The Fish batted around in the first inning and tagged Bobby Parnell with three runs. They went on to score single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and Parnell’s night was over after giving up six runs (five earned) through five.
Sean West was on the mound for the Marlins, and didn’t have his best start, only lasting through four innings. Sean gave up two runs in the fourth inning, and in the bottom of the fifth, he put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. With the Fish up 6-2 and the Mets threatening, Fredi decided to end Sean’s night. 
The Hopper relieved West and pitched two innings for the Fish. Burke allowed just two hits, singles in the fifth that scored both the runners he inherited from West. After those two runs, which were tagged to Sean, the bullpen did not allow another run in the game. 
Once Parnell’s night was finished, the Fish didn’t stop the fun there, but proceeded to have a field day with the Mets bullpen. The Marlins scored another seven runs off New York’s relievers to ensure that our brooms would not have to be flung into a closet or hurled off a balcony in a fit of rage, as they had been in Florida’s last series. 
The Marlins obviously had a great night offensively, and clobbered the Mets with 13 runs on 16 hits. Nick Johnson drove in four of those runs, while Hanley, Cody and Helms each had two RBI in the game. Dan Uggla added to the show when he went deep in the third inning for his 27th home run on the year. 

With the Marlins victory, The Hopper logged his seventh win of the season, and for the first time since they were 11-1 in April, the Fish find themselves ten games over .500. 
Oh. And thanks to the Nationals not blowing it, the Marlins also gained a game on the Phillies. Not that we’re paying attention to that. 

Fish Win with a Baker’s Dozen

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Well the starting pitching wasn’t anything to write home about, but the Fish made up for it behind 13 hits and a big night from John Baker to keep their win streak alive. 
The Marlins jumped on Garrett Mock for six runs in the first three innings as the Marlins and Nationals kicked off a weekend series in DC. 
Jorge Cantu hit a two-run shot in the first inning, and John Baker followed with a two-run homer of his own in the third. But the Nationals answered back and scored three in the second inning, including two on an RBI triple from Alberto Gonzalez. Washington added two more runs when Josh Willingham went deep in the third, and West’s outing was cut short after just three innings. 
 
West gave up five runs on seven hits in his three lackluster innings of work, and allowed all five of his runs after two outs had been recorded. But it was no biggie for the Fish, seeing as Burke Badenhop is back in the bullpen… Or out of it, rather. The Marlins long reliever extraordinaire did his thing and tossed three scoreless innings of one-hit ball in relief of West, despite the best effort of the Marlins defense to put a few runs on the board for the Nats. But Hop pitched around the mistakes, and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth inning to preserve the lead for the Marlins.
Saul Rivera didn’t fare as well as Hop in long relief, and the Marlins scored another three runs, including RBI singles from John Baker in the fifth and sixth innings.
Baker had three of the Marlins 13 hits in the game, and drove in nearly half the Marlins runs himself, finishing the night with four RBI. Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu each drove in two runs for the Fish, and Nick Johnson had an RBI hit as well.
Other than one run allowed by Matt Lindstrom in the eighth, the Marlins bullpen shut down the Nats after a disappointing night for Sean West. Leo Nunez closed it down in a scoreless ninth, and the Fish won their third game in a row, post-clubhouse fight. (Yes, HLD&S will continue to give credit for the win-streak to the feud, until someone can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the two are unrelated.)
HLD&S would like to issue a public apology for the myriad mistakes that likely overrun the above recap. We were slightly distracted by the pathetic display Ohio State put on against Navy, and cannot be responsible for any misinformation garnered from this blog. 

Consider the Series Salvaged

sean-west45.jpgSweep-avoidance mode is pretty much our least-favorite place on earth to be, but that was exactly where the Marlins found themselves Sunday afternoon as they took on the Padres in the series finale at Land Shark Stadium.

After three straight losses and some pretty lackluster starting pitching, the Fish needed a win, and badly. 
It was up to Sean West to try and reverse the trend of real bad pitching and put an elusive W on the board for the Marlins, if only to bring a little life back to the far-fetched idea that the Fish might actually catch the Phillies/Rockies/Giants and make the post season (optimism is what we do here at Hook, Line Drive, & Sinker).
Sean looked pretty good and held the Padres scoreless through three, but San Diego got on the board in a sloppy fourth inning for the Marlins defense. A single and an RBI double put the Padres up 1-0 before a throwing error from West and a passed ball by Baker allowed two unearned runs to score and give the Padres a 3-0 lead. 
It seemed the Fish were in for yet another disappointing afternoon. While West was suddenly shaky, Mat Latos hadn’t allowed a hit to the Marlins through his first three innings pitched. But in the bottom of the fourth, the bats decided to make up for lost time. After two singles and a walk to load the bases, John Baker singled to drive in two runs. Then the Fish loaded them up again for Cody Ross, who singled to plate another two runs. A throwing error allowed the fifth run of the inning to score, and gave the Marlins a 5-3 lead over the Pads.
To add to the excitement of the fourth inning, Chris Coghlan’s single was his 46th of August, and set a new team record for most hits in a month by a Marlins player. It was also the first time since 1954 that a National League rookie had accomplished the feat.
After the fourth, West didn’t allow another run. His afternoon ended after six innings, seven hits, seven strikeouts and three runs (one earned), and he exited in line for the win.  
The bullpen took over for West and Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless seventh before Matt Lindstrom gave up a run to the Padres in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
The Marlins had a few chances to add on to the score when they loaded up the bases in the seventh and eighth innings, but all they managed was one run in the eighth when Coghlan worked a bases-loaded walk off of Greg Burke to give the Marlins a 6-4 lead.
Leo Nunez came in and closed it out for his 17th save of the season, and Sean West got the W for his second start in a row.
We’d nearly forgotten what a win felt like.
While salvaging the final game of the series does give us warm fuzzies deep inside, the fact that Sean West is suddenly the Marlins second-best starter does not (there we go again with the optimism). 
But for now, we’ll enjoy the victory.

