What a crazy night at Sun Life Stadium.
It was the first Super Saturday of the season, and the Marlins sent their ace Josh Johnson to the mound to make quick work of that annoying 9-inning thingy that fans are forced to sit through before they can enjoy the true meaning of baseball, which—as all purists know—is fireworks and a Nelly concert.
JJ was on the mound vs. Vicente Padilla, and Josh didn’t look particularly ace-like in his second start of the season. He tossed 93 pitches through five innings, and gave up three runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out seven. Josh seemed to run into trouble repeatedly, and it finally caught up with him in the fourth when the Dodgers put up three runs on an RBI single from Matt Kemp, a sacrifice from Manny Ramirez and an RBI double from Casey Blake.
The Fish got on the board in the first when Hanley doubled down the left field line to score Maybin, who had singled in his first at-bat. They didn’t accomplish much more against Padilla until the fourth inning, when Gaby Sanchez put the Marlins back in business with his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to give the Fish a 4-3 lead.
LA’s bullpen took over for Padilla with one out in the fifth, and for a while made Fish fans just a little jealous of the fans wearing Dodger blue. Jeff Weaver, Ramon Ortiz and Ramon Troncoso held the Fish scoreless through the eighth. Outs? Holds? Scoreless innings? We didn't think anyone but the Hopper could make those happen.
JJ left the game after the fifth with a one-run lead and in line for the win, though nobody sane expected him to actually end up with it, considering our bullpen so far this season. If anybody could make it happen, though, it was Burke Badenhop, and the Marlins held onto their lead as Burke tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
Unfortunately, there is only one Hopper, and he can’t pitch every inning (though I have written several strongly-worded letters to Fredi this week, suggesting that very thing), so it was time for the obligatory bullpen melt-down.
Tim Wood gave up a hit and a walk to open the eighth inning. Dan Meyer replaced him and gave up a two-run single to Andre Ethier that gave the Dodgers the lead, and Veras rounded out the sucktitude when he gave up a long home run to Kemp in the top of the ninth to put the Dodgers up 6-4.
But the Marlins weren't quite ready to admit defeat. I mean, it was Super Saturday after all.
The Fish staged a comeback in the bottom of the ninth when Gaby Sanchez singled off of Troncoso to open the inning. Then Sherrill came into the game for LA and hit Wes Helms with a pitch and walked Chris Coghlan to load the bases. Ronny Paulino pinch hit for Cameron Maybin and hit a 2-run double to tie up the game.
In a move he may now regret, Sherrill walked Hanley intentionally to pitch to Jorge Cantu. The Dodgers clearly hadn't heard about that whole get-an-rbi-in-every-game-of-the-season thing that Jorge's got going right now, but he happily let them in on it. With a sac fly to center that scored Coghlan, Cantu made it five straight games with an RBI, and the Marlins won their very first Super Saturday game in walk-off fashion.
I think Jorge summed it up best in a post-game interview when he said "we like a little drama."
So it would seem.