Results tagged ‘ Cody Ross ’

Fish Wrap – Marlins 10, Reds 2

GameFish is now a regular blogger for FishStripes. Read her game recaps and other thoughts on the 2010 Marlins there.

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The Marlins have definitely shown us their ability to battle* their way to wins so far this season, but in their series finale against the Reds Thursday, they finally took a break from the dramatics and made it look easy. (At least much easier than trying to identify players at the park, as everyone from Hanley to the ball boys donned number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.)

It started with good pitching as fans saw glimpses of the Josh Johnson of old on the mound. JJ dominated Cincinnati through six innings, giving up only one run on five hits and striking out ten.

While Josh held the Reds to one run, the Marlins offense was on fire against Aaron Harang. They scattered four runs over the first four innings, and chased Harang from the game when they added another five runs in the fifth.

Cody Ross was 3-for-5 in the game with two doubles and three RBI. Cameron Maybin was 3-for-4, and hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla and John Baker each had a pair of RBI, and Jorge drove in a run on a double in the fifth inning. With that hit, Cantu extended his record-breaking RBI streak to ten games to start the season, and 14 games dating back to the end of 2009.

Clay Hensley tossed two scoreless innings in relief of JJ, and Chris Leroux made his first appearance of the season for the Marlins in the ninth. He gave up triple to Gomes and allowed a run in his debut, but that was all for the Reds.

After dropping the first two games in miserable fashion, the Fish split the series, and are headed to Philly with a little win streak in the making.

* “battle” is a registered trademark of Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, and is used with permission.

Fish Come From Behind, Drop It In Extras

GameFish is now a regular blogger for FishStripes. Read her game recaps and other thoughts on the 2010 Marlins there.

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Dear Florida Marlins,

If you are going to end up losing the game anyway, please stop forcing extra innings and getting our hopes up, only to dash them in the end. Thanks.

XOXO,

HLD&S

Game-tying home runs, web gems, and history-making hits weren’t enough to put the Fish in the win column. For the second night in a row, the Marlins were able to come back, only to end up losing in extra innings.

Nate Robertson made the start for Florida, and went just five innings, allowing six runs on five hits.

In the second inning Nate gave up a three-run homer to Johnny Gomes, and very nearly followed that up with another when Jay Bruce hit a long line drive to right that was originally ruled a home run. The call was overturned, but then with two out in the fourth, the long ball struck again. Nate gave up another three-run shot to Ryan Hanigan to put the Marlins in a 5-run hole. In all fairness to Robertson, those three runs were unearned, the result of Cantu’s misplay of a grounder for the Marlins 12th (and Major League-leading) error of the season.

The Marlins broke through against Bronson Arroyo in the fifth inning with RBI from Mike LambCameron MaybinHanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu to bring the Fish within a run. With his RBI single, Jorge became just the second player in history, and first since 1921, to have at least one hit and one RBI in the first 8 games of the season.

The Reds scored another two runs in the top of the eighth off of Jose Veras, but in the bottom of the inning, the Marlins answered back against rookie reliever Logan OndrusekCody Ross walked up to bat to the usual chants of “Cody! Cody! Cody!” from the home crowd, and smashed a three-run home run to tie the game at 8.

Both bullpens held the score for two innings, but the Marlins luck ran out in the 11th. Dan Meyer gave up a single to Hanigan and walked Stubbs. Then with one out, Chris Coghlan further elevated the hopes of Fish fans when he showed off in left field, making a spectacular play and robbing Orlando Cabrera of a few RBI.

But it wasn’t enough to prevent the inevitable. After Coghlan’s web gem, Dan Meyer gave up the game-winning RBI single to Joey Votto. Francisco Cordero recorded another save, and the Fish dropped their second extra-inning affair in two days.

Sigh.

Double Dip

3500560729_8bd39e168f.jpgThe Marlins treated us to twice the recommended daily allowance of baseball Tuesday as they faced off with the Phillies in a doubleheader at Land Shark Stadium.

