Results tagged ‘ Dan Uggla ’

And the Fish take the Series…

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

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Behind great starting pitching, perfect innings from the bullpen, a couple of great defensive plays from Coghlan, and Dan Uggla‘s bat, theMarlins took the rubber match of the series Sunday at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Cole Hamels had a great afternoon on the mound. He went 8 1/3 innings for the Phillies and allowed just two runs on eight hits, and struck out seven.

Dan Uggla was the only Fish that gave Hamels trouble, as he hit a solo homer in the top of the second inning to give the Marlins 1-0 lead.

And a 1-0 lead was all Nate Robertson would need.

After his last start for the Marlins left a lot to be desired, Nate tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Phillies. He gave up only four hits to the their loaded lineup, and pitched his way out of trouble a few times to turn over a 1-0 lead to the bullpen.

Nate ran into trouble in the bottom of the second when he walked three to load the bases. With two out, Cole Hamels came to bat and hit a long fly ball to left field, and Chris Coghlan–already banged up from a previous defensive gem–ran into the wall to make a great catch to end the inning.

Robertson got the first out of the seventh, but with two on, the Hopper was called on to record the last two outs of the inning. Hop got Polanco and Utley to fly out to right field to end the threat, and with the help of a second great defensive play from Coghlan, the Hopper pitched a perfect eighth inning. 

Uggla added an insurance run off of Hamels in the ninth when he doubled in Cantu to make it 2-0, and Leo Nunez closed the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to log his third save of the season.

The Marlins took the series from the reigning National League champions, and end the series in Philadelphia 8-5, having won two games of each of the four series they’ve played so far this season.

The Scoreless Streak Ends! But, Um, So Do Our Post-Season Hopes.

bats alive.jpgIt took a starting pitcher to end the Marlins’ streak of scoreless innings at 22, but the bats finally came out of hibernation Tuesday night at Turner Field.  

In the second inning Josh Johnson said, “enough of this scoreless business,” and did what the Fish have struggled to do the last few games: he hit with a runner in scoring position. (!) 
Johnson drove in his 10th run of the season, doubling off of Braves starter Tim Hudson, and opened the proverbial floodgates for the Marlins. Dan Uggla, who also doubled and scored a run in the second, followed with a solo shot in the fourth inning, and Cameron Maybin added a 2-run homer in the fifth to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. (OK, so the floodgates were more cracked slightly than fully opened. But we’ll take it.)
Still not 100% recovered from the flu, Josh worked five solid innings for the Fish. He had to work his way out of some trouble, but JJ allowed just one run on three hits to the Braves, and struck out five. With the start, JJ also surpassed 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career, and left the game with a 4-1 lead, in line for the win.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brian Sanches erased the decision for Josh when he gave up a three-run shot to Matt Diaz that tied up the game.  
The good news is that Jorge Cantu decided to continue the all-new trend of driving in runs rather than leaving them on base, and reclaimed the lead for the Marlins in the seventh when he hit an RBI single to score [the clear choice for NL Rookie of the Year] Chris Coghlan. Cogs was 3-for-4 in the game with a pair of doubles, a pair of runs, and his 46th hit in the month of September, which established a new team record. 
Leo Nunez capped off the game with his 25th save of the season, and the Marlins took game two of the series. 
And now for the bad news. The Rockies declined to be of any help to the Fish, and selfishly came back to win their game against the Brewers in extra innings, thus eliminating the Marlins from Wild Card contention.

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.

W O W (West Outduels Wainwright)

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The Marlins had the special privilege of facing Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright as they took on the Cardinals Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. 
With Sean West on the mound, I’ll be honest and admit that HLD&S mentally prepared a recap of the loss in advance. It went something along the lines of: The Marlins were no-hit last night, while rookie Sean West was brutally slaughtered by Pujols, et. al. Our season is over. Go watch football.
It would seem that we despaired a bit too soon, though.  
While Wainwright was, well, Wainwright Tuesday night, Sean West was apparently not in the mood to be outdonedueled. Not even by a pitcher who had three times as many wins as West on the season. 
The two pitchers traded scoreless innings back and forth until the bottom of the fifth, when two singles and a walk got Sean into a bases-loaded jam. With one out and Albert Pujols up, Fish fans muttered multiple expletives as they imagined the worst outcome was mere moments away, and resigned themselves to the fact that the Marlins were going to have to score at least five runs off of Wainwright and the Cardinals bullpen if they were to have any hope of winning the game. 
But Sean West simply ignored the eruption of the crowd, laughed in the face of imminent failure and limited the damage in the inning to just one run. Pujols hit a sac fly to left field that scored the first run of the game and gave St. Louis the lead, and West struck out Holliday to end the threat.
The Fish may have been spurred on by the adrenaline rush of such a close call in the bottom of the fifth, because they finally got on the board in the sixth inning. Nick Johnson singled off of Wainwright, and Dan Uggla jacked his 29th home run of the season to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals. 

