It's not as though the Marlins were expected to blow out the Phillies with Roy Halladay on the mound, but after their winning road trip and nice record since the all star break, we kind of expected the Fish to at least show up to the game Tuesday night.
Well, apparently the team left their hearts (along with their bats, arms and defensive skills) in San Francisco.
Sean West made his first start for the Marlins this season after being called up from AAA Tuesday, and didn't do much to convince us he was excited to be in the Bigs. West was welcomed back with a lead-off double from Jimmy Rollins, but he managed to get out of the inning unscathed, thanks in part to a nice grab by Logan Morrison in left.
Sean wasn't quite as successful in the second. The Phillies got on the board with back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches. It was the fourth long ball of the year for both Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz, and the Philths were up 2-0. Then, with one out Wilson Valdez singled, and Halladay laid down a bunt that West fell on his face trying to field. Sean recovered in time to toss the ball to first for the out, and a strong throw from Gaby Sanchez got Valdez at third for an inning-ending double play.
And that would end the Marlins good defense for the evening.
It only took Halladay seven pitches to get through the first, but he ran into Dan Uggla in the second. Uggs took Doc deep for his 24th home run of the season, and cut the Phillies lead in half.
And that would end the Marlins scoring for the evening.
In the top of the fourth, once again Francisco and Ruiz started trouble with the Marlins. Francisco singled, and Ruiz hit a fly ball to center that Cody badly misplayed for a double. With runners at second and third, the Fish decided to walk Valdez to get to Halladay. Unfortunately, the strategy didn't work. Sean West fed Doc a lovely slider for a single that deflected off of Hector Luna's glove, and the Phillies were up 4-1.
Things didn't get better for the Marlins in the fifth. Raul Ibanez led off with a single, and Placido Polanco reached on an error by Dan Uggla. With runners at the corners, Carlos Ruiz singled to score Ibanez and give the Phils a 5-1 lead. And thus ended Sean West's night.
Burke Badenhop pitched a scoreless sixth in relief of Sean, but had some trouble in the seventh. Polanco and Francisco singled, and this time Uggla botched a double play when Carlos Ruiz grounded out. With the inning extended, Hopper walked Ross Gload, and Valdez singled in Polanco to make it 6-1.
Halladay lasted through seven innings, and the Fish weren't able to score off of him after Uggla's home run. He gave up just five hits to the Marlins, and struck out nine, before calling it a night.
Brian Sanches and Jose Veras pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, unfortunately Chad Durbin took over where Halladay left off, tossing two scoreless frames of his own to secure the win for the Phillies. The Marlins did make it a bit interesting in the ninth when Dan Uggla singled and Ronny Paulino hit a two-out double, but Donnie Murphey struck out to end the game.
The Phillies have won their first road series opener since the last time they faced the Marlins, way back in June. Joy.
Let's just hope the Fish have gotten the ugly out of their system.