Gritty Win for Fish

instant grit.jpgIt was fitting that Sean West took the mound Tuesday night with the song “Hero” blaring through the stadium speakers. After a road trip that, well, sucked, a hero was just what the Marlins were in need of. Or, if you prefer to be less melodramatic about the game of baseball, at the very least the team was in need of a starter who could go more than four innings, and get through the first without giving up three or four runs. 

West wasn’t necessarily heroic as the Fish took on the Mets to kick off a ten-game homestand at The Shark, but he did have a quality night on the mound, allowing just one run on six hits and three walks through six innings. 
Nelson Figueroa wasn’t too bad himself, and gave the Marlins some trouble when he attempted to do his best impersonation of a Johan Santana start. Figueroa was filling in for Santana after the starter was scratched from the game due to elbow issues, and allowed just four hits to the Marlins through five innings. 

With the score tied up at one in the Fifth, it was Ross “True Grit” Gload who established himself as the hero of the night. West got into trouble when he loaded the bases with one out, and Jeff Francoeur hit a high pop in foul territory, which Ross Gload practically leapt over the camera well to catch. From HLD&S’s stellar view in the bullpen box, a catch didn’t even seem humanly possible, so we could only guess at what the crowd was cheering about (free frozen lemonade? The Mermaids actually dancing in sync for once? It was anybody’s guess, really) until the replay came up on the jumbotron. The defensive play seemed to magically remind Sean how to throw strikes, and he struck out Fernando Tatis on three pitches to end the threat. 
Ross Gload wasn’t quite done with the gritty heroics after his potentially game-saving catch, though. With two out and Hermida on second in the bottom of the fifth, Gload swooped in yet again to save the day, hitting a single to drive in the tie-breaking run and give the Fish a 2-1 lead. 
The Marlins had chances to add on to the score, but they, um, chose not to. After the weekend bullpen issues, a one-run lead made me feel like throwing up my insides from fear and panic wasn’t the most comfortable way to enter the final innings. But, after Sanches pitched a scoreless 7th, it was clear that Lindstrom and Nunez were not in the mood for theatrics. 1-2-3 8th and 9th innings ensued, and the Fish took game one from the Mets. 
The Marlins are 7 games behind the Phillies in the East, and remain 5 games back in the Wild Card, thanks to another Rockies win. 

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun, Lose Your Game.

doublemint1240768803.jpgOK, so the good news is the Marlins’ eleven hits extended their double-digit hit streak to 15 games Wednesday night, a feat that was last accomplished by the St. Louis Browns in 1937.

Congratulations.

The bad news is that double-digit hits do absolutely nothing to help a team in the standings when they are complemented by double-digit men left on base, double-digit hits allowed to the opposing team’s lineup, and an attempt to start a double-digit error streak as well.
All in all, not the best night for the Marlins as they faced the Astros in game two of the series at Minute Maid Park. You wouldn’t have thought that watching the top of the first inning, though, as the Fish scored two runs on RBI singles from Cantu and Uggla off of Houston starter Yorman Bazardo to take an early lead. 
Unfortunately, it took Sean West and a side of real bad defense all of half an inning to erase said lead. In the bottom of the first, RBI doubles from Berkman and Tejada, along with ugly errors from Baker and Cantu, allowed Houston to score three runs, and take a 3-2 lead over the Fish.
West bravely battled through another three whole innings after the first, and gave up a total four runs on six hits through four innings, which was, of course, just a real fine start. 
Michael Bourn added insult to errancy when he spent most of the game rubbing the Marlins awful defense into their faces as he flew about the park robbing the lineup of hits and being a general annoyance with his overly zealous fielding (seriously, Mike. You can let some of those go. We promise).
Ross Gload and Chris Coghlan did their best to start a rally for the Fish when Coghlan tripled to open the sixth inning, and Gload doubled him in. Sadly, that run would mark the end of the scoring for the Fish, who for the remainder of the game opted to stand and admire their teammates as they stood on base, rather than do anything to try and bring them home.
Pinto allowed three hits and two runs in the seventh, but it really didn’t matter since the Marlins load ’em and leave ’em offense had already sealed the team’s fate in the game.
So the double-digit hit streak continued for the Fish, and Hanley Ramirez extended his personal hit-streak to 14 games, but it was a losing cause as the Astros took game two Wednesday night. Of course, the Rockies and Phillies couldn’t help us out at all by losing as well (though admittedly, losing would have been a pretty tall order against the Nats and D-backs), and the Marlins are now three games back in the Wild Card and 5 1/2 behind the Phillies in the East.