Sean West lasted through the sixth inning before he was lifted. The lefty gave up just one run on six hits in his six innings of work, and struck out a career-high nine Cardinals in the process. Wainwright went on to complete the seventh inning, and finished the night having allowed seven hits and two runs, while striking out eight.

Protecting a very fragile one-run lead against a potent lineup, the Marlins went to the bullpen. The ‘pen must have been sprinkled with some of Sean’s magic dust, as they gave up just one hit to St. Louis in three innings. Nunez struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his 21st save, and to preserve Sean West’s seventh win of the season. 
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of the miraculous, the Rockies lost, moving the Fish to within 4 1/2 games of the Wild Card lead.

Recipe For a Sweep

recipe.gif1 opponent that sucks real bad

1 whole bunch of hitting 
An overabundance of run-scoring 
a pinch of real good relief pitching 
1 broom 

Directions: Win first two games of series. Mix above ingredients thoroughly. Bake at 375 for 3 ½ hours, or until Mets fans can no longer be heard in the stands. Garnish with broom. Serve immediately. 
The Marlins were once again in line for a sweep as they faced the Mets Thursday night at Citi Field, and after the bullpen blew their chance Sunday against the Nats, it was nice to see them actually execute the sweep this time. 
For the second night in a row, the Marlins had a nice start to the game. The Fish batted around in the first inning and tagged Bobby Parnell with three runs. They went on to score single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and Parnell’s night was over after giving up six runs (five earned) through five.
Sean West was on the mound for the Marlins, and didn’t have his best start, only lasting through four innings. Sean gave up two runs in the fourth inning, and in the bottom of the fifth, he put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. With the Fish up 6-2 and the Mets threatening, Fredi decided to end Sean’s night. 
The Hopper relieved West and pitched two innings for the Fish. Burke allowed just two hits, singles in the fifth that scored both the runners he inherited from West. After those two runs, which were tagged to Sean, the bullpen did not allow another run in the game. 
Once Parnell’s night was finished, the Fish didn’t stop the fun there, but proceeded to have a field day with the Mets bullpen. The Marlins scored another seven runs off New York’s relievers to ensure that our brooms would not have to be flung into a closet or hurled off a balcony in a fit of rage, as they had been in Florida’s last series. 
The Marlins obviously had a great night offensively, and clobbered the Mets with 13 runs on 16 hits. Nick Johnson drove in four of those runs, while Hanley, Cody and Helms each had two RBI in the game. Dan Uggla added to the show when he went deep in the third inning for his 27th home run on the year. 

With the Marlins victory, The Hopper logged his seventh win of the season, and for the first time since they were 11-1 in April, the Fish find themselves ten games over .500. 
Oh. And thanks to the Nationals not blowing it, the Marlins also gained a game on the Phillies. Not that we’re paying attention to that. 

When it Rains, it Pours.

3 hour deluge.jpg
One Marlins vs. Braves ticket: $20
One rain poncho: $5
Waiting in the pouring rain for three hours and staying to the bitter, 1:05 AM end of yet another disappointing game: Totally. Not. Worth it.
There are some things money can’t buy. A gun with which to off oneself after enduring the torture of Tuesday night’s Marlins-Braves game is not one of them.
The twenty or so fans who stayed to watch game two of the Marlins-Braves series at Land Shark stadium were treated to a three hour rain delay, followed by a three-hour asphyxiation of any (sane person’s) remaining hope of October baseball for the Fish.
Anibal Sanchez was on the mound for Florida, and despite his claim of feeling “comfortable,” he didn’t really make it look easy from our view in the bullpen box (then again, the sight line from said box could be partially to blame). Ani gave up a run in the first, but his real struggle came in the third inning when he walked the ($#%! @#%$ &*%$ $#@% %@$!) pitcher to lead off the inning, balked in a run, and gave up a two-run double to Brian McCann. Sanchez’s night was over after allowing three runs on five hits in five innings of work.

