The Marlins were in sweep avoidance mode as they wrapped up their series with the Phillies Thursday night at Sun Life Stadium. Actually, let me rephrase that. A better description of the state the Fish were in, based on the way they played the game, would be sweep acceptance mode.
Not sure what the deal has been with first innings lately, but once again the Marlins starter struggled in the opening frame. Chris Volstad gave up a single to Jimmy Rollins, who continued to annoy Marlins fans profusely by not getting out. Placid Polanco followed with a single, and after Ross Gload lined out, Chris balked, moving up both runners. Raul Ibanez then walked to load the bases with just one out. Luckily Jayson Werth flied out to shallow right, and Volstad got Dominic Brown swinging. It took him 22 pitches, but Vols escaped the inning.
Vols settled down after the first, and managed to get through the next four innings without giving up a run. His teammates, meanwhile, had no luck accomplishing anything off of Roy Oswalt. The Marlins managed to get just two hits off of Roy through the fifth, and the game remained scoreless.
Until the top of the sixth, when Chris's luck ran out. He gave up a one-out single to Ibanez and a two-out single to Brown, and then Carlos Ruiz struck again. He doubled them both in on a line drive to center, and put the Phillies up 2-0.
Jose Veras took over for Volstad in the seventh, and worked around some trouble to pitch a scoreless inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Fish finally got some offense going. Oswalt gave up a single to Mike Stanton and walked Wes Helms. Ronny Paulino bunted into a fielder's choice, and Stanton was out at third. Chad Tracy was set to make his Marlins debut as a pinch-hitter, but the Phils went to the pen and it was Donnie Murphey who pinch hit with J.C. Romero on the mound. Donnie hit a ground rule double to score Wes and put the Marlins on the board. Romero then walked Hanley to load the bases, and walked Logan Morrison to tie up the game.
The Phils dipped into the pen once again, but Jose Contreras didn't have an easy go of it either. The first batter he faced, Gaby Sanchez, singled in two runs to put the Fish on top 4-2. Contreras struck out Uggla and Ross to end the inning, but the Fish were finally in the lead.
After Leo's um, not great inning in Wednesday's game, fervent prayers were uttered as he took the mound to save the game. I don't think we prayed hard enough, however. Placido Polanco reached on a throwing error by Hanley, Ross Gload followed with a single, and Ibanez hit an RBI double to bring the Phillies within a run. Then Jayson Werth tied up the game on a single, and the Phillies had runners on second and third with no outs.
In a strange twist of events, the Phillies proceeded to run themselves out of the inning. Dominic Brown grounded into a fielder's choice, and Raul Ibanez got caught in a rundown between third and home for the first out. Then Leo picked off Werth for the second out, and Brett Hayes threw out Brown trying to steal second.
Things looked promising for the Marlins in the bottom of the ninth when Hanley was hit by a pitch from Ryan Madson and stole second. With two out, Gaby hit a sharp grounder down the left field line that would likely have scored Hanley for the walk-off win. But umpire Bob Davidson decided to call the ball foul, even though it was clearly fair. So rather than walking off, Gaby struck out. Dan Uggla walked, but Cody struck out to end the inning, and push the game into extras.
Oh goody. Or not so much, as we'd soon discover.
Will Ohman took the mound in the top if the tenth and gave up a solo home run to Ruiz to put the Phillies back on top. And that's where they stayed. Lidge handled the Fish in the bottom of the inning, and the Philths held on to sweep the Fish.
That. Was. Ugly. And Bob Davidson: you suck I am highly displeased with your blown call.