The Marlins were going for the series win against the Mets Thursday night at Citi Field, and after two straight games of ugly, fans were hoping for a nice, neat, disaster-free win. You know, one that didn’t induce massive strokes and brain hemorrhages and stuff.
It was a battle of lefties as Nate Robertson made the start vs. Jon Niese, and Robertson had a decent night in his season debut for the Marlins. He went five innings and allowed just one run on an RBI double to Jeff Francoeur in the fourth. Nate threw 94 pitches and gave up six hits, struck out four and didn’t issue a walk.
Neise lasted six innings against the Marlins, and gave up three runs on eight hits. The Fish grabbed an early lead in the first on an RBI single from Dan Uggla, and RBI doubles by Jorge Cantu and Gaby Sanchez in the fifth and sixth gave the Marlins a 3-1 lead.
Once Nate's night was over, heartrates state-wide skyrocketed as it was time to go to the bullpen. Wednesday’s implosion was still fresh in the minds of Fish fans, and this time the pen had just a 2-run lead to work with, as opposed to the six-run lead the pen blew the night before.
Mommy. Hold me.
Luckily, it was Burke Badenhop who got the call. The Hopper decided to go against the recent trend of Marlins middle relievers, and so, rather than walking multiple guys and blowing the lead, Hop tossed three scoreless innings in relief of Robertson. He allowed just one hit and struck out two.
If Fredi had put it to a vote, the majority of Fish fans would probably have been in favor of letting Burke attempt a 4-inning save. But instead, though he tossed 40 pitches in Wednesday’s fiasco, Leo Nunez came out to pitch the ninth. (Insert lame comment about getting back on the horse or whatever here.)
Leo must have been inspired by The Hopper’s three scoreless innings, because he made quick work of things, recording the save with a 1-2-3 inning.
I'm not sure how the post-game pep talk went on Wednesday night, but whatever it was, it worked. Because after issuing nine free passes in Wednesday’s game, the Marlins pitchers didn’t allow a single base on balls in the series finale.
The Fish have taken their first series of 2010, and are headed home.