May 29, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for an RBI double during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Player of the Game: Anibal Sanchez (.231 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Bryan Petersen (-.135 WPA)
The Marlins win again in May. This time it is victory number 20 of the month. And this one was sweet because it not only comes against a division rival, and against one of the better pitchers in the league (E. Jackson), the team's closer, Heath Bell, was able to get his ninth save of the season. All of this, and Jose Reyeswas able to extend his current hitting streak to 10 games. Now, if the Nationals plan to salvage a game in the series finale, they will have to beat Josh Johnson. Who, by the way, is 7-0 lifetime against the Nats.
Sanchez Continues Hot Start
Not only was Anibal Sanchez the player of the game Tuesday night, he continued his great pitching to start the season. In seven innings he only gave up one unearned run, while only allowing three hits. His ERA lowers to 2.56. And while he threw over one hundred pitches in the seven innings, he only gave up one base on balls. So whether he is pitching to contact, or trying to over power hitters, it has worked so far. In fact, if the Marlins had not gotten off to such a rough start, he would easily have a much better record than his current 3-3 mark.
Ozzie Sticks with Bell
Sooner or later, Heath Bell will pitch a perfect ninth inning as he goes after another save. On Tuesday night it was close. He struck out two batters. But did give up a double in the process. So while the media continues to put a lot of heat on this story (whether or not Bell should still be closing games), I'm fine with him going out there and finding his way in close games. I mean, no one gives you the kind of free agent money he got in the off season without a pedigree. Bell will figure this out. And when he does, he will blow hitters a way.
Stanton = Machine
Guess who is the third in the NL in home runs and runs batted in? And guess who is sixth in slugging? It feels like for as unbelievable as this month has been for the Marlins, what Giancarlo is doing is more impressive. He is not only hitting a ton out there, his defensive game has gone up a notch as well. He may not win player of the month in May, but he will finish top three for sure. He is a young player who is looking like the savvy veteran all of a sudden.