Tagged: Tim Wood

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.

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. 
Pat yourselves on the back, Fish fans. You’ve just survived your very first bullpen implosion of the season.
Marlins 7, Mets 6

Opening Day 2010 (aka Whoa, Ugly)

GameFish is now blogging regularly for FishStripes, so you can check out her game recaps and thoughts on the 2010 Florida Marlins there.

Ah, sweet Opening Day. Is there anything better? Sun shining brightly, birds chirping gleefully, the smell of peanuts and cracker jack wafting through the fresh spring air… or at least that’s what you’d imagine opening day to be like, if you weren’t stuck in a cubicle at your place of employment, reloading Gameday audio 12,042 times while simultaneously researching where to purchase an atomic bomb with which to obliterate MLB.tv tech support. 

[Deep cleansing breath.] 
Luckily, when the Marlins opened their season against the Mets at Citi Field Monday, they gave us Fish fans a few reasons to be glad that it’s hard to find a way to be in front of a television at 1:10 in the afternoon. Sure, it promised to be a good match-up with Marlins ace Josh Johnson starting against Johan Santana, but things didn’t exactly unfold that way. (Not that I saw how any of it did unfold, but I got to watch those little cartoon-y figures on MLB Gameday, which we all know is practically the same as being there live.) 
JJ lasted just five innings in his season debut, and gave up four runs on five hits, walked four, and put the Marlins in an early hole on a two-run shot to David Wright in the bottom of the first. 
The Fish, meanwhile, couldn’t get much of anything accomplished against Santana, who–despite the many hopes of every non-Mets fan in existence–did not miraculously forget how to pitch during the off-season. (I, for one, intend to return my voodoo dolls to the manufacturer for a full refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling.) 
The Marlins managed a meager four hits off of Santana in his six innings of work. They finally got on the board in the sixth on an RBI double by Jorge Cantu that scored Chris Coghlan, but that was the last of the good news for Florida. 
Things got sloppy for the Marlins as the bullpen took over in the sixth. The Mets scored four times, and Clay Hensley, Dan Meyer and Gaby Sanchez all committed errors in the half inning. Hensley–whose current ERA is 27.00, which is fun to say–gave up two runs to the Mets in his Marlins debut, and Tim Wood allowed a run in the seventh to make the score 7-1. 
Aside from 2-for-4 afternoons from Hanley and Gaby, it was a sloppy, forgettable game that definitely didn’t leave Fish fans with warm, fuzzy feelings to kick off the regular season. 
The good news is, we get to try this 161 more times. 
Marlins 1, Mets 7

But the good news is I took my Prozac today.


After losing two straight, and six of their last nine, the Marlins were in serious need of a quality start from Ricky Nolasco as he took the mound Saturday night in the second game of the weekend series with the Padres. 
Things looked pretty promising to start as Ricky opened up the game by striking out the side, before the obligatory Super Saturday deluge showed up to delay the game. 
44 minutes later the tarp came off the field, and a rainbow over the stadium undoubtedly signified a covenant between God and the Marlins, that He would never again send a rain delay to destroy a game… or, you know, once the stadium is built and stuff.
Wade LeBlanc made the start for the Padres, and the Marlins got on the board in the bottom of the second when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Paulino hit a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game, and Bonifacio followed with a sac bunt that put the Fish up 2-0. 

Through five innings, Ricky looked good as he struck out seven and held the Padres scoreless until Will Venable led off the fourth inning with a home run that cut the Marlins lead in half. But the trouble began in the top of the sixth, when Nolasco loaded up the bases and walked in the tying run. 
Tim Wood, one of the pitchers called up Saturday to help our tired bullpen, came into the game to relieve him, and Ricky was done after giving up three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The Marlins reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Ronny Paulino came to bat with one on and two out and crushed his eighth home run of the year. But said lead was short-lived as another “fresh arm” came into the game.
Luis Ayala–another pitcher called up Saturday to relieve our weary bullpen–gave up the game-tying single to Kevin Kouzmanoff in the top of the seventh. The run was tagged to Tim Wood, but Ayala followed the seventh by treating Fish fans to just a pleasure of an eighth inning in which he gave up two singles and a triple to give the Padres a 6-4 lead.

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. 

It appears to have escaped Luis that he was called up to record outs. Our bullpen’s dead arms could have done that.
While Ayala was busy giving up runs, the Marlins lineup decided that they were done scoring them. After LeBlanc finished the sixth, the Padres bullpen took over and that was all for the Marlins. 
The Fish have now dropped three in a row, and seven of their last ten.

If you’re looking for an update on the Marlins place in the NL East or the Wild Card race, you’ll have to look elsewhere. HLD&S is done keeping track. 

The Win-Streak Endeth

tired bullpen.jpgThey say all good things must come to an end, and the Marlins, led by Ricky Nolasco, proved the old adage true in very convincing fashion Wednesday night at Land Shark Stadium as they took on the Astros in the third game of the series. 

