Results tagged ‘ Brian McCann ’

Wake me when this is over.

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The Marlins began their series with Atlanta Monday night at Turner Field, and were looking to bounce back from being shut out by the Mets and eliminated in the NL East Sunday afternoon.
Sadly, someone forgot to alert Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins bats as to the whole “bounce back” strategy.

Coming off of his gorgeous eight-inning shutout last week, Anibal did a complete about-face against Atlanta. He only allowed two hits and three runs to the Braves, but to say Sanchez “struggled” with his control would be putting it as mildly as possible. To struggle with control, there has to actually be a small amount of control with which to struggle. Ani walked a career high eight batters in the game, including three walks in the first inning to load the bases with no one out. McCann grounded out to score a run, and a fly ball from Garret Anderson put the Braves up 2-0. 

Ani settled in slightly after the first, and allowed just one more run courtesy of a solo homer to Chipper Jones in the third inning. He managed to last five innings for the Marlins, which may be close to miraculous, considering the trouble he had commanding his pitches. But, at the risk of sounding like a broken record (see yesterday’s recap), the game was already over. The Marlins were blanked, again, so Sanchez could have struck out fifteen and allowed just the solo shot to Chipper, and he still would have been tagged with the loss. 
Jair Jurrjens allowed five hits and one walk through his seven innings of work, and once again the Fish couldn’t get a run to cross the plate. There were opportunities, but any and all attempts to capitalize on said opportunities were met with failure. In the seventh inning, the Marlins had runners at the corners with no outs, and once again could not bring a single runner home.
As previously discussed, scoring runs is generally a requirement for winning ball games, and so the Marlins dropped their second straight, and reduced their wild card elimination number to one. 
It’s not as though all of HLD&S’s post-season hopes were dashed Monday night. Forget the post-season. Right now we are lamenting the fact that this is our last week to watch Marlins baseball for another six months, and the Fish are making it about as exciting as watching dust gather on great-grandma’s porcelain doll collection.

And the Moral of the Story? Fighting = good.

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We’ve been told our whole lives that fighting doesn’t solve anything. 
It would appear we’ve been lied to.
A few days ago, the Marlins looked about as likely to reach the post season as I am to win the lottery this week. And then, well, a few of the Fish engaged in a clubhouse screaming match, and things have suddenly taken a turn for the better (well, things not including HLD&S’s skills with photoshop. Those have decidedly taken a turn for the very worst).
After Wednesday’s roller coaster of a win, Ricky Nolasco took the ball for the Marlins Thursday night in the series finale with the Braves. Ricky was looking to help the Marlins split the four-game series, and despite some struggles in the fifth inning, he had a pretty nice night on the mound. 
The Braves scored a run in the second inning on a Brian McCann homer before Ricky got into some trouble in the top of the fifth when he loaded up the bases with one out. The inning could easily have gotten out of hand, but Nolasco limited the damage to two RBI singles that put the Braves up 3-1. Nolasco gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out seven before he exited after six innings, down two runs to Atlanta.  
It’s pretty fortunate for the Fish that it took Braves starter Tommy Hanson 104 pitches to get through five innings, because an implosion of the Braves bullpen was in order, and his annoyingly quality start was getting in the way. In five innings of work, Hanson allowed just one run on two hits, one of which was an RBI double from Maybin that tied the game in the third.
With Kris Medlen out of the bullpen in the sixth, Brett Carroll got the fun started when he doubled to score John Baker and bring the Marlins within a run. Next, Hanley Ramirez slapped a pinch-hit single to score Brett and tie up the game. Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan both doubled in a run, and after a call to the bullpen, Nick Johnson and Jorge Cantu hit RBI singles to give the Marlins a 7-3 lead.
The Marlins would score once more in the game, while Florida’s bullpen put in a scoreless three innings to finish off the Braves. Sanches and Pinto each tossed an inning, Lindstrom closed it out, and the Marlins split the series. 
The Fish are tied with Atlanta for fourth place in the Wild Card, and if we can keep the fire going that the clubhouse scuffle seems to have ignited, things might actually be interesting to watch over the next few series.

Um, Hanley? Did you hear what Uggla said about your mom?

Braves Get Free Pass(es) to Series Win

erase mccann.jpgIf it were possible to use a magic eraser on a baseball game, Ricky Nolasco might consider wiping Brian McCann from Sunday afternoon’s series finale with Atlanta. 

Obviously, it isn’t possible. But even if it were, despite going three for four with a walk and five RBI, Brian McCann wasn’t the real problem for the Marlins as they faced off with the Braves at Turner Field to end their road trip. 
The problem, once again, was pitching. 
Ricky Nolasco went with the recent trend of Marlins starters and struggled in the first inning. He issued two walks before Brian McCann began his one-man assault of Florida with a home run that gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. 
Ricky would last just 4 1/3 innings against Atalnta. He allowed four runs on eight hits and walked three before being lifted in the fifth with one out and the bases loaded.  Cristhian Martinez was one bright spot in the bullpen as he entered the game to work out of Ricky’s jam and hold the Braves to four runs. 

The good news for the Marlins was that Derek Lowe didn’t exactly have the most memorable afternoon on the mound himself. The pitcher went five innings and gave up five runs, including a three-run double by Catcher Ronny Paulino that put the Fish ahead 5-4 in the fourth inning. 
The Marlins maintained their lead through six innings, and it was all downhill from there. Kiko Calero pitched the seventh and gave up the game-tying run, and then came the delight that was the bottom of the eighth. Calero walked Omar Infante to start the inning before Renyel Pinto came in and joined the fun with a walk to Kelly Johnson. After Chipper Jones grounded out, Brian McCann was at it again, this time with a single off of Pinto that scored two runs and gave Atlanta a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. 
Ricky Nolasco and the bullpen walked eight Braves Sunday, and four of McCann’s five RBI were the result of those walks. Bottom line? Brian McCann had a good afternoon at the plate, but he didn’t cost the Marlins the game. If our pitchers weren’t tossing out free passes like candy at a parade, McCann could just as easily have put a single run on the board for the Braves, rather than five. 
So behind some weak starting pitching, and less-than-inspiring pitching from a few of our relievers as well, the Fish dropped their second game–and second series–in a row. 

I need to look it up in my baseball manual to be sure, but I’m almost positive this isn’t how you go about winning the Wild Card. 

Vazquez, McCann take brief hiatus from sucking against Fish

no broom.pngObviously, walking Chipper Jones was the thing to do in the top of the tenth inning Thursday night in the series finale against Atlanta. I mean, come on, Chipper is Chipper, and who could have foreseen that Brian McCann–who was 0 for his last five games against the Fish–would choose that specific moment to decide to snap out of his Florida funk? 

Then again, we can’t blame the game entirely on McCann. Javier Vazquez undoubtedly influenced the catcher’s turnaround with one of his own. After four straight losses to the Marlins, something suddenly inspired Vazquez, and he held the Fish to one run over seven innings.

Rick VandenHurk deserved a better result from his start, as he went six, giving up just two runs and striking out a career-high nine batters. Unfortunately, the only run support Vandy’s teammates could generate was on an RBI single from Ronny Paulino in the 5th.

Cody Ross homered off of Vazquez in the eighth, and Cantu tied things up on a lucky RBI chopper to send the game into extras, but that’s where the comeback ended. Luis Ayala served up the three-run shot to McCann in the top of the tenth, and this time the walk-of magic was a no-show for the Marlins, who dropped the finale, settling for the series win.

We will resist the urge to complain about Land Shark’s “no brooms” policy, since obviously, it helped us to not look idiotic at the stadium Thursday.

6-3, Braves

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