Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marlins Get Crucial Win

I know it's a little early to call this a must-win game but it certainly felt that way. It's early June, but the Phillies are white hot. They've won 12 of 14 and 15 of their last 19 games. Meanwhile, the Marlins have been tailing, going 4-9 over their last 13 games. The Fish have fallen to 5 over .500 (34-29) after having been in 1st place with a record of 30-20 not too long ago...and they are suddenly 4 whole games behind those fighten' Phils. With Nolasco on the Mound against a struggling Brett Myers, you figure the Marlins should take it.

And they I watched from my 3rd-base seats. It was a thrilling 5-4 game filled with home runs, errors, and strikeouts. There were 5 shots hit by the two powerful clubs. For the Marlins it was Hanley, Cantu, and Jacobs, and for the Phillies, Rollins, and Burrel. Then, Kevin Gregg entered in the 8th and earned a 4-out save, stranding a runner on 2nd in the 9th.

What to take from this game?

Three things jumped out at me.

Firstly, it would appear that everyone's favorite Ramirez is back on track. Hanley hit another HR and is batting .304 now on the year. He must be at full potential if the Marlins are to make a legitimate run at the playoffs this season.

Secondly, I am absolutely delighted with the play of Jorge Cantu. The guy is really on a tear. He's making out to be a very sufficient #3 hitter. Today he went 2-4 and pushed his average up to .289. That's pretty good...atleast for what was expected of him prior to the season. Contrast that with Miguel Cabrera's .278 batting average. Some loss, huh?

Lastly, Ricky Nolasco was stellar. He pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs, none of them having been earned. He allowed two bombs to Phillies hitters, but only after getting rattled by horrendous errors by Hanley and Luis Gonzalez.

So here are the NL East standings up to date:

Philadelphia 39-27
Florida 35-29
Atlanta 32-33
NY Mets 30-33
Washington 26-40

Let's not underestimate the Mets and Braves. Just because they may have fallen now, doesn't at all mean that they won't come back. It's important that these teams continue to climb into a bigger hole. If you're are Marlins fan, do not hesitate to root against them.


Asadler said...

Nice article, and I gotta agree with you. That one was definitely must-win. Only thing that worries me is that overworked bullpen...

Jay Warman said...

No game in June is must-win. It was nice, helpful and useful to win, as it is to win the first game of any series. But if we had lost, the season would have hardly been over.

The only must-win game played last night was at the Staples Center in L.A.

The Dude said...

Maybe not a must-win. But definitely a big one. After slipping out of first, it's good to get something positive and show the world the Fish will be in the race the entire way. As long as our pitching holds up (The Marlins now have 98 HR -- most in the majors).

Anyway, here's my take on it for the Miami New Times:

/...end self promotion