Attendance: 44,751 (per MLB.com)
Hero of the Game: H. Ramirez (.069 WPA)
Goat of the Game: G. Stanton (-.173 WPA)
Play of the Game: S. Victorino homerun in 4th inning (.144 WPA)
Thursday's match-up featured Mark Buehrle and the Marlins taking on Joe Blanton and the Phillies to decide who would win the series. Both pitchers started of well as the only hit in the first three innings would come off the bat of John Buck when he doubled to left with one out. Mark Buehrle then had an opportunity to help himself and nearly did so as he hit the ball back up the middle on a 1-0 count. Unfortunately for the Marlins, Freddy Galvis made a great play at second base, tracking down the ball and throwing Buehrle out. Buck would advance to third, but Jose Reyes would line out to a sliding Hunter Pence to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Shane Victorino led off with a solo shot to left. After a Polanco fly out, Jimmy Rollins singled to left. Hunter Pence would follow with a hard hit ball that would bounce off the left field wall near the corner. Lomo played the ball well and quickly threw to cut-off man Reyes. As the throw came in slightly off-line, it bounced off Reyes' glove and trickled into the infield. Rollins noticed the mistake and took off for home, but Omar Infante had other plans. Backing up the play, Omar made a bare-handed grab as he was running towards first base. He turned while running, and fired a strike to John Buck, who tagged Rollins out at home. It was an incredible play by Infante, only to be forgotten shorty after as John Mayberry would single to score Pence before Ty Wiggington flied out to end the inning.
The Marlins answered in the 5th when Omar Infante doubled with two out. John Buck then hit a shallow fly to right. Hunter Pence attempted a sliding catch but the ball went over his glove and Infante easily scored. The inning would end with Buehrle striking out.
The score remained the same until the bottom the seventh when Ty Wiggington led off with a no doubt home run to left. Buehrle then got an out and gave up a bunt single to Galvis before he relinquished control to Randy Choate who struck out Jim Thome. Steve Cishek then got Victorino to fly out to end the inning.
Chad Qualls came in to pitch the 8th. After two quick outs, Emilio Bonifacio got an infield single and Hanley drew a walk. With two on, Giancarlo Stanton worked the count to 3-1 before striking out looking to end the rally. Mujica worked a one, two, three to end the inning.
The top of the ninth started with a Logan Morrison single off Jonathan Papelbon. Gaby then worked the count full before popping out to the catcher on a half-swing. With one on and one out, Omar lined one up the middle for a single. John Buck came to the plate with the tying run at first. Before any dramatics could build, he swung at the first pitch and hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Aside from a Stanton dropped catch tonight, the defense looked good. Hanley made a great play on a bunt headed his way. Teams are really testing him at his position but he did well tonight. Reyes, Sanchez, and Infante continue to make great plays. The Fish now head home for a six game homestand versus the 3-3 Houston Astros and the 2-5 Chicago Cubs. Hopefully they can wake up the bats again and leave Miami with a winning record.