Sunday's game was one that was there for the taking by the Marlins. However, instead of doing that, the team just wrapped pretty paper around it, complete with ribbon and bow, and gave it to the Phillies. Though I will admit, to the Marlins credit, they were very begrudging givers.
The scoring started in the bottom of the first when Placido Polanco hit an Anibal Sanchez pitch into what can only be characterized as the jet stream which blew the ball out of the park for a fence scrapper home run. Immediately after that Anibal walked Jimmy Rollins, bringing Ryan Howard to the plate. The Marlins defense put on the Howard shift and Rollins took this as an opportunity to steal second. And run he did. With the defense in kinda strange positions covering the bag was a bit in disarray but that really didn't matter since John Buck decided to throw the ball to Chris Coghlan and Rollins headed to third with one out. With two outs Raul Ibanez laced a single up the middle to score the second run of the inning for the Phillies. Marlins 0, Phillies 2.
Anibal for his part, after the first, got everything together and finished out pitching the next five innings in the shutout manner he is so capable of doing. Anibal would finish the day giving up only the 2 runs in the first and striking out 8.
The Marlins weren't having much luck against Cole Hamels early on. In fact, Hamels struck out six Marlins in the first three innings. But after the first time through the order, this crap would come to an end.
In the fourth, Hanley Ramirez led off with a double to left. Two outs later, Logan Morrison drew a walk. And with John Buck at the plate, Hamels uncorked a wild-pitch moving Hanley to third. LoMo would later steal second putting both runners in scoring position. Which apparently was the cue for Buck to ground out to third to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Marlins finally got on the board. Omar Infante led the inning off with a double to left. Hanley grounded out to short but did advance Infante to third with one out. Next up was Mike Stanton who singled through the hole on the left side of the infield to plate Infante. Gaby Sanchez followed with a single to right to moving Stanton to third. LoMo hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Stanton. Game tied, 2-2.
In the top of the seventh, with one out, Emilio Bonifacio pinched hit for Anibal. Boni put down a bunt to first which turned into a track meet between Boni and Hamels. It turns out that Hamels ain't very fast, so Boni was safe at first. With Chris Coghlan at the plate, Boni stole second to get into scoring position. Cogz hit an infield single to second moving Boni to third. So with runners at the corners and only one out, Infante did exactly the worse thing he could do with his at bat. That's right, he hit into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of eighth, Ryan Howard was late on a Ryan Webb pitch and hit a fly ball to left. Now, I don't know if LoMo had something in his eyes, or if he just misjudged it or flat out missed it. But whatever the case, Howard was safe on first thanks to the error. Ben Francisco followed with a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Then it was Ibanez's turn at bat. Ibanez hit a grounder to Wes Helms would tried to start the double play. Sadly, the Marlins infield didn't turn it fast enough and it left runners on the corners with one out. Carlos Ruiz hit a medium-deep sac fly to center to score Howard and give the Phillies the lead at 3-2.
In the top of the ninth, Buck worked a leadoff walk off of closer Jose Contreras. Scott Cousins came in to run for Buck. Helms was up next and laid down a sac bunt to move Cousins to second. Kind of a interesting call by Edwin. Anyways, with one out and the tying run on second, Greg Dobbs reported into the game to pinch-hit. Dobbs grounded out to short moving Cousins to third. Cogz walked and stole second to put the tying run 90 feet away and the go ahead run in scoring position. Infante is at the plate.
If this were a movie, something dramatic would happen scoring both runs and then Leo would strike out three batters on nine pitches and the Marlins would swarm the field in celebration. But this ain't the movies, Infante weakly grounded out to third to end the game.
The Marlins had their chances to win this one. But went 2 for 9 with RISP and also made two errors which led to two runs for the Phillies.
Still, let's look on the bright side. The Marlins went 5-3 on their first road-trip of the season, and that ain't too shabby.