Game one featured Marlins ace Josh Johnson on the hill for the Fish, and JJ impressed by striking out ten Philthies through five innings of work. But Josh also gave up four runs on seven hits in those five innings, and since the Fish bats were about as hot in game one as a glacier in Antarctica, that was bad news for the Marlins. 
Part of the problem for the Fish was Joe Blanton, who shut down the Marlins offense through seven innings, striking out nine and allowing only two hits. 
Burke Badenhop tossed two scoreless innings in relief of JJ, but in the eighth he got into some trouble and allowed four runs to the Phils. Andrew Miller recorded the last out of the eighth, but not before demonstrated his dominant pitching skills by walking three and giving up a ninth run to Philadelphia.
The Marlins did finally get on the board against Sergio Escalona in the bottom of the inning, but by then the deficit was a bit much to overcome, and the Marlins dropped game one of the series.
*deep breath*
Anibal Sanchez was on the mound for the Fish in game two of the doubleheader, and recalled the days of yore (come on, 2006 can totally be considered “yore”) with his lights out pitching. Ani allowed just two hits to the Phillies in eight innings, and struck out seven.
While Sanchy was busy shutting down the Phils, the Marlins were busy trying to hit the snail-speed pitches of Grandfather Time, aka Jamie Moyer. Moyer went seven innings for Philadelphia and allowed nine hits to the Marlins. 
In the bottom of the second, Uggla hit his 30th home run of the year, becoming the first Marlin to hit 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons. Cody went yard in the fourth to put the Marlins up 2-0, and in the fifth Hanley doubled to drive in the third and final run of the game.
Leo Nunez handled his 24th save with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Marlins split the doubleheader.

The Fish Take the Series

Josh+johnson.jpgIt was a cursed day game Wednesday at Busch Stadium, and so HLD&S will base this recap off of the cartoon images on MLB’s GameDay, which South Florida fans were reduced to sneaking peeks at while their boss wasn’t looking… Consider yourself forewarned. 

Josh Johnson was not in top form as he took the mound, but as a true ace, all that meant was that he gave up nine hits in his six innings, most of which did not result in any runs for the Cardinals. JJ pitched out of trouble a few times and held the Cards scoreless until the sixth inning when Julio Lugo drove in St. Louis’s lone run of the game. JJ threw 100 pitches to get through six innings, and the bullpen took over from there.
The Marlins jumped on Joel Pineiro for three runs in the first inning, and played some small ball for a change rather than relying on the home run as they had in Tuesday’s contest. Of their twelve hits in the game, eleven were singles. Five of those singles were hit in the first when the Marlins loaded the bases on consecutive hits. After Dan Uggla lined out to score a run, John Baker and Cody Ross each added RBI singles to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. 
In the second, Josh Johnson helped his own cause when he singled and scored on a sac fly by Jorge Cantu, and Cody Ross added another RBI hit in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and put the Marlins up 5-1. 

The Fish pen handled the seventh and eighth innings with little trouble, but made up for that when Brian Sanches came in to pitch the ninth. Sanches recorded an out, and then the inning got a little dicey. Or a lot dicey. Mark DeRosa doubled, and with runners at second and third, it was Leo Nunez who got the call from the bullpen to come in and try to save it. 

It seems Leo wasn’t thrilled that his afternoon nap had been interrupted by Sanches getting into a bit of trouble, because he promptly hit the first two batters he faced, one of whom was Albert Pujols. The two HBP forced in a run and brought the Cardinals within three. But with Matt Holliday up and the bases still loaded, Nunez induced a ground ball, and a double play that ended the inning. 
Less dramatic endings to games are always preferable, but nonetheless, Leo logged his 22nd save of the season, JJ his 15th win, and the Marlins took the series from the Cardinals. 

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?

Consider the Series Salvaged

sean-west45.jpgSweep-avoidance mode is pretty much our least-favorite place on earth to be, but that was exactly where the Marlins found themselves Sunday afternoon as they took on the Padres in the series finale at Land Shark Stadium.

