Hero of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton (+.180 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Carlos Zambrano (-.299 WPA)
Play of the Game: Travis Ishikawa singled to center field in the sixth inning. Two runners scored. (+.265 WPA)
The Marlins lost the first game of their series against the Brewers in Milwaukee, falling to eight games behind the division-leading Nationals. Carlos Zambrano had a rough start, and the Marlins made a couple of mental mistakes in the field. However, Justin Ruggiano had a monster game, and the Marlins hung close with Milwaukee throughout the game.
The first runs of the game scored when Justin Ruggiano singled in the top half of the first, scoring Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez. Now, in just fifty-eight at-bat's, Ruggiano is hitting .39 with a .471 OBP. It really is unfortunate that none of the other Marlins hitters have been matching his level of production.
After retiring the first two batters he faced, Carlos Zambrano loaded the bases, then walked a run in. Zambrano finished with five innings pitched, with five runs allowed, three of them being earned. Zambrano also walked more hitters than he struck out, and faced a total of twenty-eight batters.
Miami added three more runs in the third, when Logan Morrison doubled off a 0-1 changeup, and Ruggiano homered off a 3-2 fastball. Ruggiano's ability to work deep into the count, then hit for power, was very impressive in this instance.
Marlins catcher John Buck was thrown out of the game before the sixth after complaining about a questionable swing call to the home plate umpire Derryl Cousins. Brett Hayes came in and replaced Buck, who was visibly angry.
The Brewers game-changing play came in the bottom half of the sixth, when Travis Ishikawa singled off of Zambrano, driving in two runners.You can debate whether or not Guillen left Zambrano in the game too long, but from my impressions it seemed as if Zambrano started tiring after the fifth inning.
The Marlins take on the Brewers again tomorrow at Miller Park. at 4:10 PM ET. On the mound for Miami will be Anibal Sanchez, and he will face Marco Estrada of the Brewers. The Marlins are desperate for a win, and taking the series in Milwaukee could help this team in numerous ways.