"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." - Dori
Rich and Eduardo kept bandying about this stat early in the game that Vince Velasquez had faced 110 batters coming in and had only given up five "hard hit" balls (measured by exit speed off the bat). The Marlins easily doubled that total this evening, highlighted by yet another Christian Yelich homerun. Though the Phillies would mount a comeback, Stanton's mammoth two run shot in the eighth would ultimately seal the deal and the Marlins come away with yet another win with the final score of 6-4.
Miami was doing all the damage early. With Martin Prado aboard after a ringing double to center in the Marlins half of the first inning, Christian Yelich blasted one out to right center, his third homerun in as many days. Coming into this homestand, Yelich had hit only three homeruns ever at Marlins Park. You might be thinking the new dimensions are coming into play here, but none of these have been cheap. Tonight's homerun was 468 feet, upper tank as Rich Waltz likes to say. 2-0 Fish.
The Marlins would tack on two more against Velasquez in the second, with Marcell Ozuna, Chris Johnson, J.T. Realmuto and Martin Prado all singling, the latter pair driving in the former, respectively, making it 4-0 Fish. Velasquez, to his credit, calmed down after this and was able to make it through six, ultimately giving up the four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out five. The Marlins did a great job of squaring him up and sitting on the heater.
Wei-Yin Chen did not have the best game, to put it mildly, but some of the Phillies damage came as a result of poor BABIP luck. He would exit after five, giving up four runs on eleven hits, with one walk and no strikeouts to his name.
The game would remain tied until the eighth inning, when Giancarlo Stanton stepped up to the plate against Hector Neris. You will never guess what happened next:
Oh, you said mammoth monster dong, didn't you? Well, uh, good job. This ball was crushed even by Stanton standards, 475 feet, sailing past the homerun structure and almost annihilating a fan's hands in the process. It came very near to leaving the park entirely. 8-6 Marlins.
Craig Breslow, Nefi Ogando, Kyle Barraclough, and David Phelps (with the save), nailed things down in the latter innings as we've grown accustomed to them doing in this fabulous stretch of baseball. I leave you with the following, now:
- Four games over .500 for the first time since June 10th, 2014.
- The Marlins have won 11 of their last 12 and now sit at 16-12 (after starting the season 5-11).
- They are 6-7 at home now after starting the season 2-7.
- 2.5 out in the division. Leading with the second NL wild card.