"It is not how you start, it is how you finish." I am sure many of you have heard this quote before. I would even guess the majority of the United States population has heard this quote. It is often repeated because it is uplifting; no matter how bad things get, you can always turn it around. In fact, how about we have a show of hands from people who have not heard this quote. Who are the 25 men raising their hands in the back? Oh, the entire Miami Marlins' active roster? Good to know.
Tonight the Marlins started off hot, and I mean red hot. After a two run home run by Giancarlo Stanton in the second inning, the Marlins immediately loaded the bases with no outs. Marlins' fans were high fiving, Michael Jong and Fishstripers were #MJIJ’ing all over the game thread, Thomas Bennett was in absentia but quietly crying into a blanket at home out of joy. The game was over, the rout was on. I shamelessly mocked Mike Pelfry because why not? He was an easy target.
Yet, after loading the bases, the Marlins scored zero runs. Adeiny Hechavarria hit into a double play and Ichiro Suzuki grounded out to end the inning. That was fine, though, because Adam Conley was throwing bullets. Like, literally. Take a look:
Bullets are just unhittable. Conley had struck out nine through four innings and looked unstoppable. Stanton plated another run in the fifth with an RBI single and the Marlins were up 3-0. The lead looked insurmountable.
Then came the bottom of the fifth , and Conley ran out of bullets. So, quite naturally, he grabbed the roundest object he could find from the dugout as he took the field for the inning. Unfortunately, Don Mattingly had just grabbed Italian food from Ottava Viva on Michigan avenue, so Conley ended up serving some fat juicy meatballs to Tigers’ hitters.
Meatballs are notoriously easy to hit. Just take a look at this still frame from the game:
I could get a bat on that! What was Conley thinking? Jose Iglesias was the first to take advantage of Conley, smashing a two run home run to left center field.
Then, after Ian Kinsler reached base on a double and Cameron Maybin walked, Miguel Cabrera launched a home run into left center field. The Tigers took the lead 5-3 and you had to think that this couldn’t get any worse. Well, you were wrong.
After Cabrera’s home run, Conley was pulled in favor of Nick Wittgren, who promptly gave up a two run home run to Nick Castellanos. The Tigers extended their lead to 7-3.
The fifth inning was absolutely shocking and the Marlins could not find their way back into the game, eventually losing 5-7. It was brutal.
Yet, the season rolls on. The Marlins will look for revenge tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 ET as Tom Koehler toes the rubber against Daniel Norris.
Hero of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton (+.187)
Goat of the Game: Adam Conley (-.403)
Play of the Game: Miguel Cabrera homered to left center field. Ian Kinsler scored. Cameron Maybin scored. (-.334)
Ichiro Hit Count: 2,986, 14 from 3,000