Player of the Game: Gaby Sanchez (.316 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Edward Mujica (-.281 WPA)
Play of the Game: Sanchez doubled off the base off the fence in the 11th inning to score Chris Coghlan from first base, and the Marlins win.
The Miami Marlins returned back to Marlins Park for the first time in over a week as they took on the Astros. The ballclub continues to play on without their manager Ozzie Guillen, who is suspended. The starting pitchers for this game were Ricky Nolasco for the Marlins, and Lucas Harrell for the Houston Astros. In tonight's victory, the Marlins got a total team effort. Timely hitting, decent pitching, and clutch plays was in the recipe for victory for the Miami win.
The first run of the game belonged to the Astros courtesy of Jed Lowrie's RBI single. However, the lead was short lived. The Marlins scored two in the bottom of the inning. RBI singles for Giancarlo Stanton and Omar Infante gave the lead to the Fish. The Marlins would tack on single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings. And in spite of how early it is in the young season, the Marlins had to be feeling good for themselves for maybe the first time in days.
The Astros scored another run in the fourth inning. Jason Castro singled to bring home J.D. Martinez. And now the Astros were only down 4-2. However, no runs were scored either way over the next three innings. But before we get to ahead, Ricky Nolasco was removed after only pitching five innings. He threw a lot of pitches, and was not sharp. Hopefully he can return to form in his next start.
In the top of the 8th inning, Edward Mujica came in to pitch and very quickly allowed the Astros to tie the score at four runs a piece (Jed Lowrie singles, and J.D. Martinez hits a two-run home run). For Mujica, his struggles continue. All of a sudden, his ERA is up to 7.20. And with Heath Bell struggling, I worry about the closing tandem of this bullpen.
In the ninth inning, Heath Bell had to work hard to keep the game tied. He issued three walks and threw 24 pitches in the inning. Thankfully, the Marlins do not have a lot of late game scenarios right now where he would be asked to pitch two days, or three days in a row
Let's fast forward to the bottom of the 11th. Brandon Lyon comes in to pitch for Houston. Chris Coghlan greets him with a base hit up the middle. Then, after an injury time out, Gaby Sanchez comes up to the bat. Coghlan, for starters, can run a bit. Gaby hits a double off of Lyon and wins the game. The first two batters come up in the inning and make it happen. Marlins even their record at home (1-1) and continue their home stand on Saturday again against the Astros.