After three straight losses and some pretty lackluster starting pitching, the Fish needed a win, and badly. 
It was up to Sean West to try and reverse the trend of real bad pitching and put an elusive W on the board for the Marlins, if only to bring a little life back to the far-fetched idea that the Fish might actually catch the Phillies/Rockies/Giants and make the post season (optimism is what we do here at Hook, Line Drive, & Sinker).
Sean looked pretty good and held the Padres scoreless through three, but San Diego got on the board in a sloppy fourth inning for the Marlins defense. A single and an RBI double put the Padres up 1-0 before a throwing error from West and a passed ball by Baker allowed two unearned runs to score and give the Padres a 3-0 lead. 
It seemed the Fish were in for yet another disappointing afternoon. While West was suddenly shaky, Mat Latos hadn’t allowed a hit to the Marlins through his first three innings pitched. But in the bottom of the fourth, the bats decided to make up for lost time. After two singles and a walk to load the bases, John Baker singled to drive in two runs. Then the Fish loaded them up again for Cody Ross, who singled to plate another two runs. A throwing error allowed the fifth run of the inning to score, and gave the Marlins a 5-3 lead over the Pads.
To add to the excitement of the fourth inning, Chris Coghlan’s single was his 46th of August, and set a new team record for most hits in a month by a Marlins player. It was also the first time since 1954 that a National League rookie had accomplished the feat.
After the fourth, West didn’t allow another run. His afternoon ended after six innings, seven hits, seven strikeouts and three runs (one earned), and he exited in line for the win.  
The bullpen took over for West and Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless seventh before Matt Lindstrom gave up a run to the Padres in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
The Marlins had a few chances to add on to the score when they loaded up the bases in the seventh and eighth innings, but all they managed was one run in the eighth when Coghlan worked a bases-loaded walk off of Greg Burke to give the Marlins a 6-4 lead.
Leo Nunez came in and closed it out for his 17th save of the season, and Sean West got the W for his second start in a row.
We’d nearly forgotten what a win felt like.
While salvaging the final game of the series does give us warm fuzzies deep inside, the fact that Sean West is suddenly the Marlins second-best starter does not (there we go again with the optimism). 
But for now, we’ll enjoy the victory.

Welcome Back, Sanchy.

sanchez.JPGAnibal Sanchez hadn’t pitched in a big league game since June 2nd, and he didn’t waste any time getting himself reacquainted with the mound Friday night at Turner Field as the Marlins kicked off a three-game series with the Braves. 

In his pitching debut since returning from the DL, Sanchez impressed, to say the least. He allowed just two hits, walked two, and struck out seven Braves through six innings, and had a no-hitter going until one out in the sixth. It was at that point that Atlanta pitcher Javier Vazquez was kind enough to break up the fun with a single. 

Vazquez didn’t look too bad on the mound himself, and a pitchers duel lasted through five innings as he managed to keep the Marlins off of the board. In the sixth, though, Hanley Ramirez–whose personal hit streak reached 16 games earlier in the night–drove in a run and put the Marlins up 1-0 over the Braves. 
In the seventh, things got worse for Vazquez. Jeremy Hermida took him deep to start the inning, then Wes Helms doubled, and with two out, Ross Gload drove Wes in with an RBI single. Hanley Ramirez followed with his third hit and third RBI of the night, a two-run shot that gave the Fish a 5-0 lead. 

A shutout of the Braves would’ve been swell, but Adam LaRoche had other ideas, which included taking Dan Meyer deep in the bottom of the inning, and cut the Marlins lead to two runs. 
And then came the rain…two-and-a-half hours of it. Thankfully, Marlins fans are perfectly used to that, and as a special treat got to enjoy the new “Inside the Marlins” episode featuring Josh Johnson. As much as we all love Andre Dawson, with all the rain that has plagued us this season, Fish fans pretty much know Dawson’s episode by heart.
When the rains finally dissipated, I was asleep. But from what I can tell from the box score and several text messages from friends who were watching the game, Leo Nunez came in to pitch the ninth, and recorded two outs before giving up a single that Adam Laroche tried to stretch into a double. Cody Ross gunned down LaRoche at second for the final out, and Anibal Sanchez earned his first win since mid-April.   
The Fish are once again three games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card, and 5 ½ games behind Philadelphia in the NL East. 
Welcome back, Sanchy. More of the same next time, please.

