For the average Marlins fan (meaning me) this was a game where there was a lot optimism before it started. Josh Johnson was going to be on the mound and the thinking was this gave the Fish an excellent chance of winning two in a row. Not to mention he would keep the bullpen at bay. Now, everyone knew it wouldn't be easy since the Giants had Matt Cain going. Sure he is good, but if he leaves the ball out over the plate to the right Marlins hitter, it will end up in the stands. And possibly that would be enough.
The optimism soon faded in the early innings.
Let's see what happened.
The first inning didn't bode well for the Marlins. Cain retired the Fish in order on just 8 pitches. No biggie. In the bottom half of the inning JJ could never get comfortable on the mound. He used 20 pitches to finally get the Giants out. Oh, boy.
Both pitchers retired their respective sides in order in the second. Then came the third. Cain set the Marlins down 1-2-3. JJ, however, did not. With one out Andres Torres doubled to left, Freddy Sanchez moved him to third with a fly ball out to right. Aubrey Huff then doubled to left to plate Torres. Buster Posey followed with a single to right, that just fell in front of a diving Mike Stanton. Stanton, sans glove, recovered quickly to throw out Posey trying to stretch the single into a double. But not before Huff scored. After three, 2-0 Giants.
In the top half of the fifth, Wes Helms led off with a single to center. The very next batter, Cody Ross, took Cain downtown to left to tie the score. Stanton then walked and Ronny Paulino followed with the obligatory double play ground ball. JJ struck out to end the Marlins half of the inning. But everything was looking good. The offense had made up the two run deficit and the Marlins were ready to roll. Or so we thought. In the bottom half of the fifth, with two outs, Torres doubled to right. Sanchez followed with a single to left to score Torres. After five, 3-2 Giants.
Nothing much happened until the seventh when Dan Uggla hit a laser shot to the left field bleachers to tie the score. JJ suffered through the bottom of the seventh, but didn't allow the Giants to score. After seven, 3-3 Marlins.
Both starters were removed after seven innings setting up a battle of the bullpens. Talk about the Marlins sending in some guys with a toothpick to a gun fight. This went exactly as you would expect. The Giants sent in Sergio Romo who retired the Marlins in order in the eighth. The Marlins representative was Brian Sanches. On the fourth pitch of the inning from Sanches, Juan Uribe crushed a ball to center for a four bagger to give the Giants the lead. But Sanches wasn't through yet, with one out Aaron Rowand singled. The very next hitter, Edgar Renteria, took a Sanches pitch deep to left for the Giants second home run of the inning. Burke Badenhop came on and got us out of the inning. After eight, 6-3 Giants.
The Marlins offense couldn't rally for a third time. However, Danny did hit a Brian, Beach Boy, Wilson's pitch into the left field bleachers for his second home run of the night. Ending the scoring at 6-4 Giants.
Nothing about this game was going right from the beginning. I mean, when the offense keeps having to bail JJ out, that is not normal. I will say this, the bullpen didn't disappoint, they gave up the winning runs in no time at all. But they are getting better. Taylor Tankersley used two pitches Monday to give up a home run. Brian Sanches doubled that number before he gave up his. Yep, going in the right direction. At this rate they should be a solid pen by the year, oh, 2525.
We will try it again on Wednesday.