This was the tale of two games: Through six innings, the story was Justin Nicolino's ineffectiveness and Patrick Corbin's quality start, but a second story emerged seemingly out of nowhere, as the Marlins offense exploded into action in the seventh inning for the second straight night and ended up taking the first game of the three game set, 8-6.
In the first, Patrick Corbin secured two quick fly outs but ran into trouble with two of the National League's best hitters right now in Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. First, Yelich lined what looked to be a double into right field. Tomas couldn't get a glove on it and the double became a triple. Then, Ozuna made it look as easy as he's done all season long, hitting an easy liner between the left and centerfielder, making it 1-0 Fish in the early going.
The Fish threatened again in the second when Adeiny Hechavarria and Martin Prado hit back to back clean singles, but with one out already logged, Corbin caught Yelich looking with a nasty cutter inside and got Ozuna swinging to end the inning.
Nicolino, for his part struck out the first batter of the game for the first time in his life (probably not), but the start would go quickly south from there.
The Sand Snakes would end up striking back in the third inning. Nick Ahmed led off by smoking the first pitch he saw, which resulted in a booming double off the wall in dead center field. The D-Backs pitcher Corbin is one of the better hitting pitchers in the league, and you couple that with the Marlins propensity to let the pitcher hurt them up at the dish and Corbin predictably roped a double down the left field line, scoring Ahmed and tying the game. Jean Segura sacrificed Corbin to third and then Michael Bourn lifted a deep fly to center that easily scored Corbin and put the Snakes on top 2-1.
By the end of the fifth, they'd scored three more to make it 5-1 D-Backs, and in the sixth, Nicolino was lifted, having been pounded for five runs on twelve hits. On the bright side, he did end up striking out six and only walking a single batter, but he wasn't fooling anyone out there tonight.
Corbin, in the meanwhile, to quote Rich Waltz, had the game on autopilot, and it really did feel like that, probably for the players and definitely for the spectators. I found myself wandering on twitter, chatting with my wife, making dinner, barely taking note of Marlins hitters coming up to the plate and getting set down just as quickly.
That is, until the seventh. An inning quickly becoming synonymous with success for the Fish.
Giancarlo Stanton led off with a solid double. Chris Johnson would strike out, but then Miguel Rojas walked, and Jeff Mathis walked. When you walk Jeff Mathis, that is typically your death knell as a pitcher, so Chip Hale obliged and called upon noted Marlins killer Tyler Clippard. Waltz in the booth was like the prophet of doom, letting us all know how Clippard had laid waste to the Marlins in the past, how his entry in the game was certain to "send chills down the spines of Marlins fans."
Justin Bour pinch hit for Brian Ellington.
Let me tell you something about Justin Bour.
Justin Bour doesn't care for fancy narratives.
Mighty Bour had tied the game up with one swing of the bat, 5-5. It was, amazingly, Bour's first career Grand Salami.
The Marlins weren't done there, either. A couple of walks later, Yelich doubled in Hech and Prado. Ozuna followed with a single to score Yelich, and the Marlins would leave the seventh with an 8-5 lead. They had scored seven runs, all told, and completely
changed my recap altered the narrative of the game.
The Diamondbacks would get one back off of Kyle Barraclough the following inning, but the late inning contingent of the bullpen otherwise did it's job, as David Phelps and A.J. Ramos closed out the eighth and ninth, respectively.
José Day tomorrow, 10:10 ET.
This is the kind of victory streaks are built upon. Let's go streaking, Marlins.
Hero of the game: Justin Bour (.316)
Flounder of the game: Tyler Clippard (-.416)
Play of the game: Justin Bour hits a grown man's grand slam in the seventh (.316)