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Fish Wrap - Marlins 5, Cardinals 4

The Marlins finally broke their losing streak and naturally, did it in a dramatic fashion.  This team does nothing easy.

Let's see how it was done.

In the first inning Josh Johnson retired the Cardinals in order, Jake Westbrook, however, wouldn't be so lucky in his half of the inning.  On the third pitch to Hanley Ramirez, Hanley hit a line drive home run to left.  1-0 Marlins.

JJ and Westbrook controlled the game until the fourth.  With one out in the top of the fourth, Jon Jay singled to left which was followed by a Albert Pujols single to center to put runners on first and second.  Matt Holliday in a defensive swing lunged at low outside pitch and weakly put it over the head of Wes Helms for a double sending Jay home and Pujols to third.  Colby Rasmus hit a sac fly to to left to plate Albert.  What follows next was a "Ripley's Believe or Not" moment.  Yadier Molina singled to center and Holliday tried to score from second only to be gunned down at the plate by Emilio Bonifacio.  Trust me on this one, it happened.  The Cardinals took the lead 2-1 after three and a half.

In the Marlins half of the fourth, Boni led off with a single and made it to second when Westbrook air mailed one to the screen.  Logan Morrison slapped a single to left center to score Boni.  Dan Uggla followed with a single to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Well, that didn't last.  Mike Stanton and Ronny Paulino promptly K'd.  Only to be followed by Helm's ground out to first.  So after four, 2-2 Marlins.

JJ and Westbrook got back to their dominating ways and nothing much happened offensively in the fifth or the sixth.

Then came the seventh.  JJ retired the Cardinals and it was Westbrook's turn to give it a try.  Jake struck out the first two batters and then the Myth, the Legend, #22 on your scorecards, but #1 in your hearts took his turn at the plate.  Yes, I am talking about Donnie Murphy.  Donnie "Bleeping" Murphy facing a 3-2 count hit the next pitch over the center field wall to give the Marlins the lead.  3-2 Marlins.

Both teams went down in order in the eighth.

At this point all Marlins fans were expecting JJ to come out and complete the game.  It didn't happen that way.  Edwin checked on JJ's status and JJ said he was gassed after only throwing 99 pitches.  JJ had to warm up twice due to the rain delay and while he was smooth in his deliveries you could tell they were all full effort on a hot and humid night.   JJ did what he felt was best for the team and that it would be better if the bullpen took over.  Gotta love the team first thinking, but JJ throwing underhanded would've been better than we saw out of the Marlins pen in the ninth.

Leo Nunez came on for the save.  And he saved nothing.  With one out Pujols singled to be followed by a Holliday single to put runners on first and second.  Rasmus hit a deep fly to center which Pujols tagged up on to move to third.  So, the tying run was 90 ft. away with two outs.  Leo kept throwing change ups and Molina hit one to center to score Pujols.  Aaron Miles then singled to center to score Holliday to give the Cardinals the lead.  After eight and a half, 4-3 Cardinals.

So to the bottom of the ninth we go.  Ryan Franklin came on for the save for the Cardinals.  Franklin threw a fast ball to Danny out over the plate.  Now, I don't know how many times Mr. Franklin has pitched to Danny but it can't be a lot, because you never throw a fast ball to him where he did.  Danny absolutely crushed the ball to left to tie the game.  The ninth ended 4-4 Marlins.

Clay Hensley pitched the tenth for the Marlins and retired the Cardinals on 6 pitches.  In the bottom of the tenth, with one out Chad Tracy pinch hit for Hensley and singled to right.  Next up was Hanley Ramirez, Hanley went shopping at the right-center gap and Tracy raced around the bases.  Now, I don't know if Tracy did a head-first slide because he thought there might be a play at the plate or whether he ran as far as he could go and plopped down face first and his momentum took him over the plate.  I'm guessing the latter.  But either way, he scored the winning run and the Marlins took the game in walk-off fashion.

It was a good game.

Finally the Marlins are back in the win column and hopefully they can build on this and win the series.