Tim Hudson, meanwhile, made his first start for the Braves since returning from Tommy John surgery, and pretty much pitched like a walking advertisement for the benefits of going under the knife. Hudson gave up six hits and two runs–courtesy of a Jorge Cantu RBI single in the bottom of the second–in a solid 5 1/3 innings of work. 

You can’t spell Burke Heinrich Badenhop without “he be back,” and when Anibal’s night ended, the Hopper made his triumphant return from the DL. He was immediately back to his smooth, long-relieving ways, tossing two scoreless innings for the Fish. Renyel Pinto followed by giving up a run to Atlanta in the eighth, driving the final nail into the Marlins coffin, as the Fish just couldn’t muster enough offense to make up for it.
The Braves pen held the Marlins to a grand total of two hits over 3 2/3 innings, one of which was a solo shot to Uggla in the bottom of the ninth that brought the Marlins within a run. Here’s where Renyel Pinto holding the game would’ve come in handy, but there are no do-overs in baseball, so that is how the story ended for Florida Tuesday night.
To make matters worse, Hanley Ramirez left the game in the fourth inning with tightness in his hamstring, and is day-to-day. Will the good news never stop?
The 30 or so Fish fans who waited out the rain delay were thanked for their loyalty utter insanity with yet another loss, and even more distance between their team and the other teams in the wild card race (you know, the ones who actually have a chance of winning it).
HLD&S is exhausted, drenched, and frustrated with the Fish.

All’s well that *ends* well. Which is a tough break for the Fish.

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What’s that saying? It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish? 
That’s just too bad for the Marlins, because if we were going purely based on “start” in their series opener against Atlanta Monday night, they’d have had the game in the bag.
(You’ve just read the short version of the recap, so if you’d rather not dwell on the depressing details of the latest Marlins loss, then be content with “it sucked,” and go find something else to do with the next two minutes of your life. However, if you’re into details and/or self-injury, by all means read on to savor the agony…)

With Florida and Atlanta all tied up in the NL East and in the Wild Card, The Fish kicked off an important four-game series Monday night at Land Shark Stadium. Josh Johnson was on the hill for the Marlins, and Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami took the mound for Atlanta. With their ace making the start, the Marlins had the perfect opportunity to gain a game on the Braves in both the division and the Wild Card. 

Sadly, opportunity has to be seized, and it didn’t appear the Marlins bats were up to participating in anything remotely resembling seizure in the series opener. 
JJ was on from the start, and after he handled the Braves nicely through two innings, Jorge Cantu doubled to lead off the bottom of the second. John Baker followed with a single to move Jorge to third, and Uggla hit a sac fly to score the first run of the ball game. 
One run on six hits was all the Marlins would be able to shake out of Kawakami in his six innings of work, but for a while it looked as though one run might actually do the trick, since Josh Johnson was in the mood to tease us all by flirting with a no-hitter for the second time this month.  
JJ took his no-no all the way until two outs in the sixth inning, when Matt Diaz finally singled to record the Braves first base hit of the game. Despite the hit, Josh made it out of the inning without incident, and the Fish maintained their lead. 
For like ten minutes, anyway. 
After Josh recorded two outs in the seventh, things went South. JJ’s energy seemed to fizzle out, and the final out of the inning eluded him. With two men on, Josh gave up a triple to Omar Infante that cleared the bases and gave the lead to the Braves. David Ross was the last batter JJ would face in the inning, and he singled to score Infante and put Atlanta up 3-1. 
Johnson’s night ended after 6 2/3 innings, five hits, three runs and eight strikeouts. Brian Sanches recorded the last out of the seventh, but by then the damage was done, and the Fish had a two-run hole to dig themselves out of… Um, but instead of the lineup digging the Marlins out of the hole, the bullpen worked on digging aforementioned hole even deeper. 
Sanches hit Diaz to open the bottom of the eighth, and intentionally walked Chipper Jones before Dan Meyer took over and gave up two straight singles to put the Braves up 5-1. 
The Fish made things mildly interesting in the bottom of the ninth when Cantu doubled, and Uggla drove him in with a two-out double of his own for his second RBI of the game. But that was all the offense the team could muster on a night when the Marlins managed eight hits– none of which came from their superstar. Hanley Ramirez was 0-for-4 again, marking his third game in a row without a hit. 
JJ suffered his fourth loss of the season, and a night that started with promise ended miserably for the Marlins. Suddenly, rather than lamenting the lost no-hitter, the Fish were lamenting another series-opening
loss, which set the team back farther in both the division and the Wild Card, and brought the month of August to a close at an even 14-14. 
.500 baseball isn’t going to win the Wild Card, Fish. 

