October 2009

Peace Out, Alejandro

de aza.jpgJoe Frisaro, et. al. report that the White Sox claimed outfielder Alejandro De Aza off waivers today: 

“The White Sox on Wednesday claimed De Aza off waivers.
At Triple-A New Orleans, De Aza batted .300 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs. He also appeared in 22 games for the Marlins, and he had 20 at-bats, batting .250 with a double and three RBIs…
The Marlins are projecting Cameron Maybin will be their Opening Day center fielder. The team also has Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Coghlan in left field.” 

And let’s not forget about another possible beneficiary of the dearly departed De Aza: one Brett Carroll, who at the very least must grin inwardly any time there is news of the trimming down of the Marlins’ plethora of outfielders. 
It would have been nice to see what De Aza was capable of had he not managed to mangle himself each and very time he was given an opportunity to play. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Hopefully he has better luck in Chicago.

The End.

The End by .jpg

In the final game recap of the 2009 season, it would be superb to declare that the Marlins finally managed to hold onto one of the half-dozen or so leads they had in the game, and pull out the victory to end the year with a bang. 
But unless we just ignore the box score and make up our own magical fairy tale of a season finale, the news is not all that thrilling.
Both Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu were out of Sunday’s lineup due to injuries. The Phil’s lineup was also void of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, who are clearly in need of much beauty rest, and had the day off.
In what became sort of a late season tradition, the Marlins put two runs on the board in the first inning. Coghlan wasted no time securing last-minute NL ROY votes as he led off the game with a single, advanced to third on Cameron Maybin’s double, and scored on a sac fly from Nick Johnson. With two out, Ronny Paulino doubled in Maybin to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
Josh Johnson was on the hill in his final start of 2009 and looked good through the first three innings. In the fourth, though, Josh gave up two runs to tie up the game. Miguel Cairo homered to lead off the inning, and Jayson worth followed with a hit, stole second and third, and scored on Ben Francisco’s single.
The Fish reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out. JJ and Nick Johnson walked, and Coghlan singled to load them for Wes Helms, who drove in two on a single to right field. Dan Uggla followed with an RBI single, and the Marlins were back in the lead at 5-3.
For about ten minutes.
In the bottom of the inning, JJ got into trouble and erased the Marlins lead yet again. Andy Tracy tripled and scored on a single by Eric Bruntlett, and Victorino and Dobbs both followed with RBI hits to once again tie the score. 
JJ’s afternoon and season were over with two out in the fifth, after he gave up five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3. He finished the season 15-5.
It didn’t take long for the Marlins to once again nab the lead. Chris Coghlan, who finished the game 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored (and an even stronger case for the NL Rookie of the Year award), grounded into a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning to score Emilio Bonifacio and put the Marlins up 6-5.
After two scoreless innings from Burke Badenhop, Ross Gload pinch hit for Hop in the top of the eighth and singled, giving him 21 pinch-hits on the year. With the single, Ross Gload and Wes Helms became the second pair of teammates since 1900 to have 38 pinch hits. 
In the bottom of the eighth, it was time for another Marlins lead-relinquish. Miguel Cairo tripled off of Kiko Calero to open the inning, and scored on a throwing error by Dan Uggla to yet again tie the game.
The Marlins didn’t appear to be ready to let go of the season, and so Renyel Pinto tossed a scoreless ninth to force extra innings. But in the bottom of the tenth, Florida’s luck ran out. Dan Meyer gave up a single to Mayberry to lead off the inning, and after an intentional walk to Jayson Werth, Paul Hoover lined a single to score Mayberry and end the game.
The Marlins finish the season 87 and 75, in second place in the NL East, and surrounded by rumors of the possible removal of Fredi Gonzalez, who led the Fish this season to their third-most wins in the history of the franchise. 
Ah, the joys of Marlins baseball.

7-6, Phillies

Fish <3 Fox Saturday

150758_phillies_marlins_baseball.jpgOn the very last Saturday afternoon of the regular season, Fox finally decided to grace us with a game that featured the Marlins. Boy, the national exposure couldn’t have come at a better time…you know, after the Phillies clinched the NL East, and after the Marlins had been eliminated from the Wild Card. 