Two Heads are NOT Better than One. But Nobody Asked Me.

2head.JPGA brilliant baseball mind once said, “Doubleheaders suck real bad.” 

Or something like that.
I am inclined to agree. I’m all for bonus baseball, but I’m just not a fan of cramming two already-long games into one measly afternoon/evening. But, due to the fact that the Marlins’ retractable-roof stadium is still barely more than a twinkle in David Samson’s eye (OK, so it’s probably more like a zygote an embryo by now), when the game was rained out Saturday night, the Marlins and Rockies had no choice but to face off twice on Sunday at Land Shark Stadium.
 
The  doubleheader didn’t start off in the most promising manner, and Marlins fans braced themselves for an ugly afternoon when Chris Volstad was shaky to start the game. Chris threw nearly 30 pitches in the first inning, and naturally gave up his obligatory long ball, a solo shot to Carlos Gonzalez that gave the Rockies an early lead. Volstad would settle down, though, and go on to give up four hits, walk four, strike out five and not allow another run in his five innings of work. 
Hanley Ramirez got the scoring underway for the Marlins in the bottom of the first when he hit a home run off of Rockies starter Aaron Cook to tie up the score. In the second, the Marlins scored five times off of Cook. Chris Volstad came to bat with the bases loaded and singled to drive in two runs, and Chris Coghlan hit a three-run shot to put the Fish up 6-1. The Marlins would add another run in the third, and end Cook’s afternoon after just 2 1/3 innings.
Speaking of ending someone’s afternoon, Nick Johnson left the game in the first inning with a strained hamstring, as the collective hearts of South Florida dropped to our toes. He’s day-to-day.
Hanley Ramirez and Chris Coghlan were both three-for-five, and Cody Ross was four-for-six with an RBI. As a team, the Marlins had 17 hits, marking the twelfth consecutive 10+ hit game for the Fish.
The Marlins gained ground on the Rockies with the win, and climbed within one game of the wild card lead. 
And then came game two.
I didn’t catch a whole lot of the second half of the doubleheader, but if the holes in my recap bother you, I’m pretty sure that’s why God invented box scores. And beat writers. Here’s what I did catch, though, watching some of the play-by-play on my Blackberry…
Rick VandenHurk was, um, not great. He gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings–including three home runs–but while doing so, Vandinconsistent also managed career-high strikeouts with nine. Good stuff.
Not all the blame can fall on Vandy, as the Marlins had plenty of chances to score runs, and decided instead that it was a pretty neat idea to leave said runs stranded on base. The Fish had 13 hits, bringing their streak of games with ten+ hits to thirteen. Unfortunately, thirteen was also the number of men they left on base in the game, and they were unable to come up with much of anything with runners in scoring position. 
Cody Ross set a franchise record for most hits in a doubleheader when he added another two hits in the second game to bring his total on the day to six.
The Marlins split the doubleheader, and thus remain two games back in the wild card. But the good news is they won yet another series by taking two out of three from Colorado, have won 8 of their last 10 games, and finish up their homestand 5-2. 
And that, as they say, ain’t bad.

Marlins Season: We’ve Got a Pulse!

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After a disappointing (read: horrifying) series against the Nationals, which had 9 out of 10 sportswriters sticking a fork in the Marlins season, the Fish were at Citizens Bank Park Friday night to kick off a 3-game series with the Phillies.
The Marlins needed resuscitation, and they needed it quick. 

It was Ricky Nolasco to the rescue, as he pitched seven strong innings for the Fish, and held the Phillies lineup to just four hits, while striking out seven. 