Sanchez Opts Out of Sweep

anibad.jpgAs the Marlins head into the final month of the season, each remaining game that is played is made up of the following:

1) Things that will help the Marlins keep alive their tiny flicker of hope of making the playoffs, and 2) Things that will help the Marlins have plenty of time to play golf and engage in other activities–which do not include playing Major League baseball–in October.
As the Marlins went for a sweep of the Mets Thursday afternoon at The Shark, there was decidedly more of the latter. 
Anibal Sanchez was pretty much outstanding in his last outing, and Fish fans were hoping to see more of the same from him as he faced the Mets in the final game of the series. Instead, what they got to see was a massive struggle to get through the fourth inning. Anibal would last just 3 2/3 against the Mets, giving up four runs (2 earned) on eight hits and throwing 82 pitches in the process.
The unearned runs came courtesy of some sloppy defense by Gload and Sanchez, who each committed errors in the game that resulted in two runs for New York. 
It didn’t help that Tim Redding started for the Mets, and the Fish could only manage five hits off of him through 6 2/3 innings. Chris Coghlan hit a pair of solo home runs–one in the first and one in the sixth inning–and Dan Uggla added a solo shot of his own in the seventh, which accounted for all three of the runs the Marlins managed to put on the board. 
Three runs may be enough to win a game when your pitchers are on, but on an afternoon when Florida’s arms gave up ten runs, the long balls were not enough. 
Christhian Martinez came into the game in relief of Sanchez and gave up four runs in the fifth inning. In fact, New York scored off of every Marlins pitcher who entered the game Thursday, which was incredibly fun to watch (or listen to/receive texts about/follow on game day while watching nervously for your boss to walk by your cubicle–it was a day game after all).
Bad starting pitching, bad relief pitching, poor defense and a lack of offense… I read somewhere that those things generally do not add up to a win. They sure didn’t in this game.
The Fish took two of three from the Mets in the series, and didn’t lose any ground in the East or in the Wild Card, thanks to the Rockies and Phillies being so kind as to lose Thursday as well. More importantly, though, they didn’t gain any ground, either. With a little over a month left in the season, that’s going to be necessary, and soon.

Good Ricky Returns.

Ricky Jekyll n Hyde.jpgThe last time Ricky Nolasco was on the mound, he sucked. There’s just no other way to categorize what was essentially the worst start of Ricky’s career– a 3 1/3 inning outing in which he allowed 10 runs and single-handedly snapped the Marlins 5 game win streak with his horrific pitching. 

