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.