05 September 2011
With football season under way the Marlins this week moved to the back of the sports page in South Florida, especially after their horrendous August that they just had. And right on cue the Marlins then win two of three versus the NL leading Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first time the Marlins won back to back games and a series since the Marlins beat the Mets on August 1st and 2nd (this excludes the Phillies series two weeks ago where the Marlins won one game and the other two go postponed due to the hurricane).
While the Marlins victory on Saturday was suprising, down 4-3 the Marlins scored five runs off three home runs in the eight to win 8-4, the win Sunday was amazing. Any time you get a win in 14 innings it usually is amazing, but the Marlins benifited from a replay that overruled a double that would have given the Phillies a 3-2 lead earlier in the game and they were walked four times in the 14th inning to get the walk off walk. The other stat that makes this win truly amazing is that the Marlins went 3-19 with runners in scoring position and stranded a franchise record 23 men on base.
The one main play that is being shown over and over on ESPN from the game happened with Hunter Pence of the Phillies at the plate in the 6th inning of a 2-2 game. Pence hit a ball to deep right center, Marlins right fielder Bryan Petersen leaped at the wall to make the catch, but the ball hit the top of the wall and Pence ended up with a double and the Phillies looked tike they had scored the go ahead run. But neither manager was happy with the ruling on the field as Charlie Manuel argued that it should be a home run and Jack McKeon claimed that Petersen was interfered with by two fans. After going to replay, the umpires ruled that Petersen had been interfiered with, but two Phillies fans ironically, and Pence was ruled out and the run was taken off the board.
After each team scored two more runs over the next two innings the game eventually went to extra innings, five extra innings to be exact. In the 14th inning, Emilio Bonifacio got the lead off walk to start the inning, and then Greg Dobbs and Logan Morrison each received an intentional walk after Omar Infate laid down a sac bunt and Gaby Sanchez lined out to advance the runners. So with the bases loaded an two outs, Mike Cameron who hit two home runs the night before was at the plate. Cameron says he was looking for a pitch to hit out of the ballpark, but instead David Herndon threw him four balls and the Marlins got the walk off walk to win 5-4.
Loss in this performance is the fact that Anibal Sanchez, who has struggled since the All-Star break, actually out pitched Roy Halladay. Anibal went six innings giving up two runs, none earned, and struck out five while Halladay in six innings gave up three runs, two earned, and struck out four. The Marlins also received good performances from Bryan Petersen (2-4 with 3 walks), who is looking more and more like a player who can play outfield for the Marlins next year, and Omar Infante (3-6 with a run and an RBI), who has been one of the best hitters for the Marlins in the second half of the season. While this win means little in the big picture of the horrible season the Marlins are having, it was just a nice break for Marlins fans to get a win like this to reward them for continued support.
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