In three decades of baseball, the Florida/Miami Marlins have had perennial All-Stars, Rookies of the Year and World Series MVPs take the mound.
Would you believe that no one has ever won more games in a Marlins uniform than right-hander Ricky Nolasco? On this day 10 years ago, Nolasco surpassed Dontrelle Willis as the franchise’s all-time wins leader. He picked up his 69th career victory as the Miami Marlins defeated the Colorado Rockies, 7-6.
Nolasco was not his sharpest on May 22, 2012 at Marlins Park. As the game went on, Nolasco settled in and the bats came to life.
The Rockies pushed across three runs in the top of the first off Nolasco, but Miami was able to get two of them back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI triple from Bryan Petersen and an RBI single from Hanley Ramírez.
Nolasco worked 1-2-3 innings in the second and third before helping himself in the bottom of the third inning. Shortly after Giancarlo Stanton doubled home the tying run, Nolasco came through with a two-run double to give Miami its first lead, 5-3.
Nolasco worked around lead-off doubles in the fourth and sixth innings, but Colorado pushed across a run in the fifth on an RBI single from Troy Tulowitzki. Miami had scored a run the half inning prior on an RBI single from Chris Coghlan.
After six innings, Nolasco’s night was done. He allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six and was in line to be the winner.
Ramirez’s second RBI single pushed the lead to 7-4 in the sixth, but Colorado made things interesting in the late innings. The Rockies scored two runs in the eighth before Jordan Pacheco doubled off Miami closer Heath Bell to start the ninth.
As Nolasco had earlier, Bell was able to work out of the jam. After a groundout by Carlos González moved Pacheco to third, Tulowitzki popped out to short. On a lengthy seven-pitch at-bat, Bell struck out Todd Helton looking to end the contest.
Ramírez and Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer each finished with three hits. While Nolasco earned the win, it was Colorado starter Juan Nicasio who took the loss.
Over the course of his Miami career, Nolasco would win 81 games for the Marlins. That remains a club record. He surpassed Willis on the franchise’s all-time wins list on this day one decade ago.