With that in mind, Fish fans were a bit nervous as Ricky took the mound to kick off a three-game series with the Astros–the same team that beat the crap out of him in his last start–Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. 
Apparently Nolasco was looking to make it up to the Marlins. Or, maybe he just knew he needed to do something extremely noteworthy on the mound so that his start wouldn’t be overshadowed by the team’s double-digit hit streak, which was up to 13 games heading into Tuesday’s contest. Either way, mission accomplished as Ricky turned in a performance that was the polar opposite of his last, and dazzled us all by throwing the second (9-inning) complete game of his career. 80 of Ricky’s 115 pitches were for strikes, and he walked nobody, struck out ten, gave up three hits and allowed just two runs in his nine innings of work. 
The game didn’t get off to a great start, and let’s just be honest–it scared us. Nolasco gave up a home run to Carlos Lee in the first inning, right after Lance Berkman doubled. After the dinger, though, Ricky simply shrugged his shoulders and was all like, “it’s cool,” and proceeded to retire 23 straight batters, and allowed just one more hit over the next eight innings. 
The offense, meanwhile, thought it would be a good idea to provide some run support for the dealing Nolasco, and try to steal a little bit of his thunder by hitting in the double-digits for the 14th game in a row. The Marlins had 11 hits on the night, and became the first team to have a string of 14 games with ten or more hits since the St. Louis Browns logged 15 in a row way back in 1937. Hanley Ramirez also kept his personal streak alive as he was 3-for-5, and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. 
Dan Uggla hit a solo shot off of Astros Starter Bud Norris in the fourth inning to tie up the game, and then the Marlins had a little fun with Buddy in the sixth. The Fish batted around as Cantu homered, Hermida hit an RBI single, and Chris Coghlan drew a bases-loaded walk to gain a three-run lead over Houston, and end the night for Norris before three outs could be recorded in the inning. 
Hermida, who was 3-for-4 on the night, was the third Marlin of the game to go deep when he capped off the scoring on a solo shot in the 8th, stretching the Marlins lead to four runs. 
The Fish have now won 9 of their last 11, but since the Rockies and Phillies refuse to lose, they remain two games back of the Wild Card lead, and 4 1/2 games back in the NL East.
Official HLD&S Position: We heart Ricky Nolasco. Uh, the one who pitches complete games and wins and stuff.

Fish Win Fifth Straight… I Think.

blockedview.JPGThe way the Marlins have been scoring runs of late, a little five-run deficit Tuesday night honestly felt more like a mild annoyance, rather than a sign that the game might end poorly for the Fish.

Not that I would have been able to see a sign of any kind from where I was sitting as the Marlins took on the Astros in game two of the series at Land Shark Stadium. I’m not complaining, though, because while I missed a good 90% of what happened on the field, I did have a charming view of the backs of several strangers who were–quite literally–on the edge of their seats the entire game.   
Tell me again why we didn’t need to use eleventy billion taxpayer dollars to build an actual baseball facility for the Marlins? Exactly. (HLD&S’s stellar sight lines pictured top left. Please read the following recap with that view of the game in mind.)  
Chris Volstad seemed sharp to start the game, and pitched fairly well through four innings, but that’s where the good news about his outing ends… Unless you count as good news the fact that he didn’t give up a home run for the first start in a long while. I personally don’t, seeing as the Astros didn’t have a need to go deep, since Chris seemed happy enough to give up half-a-dozen runs to the team the old-fashioned way.
In the top of the fifth, Volstad suddenly forgot how to throw strikes, and before he could record the third out of the inning, Houston had scored five runs to give the them a 6-2 lead over the Fish. 4 2/3 innings, eight hits, three walks and six runs were what we enjoyed from Chris before the bullpen took over in the game. Fantastic.  
One bad inning from Volstad may have been all it took to put the Fish in a hole, but thankfully one bad inning from Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt was all it took for the Marlins to begin to claw their way out of it. Oswalt, much like Volstad, pitched well to start, but he gave up four runs in the sixth on four straight hits and two bases-loaded walks to bring the Fish within a run.   
Down by one in the seventh, John Baker, who also had an RBI single in the sixth, hit a two-run double to give the Marlins the lead.
With the Fish up 8-7, Leo Nunez headed out of the bullpen to pitch the ninth, and I pleaded with him to give us a 1-2-3 inning. He ignored me, of course (because it just wouldn’t be a Marlins game without somebody giving up runs in the ninth inning, now would it?). Leo gave up three straight hits, including an RBI single to Geoff Blum to tie the game. 
Renyel Pinto and Brian Sanches pitched scoreless 10th and 11th innings respectively, and then the collective yawns of the home crowd signaled to the boys that it was time to end this thing.
Chris Coghlan and Nick Johnson drew walks to open the bottom of the eleventh, but things didn’t look too promising for the Fish when Jorge Cantu and Wes Helms both struck out. But then John Baker drew a walk, and Dan Uggla, who was 3-for-5 in the game, came through with his first walk-off hit of the season. Dan’s single scored Coghlan, and gave the Marlins their fifth win in a row.
The Fish not only extended their win streak Tuesday night, they also added an eighth game to their double-digit hit streak, and pulled within 2 games of the National League wild card lead.
Sounds like it was a good game. Would have been lovely to see it.
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