The Fish and Phils kicked off their first meeting of 2011 Friday night at Citizen's Bank Park, and since many people seem to think that only victories against the Phillies count as "real" wins, it was pretty exciting to get this series underway. And even more exciting to finally have a "real" win under our belts as the Marlins came from behind to beat the Phillies 4-3. (Is there anything better than beating the Philths? I submit there is not.)
Javier Vazquez had a rocky first inning. He walked Shane Victorino to lead things off, and with one out gave up a double to Jimmy Rollins. Ryan Howard collected an RBI with a sac fly, and Raul Ibanez singled to drive in Rollins and put the Phillies on top 2-0. Javy settled down a bit after his rough first though, and got through the fourth inning without allowing another run to the Phils.
Roy Oswalt laughed in the face of our delight at not seeing Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee this series, and decided to do his best impersonation of them through four innings. Oswalt didn't allow a hit until Logan Morrison led off the fifth with a home run to bust up the no-hitter and the shutout with one swing.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vazquez struggled once again. He walked Shane Victorino, again, to lead off the inning, and gave up a single to Placido Polanco before Raul Ibanez drove in Victorino to make it 3-1, Phillies.
That was the end of the night for Javy. 5 innings, 3 runs on 5 hits, and 4 walks.
The Marlins got within a run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Chris Coghlan and Omar Infante. Roy Oswalt came out to the mound to start the seventh, but ended up walking off the field with a trainer before throwing a pitch, apparently suffering from a low back strain.
The Fish went to work instead on the Phillies bullpen. LoMo singled off of J. Romero to lead off, and Danys Baez replaced Romero on the mound. Baez walked Gaby Sanchez, and John Buck singled to load up the bases. After Donnie Murphy popped out, the Philthies fans booed as former Phil Greg Dobbs came to the plate to pinch hit. Dobbs responded the way any player who is booed in Philly should--he hit an RBI single to score two runs and reclaim the lead for the Fish. The Marlins were aggressive sending Gaby home on the single. It was a close play at the plate, but Gaby was in there to make it 4-3 in favor of the Fish.
The Marlins bullpen was outstanding once again. After Vazquez left the game, Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb tossed scoreless innings, Randy Choate and Clay Hensley handled the eighth, and Leo Nunez saved it in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
The Marlins have won three straight against their tougher division opponents, and are 5-2 so far on their road trip.
Ah, it feel so good to beat the Phillies.