It was another one of those games where everything was going okay, sort of, but there was always this feeling that a storm was brewing on the horizon. The feeling was justified, fortunately the Marlins were able to survive it and win the night.
Let's see how it happened.
The pitcher's pretty much had their way through the first three innings. But there was difference. The top of the innings went fairly quickly with the Marlins not making much noise. However, the bottom half of the innings lasted forever. The Giants kept fouling ball after ball after ball off. Thus making Ricky Nolasco's pitch count grow and grow and grow. And to top that off, Ricky ended up running the bases every time it was his turn at the plate. It was almost like they knew if they could get him out the game early, the Marlins would be defenseless. By the end of the third Ricky had already thrown 62 pitches. This is when the eery feeling set in.
In the top half of the fourth the Marlins got on the board first when Dan Uggla hit his 140th career home run to left. Pat Burrell took some courtesy steps towards the fence but that ball was out of there. In the bottom half of the fourth, Ricky kept pitching and the Giants kept fouling everything off before making outs. Ricky had thrown 78 pitches through four. 1-0 Marlins.
In the top of the fifth Mike Stanton hit the first pitch of the inning for a home run to left center. Fortunately it cleared the cotton candy vendor by a couple of rows. In the bottom of the fifth Ricky kept pitching and Giants kept fouling everything off before making an out. Ricky was now up to 94 pitches. 2-0 Marlins.
In the sixth with one out, Danny legged out an infield single to put a runner on first. Jorge Cantu followed with a single to center sending Danny to third. Cody Ross hit about a 405 ft. shot to deep center that Andres Torres somehow turned into an out with a spectacular catch. Danny tagged and trotted home. In the bottom of the inning, Ricky put the Giants down in order, but the pitch count was now 104. The fears that the Marlins bullpen would soon be making an appearance started looming large with the thoughts of three runs might not be enough. 3-0 Marlins.
In the top of the seventh with one out the Giants naturally walked Ricky. Oh, the joys. Emilio Bonifacio followed with a double moving Ricky to third. Gaby Sanchez got under a pitch and popped out. Hanley Ramirez grounded out to first. So basically Ricky ran the bases all inning instead of resting in the dugout. Ricky did start the Giants half of the inning getting Juan Uribe out, but unfortunately walked Burrell, his first walk of the night. Edwin had seen enough. Ricky left the game pitching a shutout, though responsible for the man on first. Since left-handed hitting Travis Ishikawa was due to hit next Edwin called for Taylor Tankersley . That's right, the same Tankersley who didn't get anybody out in his last two outings. Well it turns out that Ishikawa isn't a main cog in the Giants lineup so they decided to pinch hit for him with Aaron Rowand, known Marlins killer. On the second pitch, Rowand hit the ball to deep left field.... What happens next is known for certain by every Marlins fan watching, though I'm sure the Giant fans will disagree. Boni went back to wall and leaped to make the catch. However, a fan in the outfield reached out over the fence and caught the ball before it reached Boni's glove. Jeffrey Mayer style. Cody started pointing into the stands properly claiming fan interference. The umpires to their credit went to review the play. So MLB sent the umps some video to review. It turns out they sent very little video.
"He said that they only had one shot to make a call and the angle that they had, they had the ball over the fence," Rodriguez said. "He said the fan touched it but the ball was over the fence. Then again, I have to rely on whatever he's telling me."
One angle, really? That is all they sent?
The play was ruled a home run and the Marlins lead was cut to one with no outs. That was all anybody wanted to see of Tank so Jose Veras was summoned to the mound. Naturally he immediately gave up a single to Freddy Sanchez. And then with two outs he walked Torres to move Sanchez to second. That ended the night for Veras. Brian Sanches came on the strike out Edgar Renteria for the finally out of the inning. 3-2 Marlins.
In the Marlins half of the eighth, with two outs Cody singled to left. Stanton promptly doubled to center to score legs Cody. This run would later prove to be important. Clay Hensley pitched the bottom of the eighth and did bring the tying run to the plate but was able to get through it by striking out Burrell. 4-2 Marlins.
In the top of the ninth, the Marlins had two men on with one out, but that didn't last long when Hanley grounded into a double-play. So to the bottom of the ninth we go with Leo Nunez taking the hill. Leo gave up a leadoff single to Rowand and Sanchez followed with another single putting the tying runs on base and the winning run at the plate. Ryan Rohlinger sacrificed the runners over. Now the tying runs were in scoring position with one out. Torres hit a ground ball towards the hole on the right side of the infield but Gaby was able to knock it down and toss it Leo for the out. Rowand scored on the play and Sanchez moved to third. With the tying run 90 ft. away, Leo struck out Renteria for the final out of the game. 4-3 Marlins.
So to recap the recap: the starter was great, batters hit some long balls, took the early lead, controversy, bullpen tried to give the game away. So all-in-all it was just your typical Marlins game.
The Marlins are above .500 for the first time since June 3.
The Marlins melodrama plays again on Tuesday. Be sure to tip the waitstaff.