The Miami Marlins went into tonight's contest versus the St. Louis Cardinals looking to make headway against a Wild Card leader. Early in the contest, it looked like they had done just that, as Giancarlo Stanton started out the night's festivities with a monster two-run homer in the first inning that drove in Christian Yelich and got the party started for the Fish. Miami took a 2-0 lead on Shelby Miller and the Cards, and it looked as though the night may be long for them.
It looked even more so when Stanton decided to launch a 470-foot dinger into the deepest recesses of left field at Marlins Park. In the third inning, Stanton took Miller deep again, banging a hanging curve out to the right of the Budweiser Bowtie Bar and falling just short of his longest homer of the year. It was 3-0 Marlins and the rout was on.
Except it wasn't. The Cardinals fought right back in the next frame, putting up a three-spot thanks to a few hits off of Tom Koehler. Those hits included a two-run home run by Jon Jay that tied the contest. The Marlins once again fought back in the bottom of the frame, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Yelich combined to bring home two runs and give Miami the lead again.
That lead stuck through many innings and quite a few difficult defensive plays. Marcell Ozuna showed supreme range in flagging down a long fly ball to the right field gap. Stanton and Yelich both made spectacular diving catches to rob extra-base hits. And Hechavarria made one of the best individual Marlins defensive plays of the season, as he went to his left and snagged an up-the-middle grounder and ran back to second to initiate the double play by himself. It was an impressive feat.
But all of those acrobatics almost went for naught. The Marlins held a 6-3 lead and brought in Steve Cishek for what should have been an easy save. Cishek gave up a walk to Peter Bourjos and a triple to Kolten Wong to make it 6-4. He gave up a Matt Holliday single (his fourth hit in four attempts) to make it a one-run contest. But against the lefty Matt Adams, Cishek got the slider to strike him out and end the threat for the Marlins' 58th win of the season.
Hero of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton (0.238 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Tom Koehler (-0.250 WPA)
Play of the Game: Jon Jay homered in the fourth inning. A.J. Piezynski scored. (-0.240 WPA)