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.*
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.)
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.