The Marlins offense got going early in support of Ricky, and tagged Phils starter Joe Blanton for two runs in the first inning on an RBI single from Dan Uggla, and Nick Johnson’s first home run as a Fish. Cody Ross followed by jacking the first pitch of the second inning, and the Fish were up 3-0 after two.
The Marlins enjoyed their 3-run lead (and didn’t bother to add on to it) all the way into the seventh inning, before a home run by Ben Francisco ruined Ricky’s shutout attempt and brought the Phils within one.
A one-run lead is never good news in the the, um, cozy confines of Citizens Bank Park, and so 99.8% of Marlins fans likely conceded the game when Renyel Pinto came in to pitch the eighth inning. As is his custom, Pinto walked two Phillies, and sent the collective hearts of South Florida into cardiac arrest. But then Ryan Howard struck out and Raul Ibanez grounded out, and the panic Fish fans were all experiencing turned out to be for naught.
Leo Nunez took pity on our nails (or the bloody stumps where our nails used to be located) and treated us to a drama-free closing of the game, and the Marlins took game one of the series against the NL East-leading Philthies.
HLD&S would like to extend special thanks to Ricky Nolasco for his real fine pitching, and to Fredi Gonzalez, whose starting lineup did not include the names Hermida or Bonifacio Friday night… And whose stern talking-to of the team after their putrid performance in Washington undoubtedly cured the Marlins of at least a small portion of their suck.
Well if a sweep by Washington can essentially end the Marlins season, then one little win against the reigning world champs can re-ignite everyone’s post-season hopes. Right? I guess I’ll go ask the South Florida sports media.
I don’t know about you, but I now feel .8% better about being swept by the Nationals.

We Just Lost to WHO???

huh.jpgIt’s always a joy to look at the Marlins schedule and see “Washington Nationals” printed there, filled to the brim with promises of multiple wins and minimal effort. And after enjoying some hard-fought series wins against the likes of the Dodgers, Braves and Cubs, a little stop in DC to sweep the Nationals would be a welcome break. 

Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before. There are no easy wins in baseball. You have to bring your A game no matter who you’re playing. Blah blah blah. Well, forgive me for thinking the Marlins C or D game would be plenty to tuck three more wins neatly under the team belt. I mean, it’s the Nationals. I’ve seen these guys play the Fish, and the competition is reminiscent of the match-up that my siblings and I made against our Dad when we played board games with him when we were all under the age of seven. It never failed. No matter how hard we tried, and no matter how much my mom nagged him to go easy on us, we would leave table one by one, weeping bitterly as his pile of Monopoly money rose to the ceiling, and notices of bankruptcy and the deed to Mediterranean Avenue were all that was left on our corners of the board.
It was just an unfair match-up. 
And so, thinking along those lines, I may have mentally added a “W” to the Marlins record as the Fish opened up their series with Washington at Nationals Park Tuesday night. (Like you didn’t.)
The Marlins were well on their way to an eleventh straight win against the Nats as Josh Johnson took the mound and characteristically cruised through seven innings, striking out nine and retiring a string of 20 batters. Josh also treated Marlins fans to yet another home run, tying the franchise record for most homers hit by a Marlins pitcher in a season. Add in three hits from Chris Coghlan, RBI singles from Nick Johnson and Jeremy Hermida, and Cody’s 18th longball of the season (third in his last two games), and the Fish held a comfortable 4-0 lead.  
Just another night at Nationals Park for Josh Johnson and the Marlins.
And then the eighth inning happened. 
Josh gave up three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out before giving up a double to pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard to cut the Marlins lead in half. The bullpen took over from there in an attempt to stop the bleeding and minimize the damage, but the Nats lineup had other ideas. Ideas such as batting around, and scoring SIX times before Marlins relievers could record the third out of the inning. Cristian Guzman singled to tie the score, and Adam Dunn hit a two-run shot to give the Nationals a 6-4 lead. 
The Marlins did attempt a comeback of sorts as Cantu doubled in the ninth, Dan Uggla walked, and the tying run came to the plate against Mike MacDougal. Unfortunately, the late-inning heroics ended there. Hermida grounded into a double play to end the game, and the Marlins lost to the Washington flipping Nationals for the first time in 2009.
I’m going to have to suggest you step up at least to your B game for Wednesday’s contest, Fish.
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