The Marlins won the game in the 12th inning, but it was a very weird game and it had three distinct parts. The first part was the first 8 innings: we will call that the Volstad Saga. Now Chris, didn't go 8 but he did set it up. The second part is the ninth inning, which we will call the Meltdown. And the final part: we will call the Collision.
So let's get started.
Part One: The Volstad Saga.
The Marlins got on the board in the first when Chris Coghlan led off with single and with one out Logan Morrison put runners at first and second with a single of his own. Gaby Sanchez followed with another single to score Cogz and the Fish were on the board. But it didn't stop there, Mike Stanton doubled to left to plate LoMo and moving Gaby to third. That would end the scoring in the first with the Marlins up 2-0.
And it would stay at 2-0 until the third, when the Giants got creative. Miguel Tejada opened the inning with a ground ball to left. Madison Bumgarner put down a decent sac bunt towards first to move Tejada second. Andres Torres followed with a double to right which scored Tejada. Freddy Sanchez then hit a very soft single to right to move Torres to third. And while Aubrey Huff was busy striking out, Torres stole home to tie the game at 2-2.
That would be all of the runs Volstad would allow.
The Marlins would regain the lead again in the fifth. With one out, Cogz doubled to center and later stole third. Hanley Ramirez grounded out to short stop Emmanuel Burriss which Cogz was able to score on to make the score 3-2 Marlins.
The score would hold at 3-2 until the ninth. Now, lots of interesting things happened in the interim like the Marlins had chances to add on but didn't. Also someone thought that running on Cody Ross was a good idea, it wasn't. I mean really, were they not paying attention for all those years he was a Marlin?
But we don't have time to go into all of that, so let's get to Part Two.
Part Two: The Meltdown
The inning started out ok. Emilio Bonifacio pinched hit for Clay Hensley and drew a walk to lead things off. Cogz then did the sac bunt thing to move him to second. After which Hanley was hit by a breaking ball on the right foot to put him at first. LoMo worked a walk to load the bases with one out. Gaby uncharacteristically struck out for the second out of the inning, but it was no big deal. Stanton followed with a gapper to left center to clear the bases and give the Marlins a 6-2 lead.
Now, here comes the meltdown. Leo Nunez had been warming up with the thinking it was going to be a save opportunity and when it turns out it wasn't they sat Leo down and started getting Edward Mujica ready. This would prove to be a bad idea. Mujica entered the game and was placed in the second spot in the order replacing Hanley whose bruised foot must have been bothering him. Anyways, Nate Schierholtz was first up and lined a single to right. At this point, Leo started warming up again. And after one out Tejada doubled to place runners on second and third. Which brought Leo into the game. I want to say a few things about this. Closers are used to starting an inning with no one on base. They don't like having to clean up someone else's mess. They don't mind cleaning up their own, but they want it on their normal terms. While we tend to think these guys are machines that you can turn them on and off with a flip of a switch, that ain't the case.
Anyways, it didn't go well for Leo. With Pat Burrell at the plate, on the first pitch, a slider, John Buck, who needs a day off, completely missed it to score Schierholtz and move Tejada to third. Burrell then hit a blooper towards to center that fell in to score Tejada. Freddy Sanchez followed with an off the end of the bat hit that kicked up chalk between the infielders and Stanton that sent Burrell to third. Burrell isn't all that fast. And oh, we are not done. Aubrey Huff hit a blooper to left which scores Burrell and Sanchez to tie the game. Besides the game being tied, it ended Leo's save streak at 18 thus making it his first blown save of the season. Buster Posey followed next and hit another blooper to left to move Huff to second and placing him on the first. Volstad's win was gone and the game was tied, now the question was could the Marlins get to extra innings? With the winning run in scoring position Cody Ross came to the plate, oh, boy. Like Cody has never had a game winning hit in his life. Fortunately Cody swung under the ball and flied out to left to leave the game tied at 6-6.
Part Three: The Collision.
The Giants brought in Brian Wilson to pitch the 10th and 11th and the bearded one shutdown the Marlins through those frames. The Marlins countered with Ryan Webb and he did the same.
So this brings up the 12th. The Giants replaced Wilson with former failed Marlins closer, Guillermo Mota. Buck led off the inning with a single to left. Scott Cousins followed, pinch hitting for Webb, and tried to bunt Buck to second. Cousins made a good bunt but Buck, who really needs a day off, stood frozen like a deer in the headlights for awhile and then decided to run. But it was too late. Mota fielded the bunt and threw Buck out at second. But the good news was the Marlins now had speed on the bases. With Omar Infante at the plate, Edwin put on the hit and run and Infante did not disappoint. He slapped a single past the second baseman moving Cousins to third. Emilio Bonifacio was next and hit a shallow pop fly to right that Schierholtz caught. Rich and Tommy said it was no way deep enough to score a runner from third, but that didn't stop the Marlins from trying. Most everyone was surprised when Cousins broke for the plate. Schierholtz has a cannon, but Cousins is really fast. What happens next will be debated depending on points of view. Posey was doing what a good catcher does, blocking the plate. The throw short hop him about the time Cousins arrived at the plate and put a clean hit on Posey. It appeared to me that in the collision Posey's left spikes were caught in the ground and when Scott hit him his ankle bent back and his knee twisted. When everything cleared, Cousins scored and Posey was helped from the field. Naturally, we all wish Posey the best.
With the Marlins in the lead, there was only one thing to do: Bring on Burke Badenhop to secure the win.
It took the Hopper all of seven pitches to retire the Giants in order in the bottom of the 12th. He abandoned his normal strategy of making batters hit ground balls and instead went with the plan of making them hit it to Cousins in center. It worked like a charm.