What a treat: pitchers duels on back-to-back nights, with the Marlins starter once again out-dueling the Phillies'. Ricky Nolasco and Cliff Lee went at it with a gusto that could arguably rival the battle between JJ and Doc on Tuesday. Too bad the Heat's victorious sereis ended just in time for you to tune in to see the Marlins bullpen crap away the lead, and the Marlins drop the final game of the series, 5-3.
The Fish scored three runs off of Cliff Lee in his six innings of work. Hanley's home run in the bottom of the first put the Marlins up 1-0, and four straight singles in the sixth, including an RBI single from John Buck, made it 2-0. Mike Stanton followed with a sac fly that scored Hanley, who was 2-for-4 in the game, boosting his average to a respectable (if he were a pitcher) .219.
Ricky struck out six over 6 1/3 innings, and allowed two runs--only one earned--to the Phils lineup. Other than his issues with Cliff Lee, who walked and singled, Ricky looked good.
The Phillies threatened in the top of the fifth when Brian Schneider doubled with one out. Cliff Lee followed with a line drive that Omar Infante couldn't grab. As Schneider rounded third, the heavens opened and proved that God himself is not a fan of the Phillies. Schneider's left hamstring popped, and he had to limp gingerly back to third rather than scoring the tying run.
In the seventh, unfortunately, no injury kept the Phillies from getting on the board. Raul Ibanez led off with a double, and with one out, a fielding error by Gaby Sanchez allowed Dane Sardinha to reach base, and advanced Ibanez to third. After Peter Orr doubled to score an unearned run, Edwin made the call to the bullpen and Ryan Webb got pinch-hitter Ross "Grit 2" Gload to ground out, allowing a second run to score.
After Web finished up the seventh, the Marlins bullpen had a fragile one-run lead to work with, and they couldn't get it done.
In the top of the eighth, Mike Dunn gave up the tying run on a Shane Victorino solo shot.
With the game tied up at three, Leo Nunez was called on to hold the score and give the Fish a chance to walk off in the bottom of the ninth. 12-for-12 in save opportunities, Leo didn't prove as adept at the hold. He gave up a one-out single to Dane Sardinha, and a double to Pete Orr before striking out John Mayberry for the second out of the inning. Jimmy Rollins was up next, and singled to drive in the go-ahead runs, putting the Phillies on top, 5-3.
The Marlins went down quietly against Ryan Madson in the ninth (whiffs are pretty quiet, aren't they Stanton and Petersen?), and dropped the series to the Phils.