Record: 25-19. Pace: 92-70. Change over last year: +6.
Pitchers duel at the aquarium in Miami as Ricky Nolasco struck out 11 in 8+ innings of work. Wade Miley pitched a solid game until the 6th inning. In the sixth he allowed three hits, two of which were inexplicably to the only players on the Marlins who know what to do with those sticks they carry around.
Nolasco popped out to start the sixth. Adeiny Hechavarria singled to center. Placido Polanco flied out to left. This was followed by a single to right by Derek Dietrich. This brought up Marcell Ozuna. Mr. Ozuna hit a booming double to left field that scored the Marlins only runs.
Arizona took a collective K in the eighth before making it interesting in the ninth. Didi Gregorious led off with a double to chase Nolasco from the game in favor of de facto closer (do you really need a closer when you don't win games?) Steve Cishek. The sidearming Cishek promptly gave up a ground ball from the bat of Paul Goldschmidt up the middle that seemed destined to drive in a run and put the tying run on base. A brilliant play by Dietrich put an end to those dreams. He slid to his left to make the stop and unleashed a very strong throw to first to get Goldy by a step. Cishek was suprisingly left in to face lefty batting Jason Kubel. Mr. Kubel promptly followed with a sacrifice fly to left. Eric Chavez pinch hit for Cody Ross and worked the count for a walk. Finally, Manager Mike Redmond made the move to lefty Mike Dunn to face Miguel Montero. Montero, who has struggled mightily all year, worked out a clutch walk. AJ Pollock pinch hit for Cliff Pennington and worked the count full before bouncing a routine ball to shortstop to end the game.
The Marlins won this game despite themselves. I think we have been spoiled by watching Kirk Gibson make the correct move time after time. Sometimes the right move does not work out, but it still is the right move. Some examples: in the ninth, after the hit by Didi, the Marlins brought in the righty closer (with an ERA over five coming in) to face Goldschmidt. That is playing with fire. They should have walked Goldy (yes, that would be the tying run, but you cant face Goldy in that situation) and brought in Dunn to face Kubel. Yes it worked out thanks to a great play, bur you can't plan on those. The Marlins then have the choice of Dunn/Ross or Cishek/Chavez matchups. Either way you bring in Cishek to face Prado....
Miguel Montero and Josh Collmenter combined to make a pretty cool catch. Heccavarria popped up a bunt that MIggy dove for and couldnt quite get, but tipped it up to Collmenter who tipped it higher and the air and caught with his bare hand. I think I saw them working on that play in Spring Training.
Cool article by Nick Piecoro talking about the hot start to his career by Didi Gregorious(who had three hits). I am enjoying the ride while he is on it, but I don't think he can keep this start up.
The Star Trek with the Whales in It:Eric Chavez (4.1%)
All the Other Star Treks: AJ Pollock (-22.7%)
Big thanks to TucsonDback for being the guest recapper today. Remember, if you want to do one of these, sign up in the next post, or email Jim. Not a particularly busy Gameday Thread, and I'm going to blame the 10am start. Even the people in it weren't particularly talkative, more time being spent on Clefo's pizza dilemma than the game, I think. All present were: AJV19, AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, Clefo, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, G.O.B., GuruB, Marc Fournier, Paper Clip, TolkienBard, azshadowwalker, blank_38, hotclaws, onedotfive, rd33, and me.
The D-backs start a three game set tomorrow in Colorado, first pitch is at 5:40pm Arizona time. Be here, or be somewhere else.