Nothing compares with the rush of tuning in to live Marlins games. But as you are all aware, unfortunate circumstances have delayed the start of the 2020 regular season. Need help filling that void? Fish Stripes will be presenting full-length FOX Sports Florida broadcasts from the 2010-2019 Marlins seasons.
The “Games of the Decade” series is a collaborative process between the Fish Stripes staff and audience. Please continue recommending games that deserve to be rewatched!
The headliner for this matchup was the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jiménez. Already recognized as a very good right-hander, he made the leap to brilliance at age 26—he showed up at Sun Life Stadium with a 2.20 earned run average for the season and a no-hitter on his résumé, fresh off starting the MLB All-Star Game. Jiménez was durable and overpowering and adept at keeping the ball in the field of play.
So the last thing you want to do if you’re the Marlins is spot him an early lead...right?
Well, Jorge Cantú opened the door in the top of the third inning, double-clutching on a seemingly routine ground ball. The ageless Jason Giambi would cash in against Aníbal Sánchez with a two-out, two-run single.
Jonathan Herrera was the beneficiary of that Cantú mistake, but fortunately for the Marlins, he returned the favor in the bottom of the frame. The home team cashed in three runs following a Herrera fielding error to take the lead.
Back and forth they went:
- Two-out rally in the top of the sixth to put Colorado up again, 4-3, featuring a rare RBI by the light-hitting Jiménez
- The 20-year-old Mike Stanton won a dramatic eight-pitch battle against Jiménez, sending the All-Star to the showers and reclaiming a 6-4 lead for the Fish.
- The Marlins bullpen scuffled in the eighth, with Clay Hensley and Jhan Mariñez surrendering homers. The Rockies were up on the scoreboard yet again, 8-7.
So it was time for last licks against Huston Street. The veteran closer had converted all six of his save opportunities that season. Fifteen total strikeouts entering this appearance compared to zero walks.
Maybe Street was just overdue for some chaos? With the Marlins down to their final out, Dan Uggla kept hope alive with—you guessed it—a five-pitch walk.
Recently recalled from Triple-A, Donnie Murphy took Mariñez’s turn at bat, representing the potential winning run. And a cult hero was born.
TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)
- It’s jarring in hindsight to see Stanton slotted so far down in the batting order. As a rookie, he made 56(!) starts from the seventh spot or lower. He was also seventh a couple times the following season, but never again in his career beyond that.
- There is a Tom Hutton comment in here suggesting that 2010 will be remembered as “The Year of the Pitcher.” When the dust settled, MLB offense declined 0.23 runs per team per game from the previous season. There has not been such a large year-to-year drop-off in the decade since then.
- “MARLIN-MAGIC” indeed
- Where is Donnie Murphy these days? Coaching in the Blue Jays farm system. After spending the last four seasons as a hitting coach, he’s been selected to manage High-A Dunedin whenever the 2020 campaign gets underway.
The “Games of the Decade” series is also available as a YouTube playlist (games listed there in chronological order)