But we won’t complain too much, because a Fox Saturday game appears to be just what Hanley Ramirez needed to emerge from his recent slump. Come on, we all know what a fan Hanley is of the big stage, and after getting Friday night off, he wasted no time busting out of his 0-for-11 skid on national TV.  
In his first at bat, Ramirez doubled off of Cole Hamels to drive in Coghlan, stole third, and then scored on a sac fly from Jorge Cantu. The sacrifice was Cantu’s his 100th RBI of the season, and put the Marlins up 2-0. 
Unfortunately for Hanley and Cantu, they wouldn’t last the game. In the fourth inning Hanley left with a knee contusion, and Cantu followed shortly after with a sprained ankle. Hanley is questionable for the series finale, but Cantu’s season ended when he was doubled off in the sixth.
Anibal Sanchez also seemed to be a fan of the national exposure. Or maybe he just wanted to keep up the Jekyl and Hyde routine he’s had going of late. Whichever is the case, Sanchez put in a strong performance against the Phillies. And unlike his 8-walk start earlier in the week, he was actually able to locate the strike zone Saturday. Sanchy went seven innings, and allowed only one run on five hits and two walks. The one run he gave up was naturally another *yawn* Ryan Howard home run– his 45th of the season.   
In the second inning the Fish scored a third run off of Hamels on an RBI double by [NL ROY] Chris Coghlan. Three innings and 47 pitches were all the Phillies allowed Hamels, who was pulled after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks.
The Marlins added what would prove to be a very valuable insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double by Uggla. And it was nice of Dan to drive in the extra run, because he was a big part of the reason the Fish ended up needing it. Uggla’s throwing error in the bottom of the eighth allowed Ryan Howard to reach base before Brian Sanches gave up a home run to Jayson Werth that brought the Phillies within a run. 
Brad Lidge was surprisingly not in the mood to give up any runs in the ninth, so it was up to Leo Nunez to save the game with just a one-run lead. With the help of a nice defensive play from Uggla (which partially redeemed him for his costly eighth inning error) Leo handled the Phillies one-two-three for his 26th save of the season. 
With their fourth win in a row, the Marlins improved to 13 games over .500 and took over sole possession of second place in the NL East. The win also made Fredi Gonzalez the winningest manager in Fish history. 

Hurk + Jorge = W

hurk philies.JPGWho says the Marlins are playing meaningless baseball?

It was the beginning of the end (pause to weep bitterly) as the Fish and the Phils opened their final series of the regular season Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. 
With the Marlins fighting the  Braves for second place in the East, and the Phillies trying to secure home field advantage in the post-season, the Fish had plenty to play for despite being eliminated from the playoffs.
Hanley–in a slump the last few weeks, and hitless in his last 11 ABs–got the night off, but a strong start from Rick VandenHurk and the bats of Jorge Cantu and Cameron Maybin were all the Fish needed to nab their 86th win of the season.
With Joe Blanton on the mound, the Marlins got on the board in the first inning thanks to a two-run single from Jorge Cantu. But the Phils answered right back in the bottom of the first when Ryan Howard went deep off of Rick VandenHurk to tie up the game at two apiece.
Despite the early home run, Hurk made his last start of the season a good one. He allowed five hits through six solid innings, and after the long ball in the first, Hurk didn’t give up another run to the Phillies. 
Once Howard tied the game, the Marlins wasted no time answering back. In the top of the second, Emilio Bonifacio singled, and back-to-back RBI doubles by Cameron Maybin and Chris Coghlan gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead. 
In the seventh, the Marlins loaded the bases with nobody out, but only managed to push one run across the plate on an RBI from Dan Uggla. Joe Blanton was done after he faced one batter in the seventh, and finished the night with five earned runs on nine hits through six innings.
The Marlins added on again in the eighth inning when Cantu drove in his 99th run of the season on a sac fly, and John Baker hit an RBI single to give the Marlins a five-run advantage.
Jorge Cantu continued his RBI tear and drove in three of the Marlins seven runs in the game. Cantu, who drove in 25 in the month of Setember, sits just one RBI away from the century mark with two games left to play. Cameron Maybin also impressed Friday, batting second and going 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.
With the win, the Marlins improved to 86-74, and are tied with the Braves for second place in the NL East. They also diminished the Phillies chances of home field advantage in the post-season.
Meaningless, schmeaningless.
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