One of the best ways to turn your season around is to play the Phillies. The Phils have had the worst record in baseball in May, going 6-22 (.214), while also sporting the worst record in baseball. At least they are consistent.
However, as those who love baseball know, nothing is a given, and for the Marlins, one could just as easily have seen this series go horribly wrong as wonderfully right. The first two games certainly went well for Miami. Not only did the Marlins win both games, but they dominated in all aspects, giving up only three runs on seven hits, while scoring 11 runs on 17 hits.
So what would today bring? Dan Straily, the most reliable starter for the Marlins, would start against the most promising young pitcher the Phillies had coming into the season, Aaron Nola.
Any doubt over how this game would go was answered early by the Fish. In the first inning, Dee Gordon worked a walk in a terrific nine-pitch at-bat. After J.T. Riddle whiffed, Gordon got around to score on a single by Christian Yelich to give Miami a 1-0 lead.
Fans wouldn’t have to wait long to see that lead extended when five pitches later Marcel Ozuna roped an opposite field home run for his 14th big fly of the year and his third in five games. It was also his second straight home run using Ichiro’s bat, though Ozuna said after the game that he would “retire” the bat.
Ozuna struck again in the third, pulling a single to left field that would score Gordon to extend the lead to 4-0. In the fourth, Riddle added to his case to become the starting shortstop by singling off a 96 mph fastball from rookie Ricardo Pinto to help dampen Pinto’s MLB debut and score Ichiro.
Just when you thought that Ozuna would be the star of the Marlins’ offense today, Justin Bour stepped in. Bour hit a solo shot to right-center in the fifth, followed by a two-run shot to right in the sixth inning. This gave the first baseman a team-leading 15 homers for the year. He is also leading the team in slugging percentage at .582.
On the mound, Dan Straily continued his winning ways by scattering 9 hits over 6 2⁄3 innings while fanning 10 Phillies. This was the fourth time Straily fanned at least 10 batters in a game for his career, and it improved his record to 4-3. Straily now leads the starting staff in wins, ERA, FIP, innings pitched and WAR.
When the dust cleared, the Marlins won 10-2 to win their fourth straight and sweep the Phillies. The Marlins had the opportunity to beat down an inferior team, and they did just that. Now we’ll see what happens when a considerably better team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, come to town tomorrow night. At least there are good feelings going into a tough series.
King Fish: Justin Bour flexing his muscles with two homers
Flounder: The entire Phillies team who registered its worst May since 1928
Turning Point: The Ozuna homer which set the stage for the Fish