01 April 2011
In the Marlins last home opener at Sun Life Stadium things could not have gone much better for the Marlins in their 6-2 victory over the New York Mets. Ace Josh Johnson had a no hitter going into the 7th inning, and he had only let up a walk to Ike Davis in the 2nd before it. Johnson got his first win of the year by pitching 6.2 innings and giving up 2ER, 3H, 3K, 2BB. He was also helped by the Marlins revapt bullpen which had Dunn, Hensley, and Nunez combine to go 2.1IP, 1H, 3K, and most importantly 0 runs.
The Marlins only had a Stanton hit (which he ripped down the line) to show for themselves offensively going into the 4th, but in that inning John Buck introduced himself to his new hometown crowd by blasting a gand slam. It was a very impressive at bat for Buck who fouled off pitch after pitch until he finally got the pitch he wanted and blasted it to center field and scored Stanton, Sanchez, and Morrison. Buck would have another hit later on in the game that hit off the wall in left center. I will admit that I though that last years numbers for Buck were somewhat of an aberration, and while I am not ready to fully take back those words after one game, I am pretty close to doing so.
The Marlins scored their other runs off a Gaby Sanchez RBI single in the 5th and a LoMo solo homer in the 8th. Some thing to keep an eye on is how aggressive the Marlins were on the base paths. The Marlins had 3 stolen bases tonight, and it will be interesting to see if this is something that the Marlins are going to continue throughout the year.
As great as the game was on the field for the Marlins, ownership also had to be happy with the way things went off the field as well. The Marlins had their largest home crowd tonight (41,237) since the New York Yankees visited South Florida in 2009 (46,427 6/20/09). And even though it was against the Mets, and their we a good number of Mets fans at the game, I did not hear on 'Let's Go Mets' chance the entire game. I actually heard very little cheering from the Mets fans at all. Although part of that could be the fact that outside of the 6th inning, where the Mets scored their 2 runs off of 3 hits and a walk, the Mets never really threatened the Marlins. The Mets were actually lucky that the 6th went as long as it did. Hanly miss played a hard hit ground ball that would have kept the Mets to just one run had he fielded it correctly. Outside of the 6th the Mets were only able to get a walk in the 2nd and a single in the 8th offensively.
Things did not go perfectly for the Marlins however. Mike Stanton was replaced by Scott Cousins in the 6th because of tightness in Stanton's hamstring. It should not be a big deal, but it still not what you want from Stanton who missed most of Spring Training due to a strained quad. But the real bad news that came for the Marlins was about Matt Dominguez. Dominguez has hit on the elbow by a pitch today in a minor league game and caused a fracture on the tip of his elbow. The Marlins were hopeful that Dominguez would be able to join the Marlins in a month or two before the injury, but now it looks like it will be a while before he is able to be called up to the majors. This means the Marlins are stuck with Donnie Murphy at third for the foreseeable future.
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