To be honest, I’m not really sure why anyone would want to suffer the torture of reliving the nightmare that was Wednesday’s game, so if you want to spare yourself the agony, feel free to stop reading right…here
But in case you happen to enjoy mentally brutalizing yourself, I’ll go ahead and share the highlights (lowlights?) of the contest. 
To put it simply, game three went real bad for the Fish as Nolasco lasted all of 3 1/3 innings and gave up a career-high ten runs to Houston. 
The Marlins’ already overworked bullpen, which handled 4 innings in Monday’s game and another 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday, had to be called on once again to piece together the game. Tim Wood took over for Ricky and allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings of work, courtesy of the second three-run homer of the night by Hunter Pence. Calero, Pinto and Donelly each pitched scoreless innings, and Matt Lindstrom–still not looking terribly sharp after is return from the DL–gave up two hits in the eighth, one of which was a home run to Geoff Blum. 
The Marlins offense scored five runs off of Astros starter Bud Norris, and with 14 hits managed to extend their streak of games with double-digit hits to nine. Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, and Chris Coghlan extended his personal hitting streak to 11 games when he hit an RBI single in the eighth. But the Marlins’ offense couldn’t overcome the rough start by Ricky Nolasco, and the Fish fell to the Astros to snap their five-game win streak. 
Losses happen. One thing is certain, though– they’re going to keep happening if our starters don’t go deeper into games. The bats may be hot right now, but the unfortunate reality is that even double-digit hits and runs are not always going to overcome a rotation of starters who last a mere 3-5 innings a night. 
Sean West will get a chance to reverse the recent trend tonight as the Fish go for the series win against the Astros. If his last outing is any indication, um, we could be in for a fun night. Thankfully Chris Leroux and his fresh arm were called up from Jax today (to replace Tim Wood, who was optioned to AAA after the game), and are on standby in case West decides he’s only good for three innings. 

Ugly Red Hats Contribute to Fish Fall to Second Place (Or it could have been how badly they played. It’s a toss-up.)

red hat.jpgWell it was fun being in first place for 24 hours. Or maybe first place wasn’t fun, and that’s the reason the Marlins decided to try their absolute hardest to get out of it as they opened their series against the Pirates Friday night at Land Shark Stadium. Mission accomplished, boys.

Here’s the game in a nutshell:
The pitching sucked. 
The defense sucked.
The offense sucked.
The red hats sucked. 
But the two rain delays were just downright pleasant, so… 
Oh, you wanted a more extensive recap? Well we’d really rather not dwell on any of it, but OK.
The biggest news of the night was Han-RISP‘s RBI streak ending at ten games. The demise of the streak was pretty understandable, considering that there usually need to be runners on base in order to, you know, bat them in. Then again, Hanley went 0-4 on the night, so we won’t blame it all on the lack of offense in front of him.  
Chris Volstad continued his tradition of giving up the long ball excessively, surrendering two home runs–four runs total- in his three innings of work, before the second rain delay of the game shortened his outing. Tim Wood pitched three scoreless innings in relief, which would have been exciting had Chris Leroux not followed him with a three-run inning that ultimately put the game out of reach for the Fish.
As previously mentioned (see above), the defense sucked.
Offensively, there just wasn’t much going on, thanks mostly to Charlie Morton, who held the Marlins to one hit through six innings. Johnny Bakes did his best to get something going for the Fish, knocking in the first run of the game when he doubled in the seventh, and adding a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. Ross Gload also drove in a run on a pinch-hit single in the seventh, but thanks to the pitching and defense, four runs weren’t enough as the Marlins lost to the Buccos for the fourth time this season.  
Official HLD&S Position: We still hate the red hats.

Citrus Series Canker to Marlins Hot Streak

crying oranges.JPGThings didn’t go so well for the Marlins at the Trop this weekend. 

Or, I guess more accurately, things went pretty badly for the Marlins at the Trop this weekend, as the Rays swept the three-game series, shoving the Fish back to three games behind the Phillies and a game under .500.
Here’s a quick (yet extremely informative) recap: The Marlins starting pitching wasn’t too terrible overall, until Big Game Andrew struggled Sunday, but the bullpen pretty much made up for that, getting tagged with two losses in the first two games. Really though, first prize for making the sweep a reality goes to the Marlins cold, lifeless offense, which couldn’t put much of anything together all series long and combined to go 2-for-68* with runners in scoring position (*this is a completely fabricated number. We’re too lazy to look it up). I heard somewhere once that scoring runs can be helpful when a win is the goal. Maybe someone should fill the Fish in on that.
The Marlins teased their fans mercilessly in the top of the ninth Sunday, refusing to go quietly without one last display of the art of leaving men on base. The Fish loaded ’em up and even scored a run on a Wes Helms walk before ending the game with what they’d been doing all series long: leaving multiple runners in scoring position. Paulino and Gload struck out to finish things up, and that’s all for the Citrus Series. 
The Marlins end interleague play at 10-8, going 1-5 against the Rays this season. Remember when we used to win more games against them than we lost? That was fun. Good riddance, Tampa Bay. 
The Nationals are looking really inviting right about now.

Fish Continue to Ruffle Feathers

angry birds.jpg

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.