MIAMI, FL - JUNE 05: We've seen this follow through many times over the years in a Marlins uniform. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Hero of the Game: John Buck (.052 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Anibal Sanchez (-.179 WPA)
Play of the Game: In the forth, Dan Uggla homers (.122 WPA)
The Marlins come back home after spending the weekend in Philly, and lose game one of this series against another division rival, the Atlanta Braves. The loss was via the shut out. And even though any game can be dissected in 100 ways, this game came down to the following three players: Uggla, Hudson, and Sanchez. Dan Uggla hit two home runs. Tim Hudson continues to be a Marlins nemesis in throwing a complete game. And Anibal Sanchez suffers through his first bad start in 2012.
Uggla must approve of the new Marlins Park. In hitting two home runs Tuesday night, he now has hit 200 in his career. And his second home run of the night in the ninth inning was a super blast (432 feet). He actually hit the home run sculpture smack dab in the middle. And really that was all of the offense the Braves needed on a night where Tim Hudson pitches lights out. His final line says it all. In nine innings he only allows five hits, collects three strikeouts, while only throwing 108 pitches. In fact, his ground ball / fly ball ratio was great (14-10). The Braves have not been playing well recently. But they will get things turned around soon when the younger players follow the older veterans after performances like these.
"A game like that, you just have to turn the page and be ready for tomorrow," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. Good to see the skipper not read too much into this one. The Marlins, after all, won a road series from the Phillies over the weekend after sweeping the Nationals at home previous to that. So the team is playing well. They just didn't show up last night. And quite frankly, with all of the injuries, I worry about this happening a few more times until players start coming back. Remember the Marlins are without Bonifacio's speed, Kearns and his clutch hitting, and Gaby Sanchez and the stabilizing effect he brings to first base.
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a bunt single in the third. And Dan Jennings got four outs on 24 pitches in relief. Plus, remember that the Marlins have been shut out before (this is their sixth of 2012). And while that is not so good, they have come back from this type of game in the past. So Tuesday night is done with, and now JJ pitches on Wednesday as he looks to even this series at a game apiece.