Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grilled or Blackened?

How do you like your fish? You might say the Marlins are "cooked"... they just blew 2 games in San Francisco to the 2nd to worst team in the NL, and now find themselves 6 back of the NL East leading New York Mets. Both losses came via the walkoff.

Last night, the Marlins managed to tie the game in the top of the 9th with a pinch-hit, 3-run home run off the bat of John Baker, only to see the game slip away in the bottom of the 9th. Reliever Matt Lindstrom entered the game, and promptly walked the leadoff man, and we all know that leadoff walks are the mating call of game-enders... A single, a sac bunt, and a sac fly later and it was all over.

This afternoon, the Marlins again came from behind, tying the game in the top of the 7th. But, lo and behold, the Marlins bullpen gave it up in the 9th again. This time, it was closer Kevin Gregg who entered the game in the 9th. He actually struck out the leadoff man, but followed that up with the impending walk. Gee, wonder how that was going to end. A stolen base and a sac fly later, the Giants' winning run stood on 3rd. That's when Gregg unleashed the winning pitch... to the backstop, allowing the winning run to cross the plate.

The Fish have now gone 3-7 in their last 10 games, while the Mets, after their win tonight against the Braves, have gone 9-2 in their last 11. All that adds up to the Marlins trailing those Mets by 6 games in the division, and quickly fading. Kevin Gregg has 2 losses in his last 3 appearances. The offense, which has lived and died by the long ball, seems to be drying up. And there is no time to rest now. The Marlins start a 3 game series in Arizona tomorrow night, and there will be a 6'10" future hall of famer to greet them. Randy Johnson takes the hill against Anibal Sanchez. While the final two pitching matchups may favor the Fish, the Diamondbacks are in a playoff battle of their own, and seeing how the Marlins dealt with the ghastly Giants, there should be some soul searching going on in the charter flight tonight.

One quick bright spot I failed to mention after it happened. On Tuesday night in San Francisco, Ricky Nolasco pitched a tremondous, 2-hit, complete game shut out of the Giants. The Marlins had gone 301 starts since last logging a complete game, a Major League record. If only that had ignited the rest of the team...

1 comment:

Imber said...

They are indeed done, but I will be the first to admit they did a thousand times better than most expected. Kudos to them.