14 April 2011
After splitting the first two games of the series the Marlins were able to hold on to win game three 6-5. This was a series that saw many players many former Braves and Marlins facing their old teams, but the winning run was driven in by a new man to the rivalry, John Buck. With the game tied at 5 in the 7th, Buck who was in the middle of a 1-19 slump delivered an RBI single off of Eric O'Flaherty to score Gaby Sanchez. Then Mike Dunn, Clay Hensley, and Leo Nunez came in and combined for 3 innings giving up only 1 hit.
This series saw new Marlins Mike Dunn, Omar Infante and Javier Vazquez return to Atlanta to the first time, and former Marlins Dan Uggla, Fredi Gonzalez, and Alex Gonzalez face their former team. When you consider the existing rivalry between the division rivals, the almost incestuious nature of the two teams rosters, and the fact that these two teams should be battling for a playoff spot at the end of the year, winning this series was the first real test for the Marlins. The Marlins were dominated in game 1, when Chris Volstad gave up 5 runs in 4.2 innings, but the Marlins then replayed the favor in game 2 when Josh Johnson went 7.1 innings of no hit baseball before giving up a double to Freddie Freeman. Game 3 was much more back and forth with the Marlins scoring 3 in the top of the first and the Braves getting 4 off Nolasco (who does not pitch well against the Braves) in the bottom of the inning. Hanley Ramirez would tie up the game in the 2nd on an RBI single in the 2nd and Gaby Sanchez would put the Marlins ahead in the 3rd with Gaby Sanchez's first home run of the season, but Dan Uggla tied up the game in the 4th with a solo blast. Buck would eventually put the Marlins ahed in the 7th.
This was the first series where the Marlins were able to play both Mike Stanton and Hanley Ramirez for all 3 games. The one major change for the Marlins in this series was inserting Greg Dobbs as the starter at 3rd base over Donnie Murphy, who still saw time as a late game replacement and pitch hitter. The change is not because of poor play, but rather because of Dobbs' fantastic hitting so far this year. Dobbs went only 1-6 in the series with 3 Ks (all on Thursday) and 2 walks, but still he is hitting .412 for the season.
When looking for stand out players for this series it would be able to point out Josh Johnson. 7.1 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts and a season ERA of 1.35 are numbers that jump right off the page, or screen, at you. However the two other players need to noticed for their performances are Chris Coghlan and Brian Sanches. Coghlan has played really well this year in centerfield, turning in a few web gems and has yet to make any real mistakes out there. He really had not been hitting well this year, outside of game 2 against Houston, but against Atlanta Coghlan hit 7 for 12 and raised his average up to .288. Coghlan also leads the Marlins in 6 double this year. Brian Sanches on the other hand pitched 3.1 innings of middle relief between games 1 and 3 with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Sanches has been the best Marlins reliever and has been able to get the Marlins out of a lot of tough situations already. In 5 appearances, Sanches is 2-0 and has pitched 9.2 innings giving up 7 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 hit, a 0.52 WHIP and 0.00 ERA.
This was the first time that Marlins played against their former All-Star 2nd baseman Dan Uggla, and while he only went 2-12 with a home run, and he is off to a poor start all together (.160 avg, with 3 solo homers, and 8 strikeouts), it was still good to see him. Thursday, Dan Uggla made the rounds on the South Florida sports radio talking with both Sid Rosenberg and Dan Lebatard shows. Despite not receiving the contract he wanted from the Marlins Organization, playing 5 seasons in a ball park that is more than half empty, and never receiving the respect and admiration he deserved, Uggla still did not say anything bad about the organization or its fans. He was very gracious and said all the right things, like that he was traded and he wanted to stay in South Florida, on both show. I know nothing less would be expected of a pro athlete in this day in age, but still the dude is a class act.
Next the Marlins will play at Philadelphia:
- Friday at 7:05-- Javier Vazquez vs. Roy Oswalt
- Saturday at 7:05-- Anibal Sanchez vs. Cole Hamels
- Sunday at 1:35-- Chris Volstad vs. Joe Blanton
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