Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Marlins Bounce Back, Win a Couple

The Florida Marlins did not let the series sweep by the Phillies mess with their psyche as they traveled to Sand Diego to face a struggling Padres team. There is no comparison between the contending World Series Champs and the 37-57 Padres, but losing can become a trend and this time around the Marlins did not let that happen.

The first two games of the Padres-Marlins series have been low scoring and hard-fought by both teams. Rick VandenHurk and Chris Volstad showed excellent poise and an ability to work out of jams.

VandenHurk has returned with a vengeance. He made two bad pitches on Monday resulting in back-to-back home runs by Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff. His fastball had tremendous movement and painted the corners of the plate - so much that home plate umpire, Dale Scott, looked puzzled on whether it was a ball or strike. As the innings progressed, VandenHurk, received the benefit of the doubt. He is replacing Andrew Miller, sent to AAA New Orleans, in the starting rotation.

Hanley Ramirez Stays Hot

Hamley Ramirez is hitting .428 since the All-Star break to raise his average to a National League high .348. He's now third-best to Minnesots's Joe Mauer (.361) and Seattle's Ichiro (.363).

Hanley's hot hitting has not been productive though. No one has been in scoring position when he has come up to bat. His only RBI came off a solo home run in the opening game of the Padres series. His one run also shows the lack of production behind him.

IF - Gaby Sanchez Called Up

This is what Marlins fans have been waiting for all year. The struggles of Emilio Bonifacio, on and off the plate, have lead to sleepless nights.

But wait...let's not get too excited Fish fans. In true Freddy Gonzalez fashion, Sanchez will probably not get a chance this time around. The Marlins will need a fifth starter come July 31 and Gaby is the odd man out. The Marlins ran out of options, and to not have to designate anyone for assignment come July 31, they called up Sanchez. It could just be more shattered dreams. It seems we may just have to wait until next year.

Phillies Running Away

Philadelphia is running away with the division lead. They have been able to tear off 10 in a row and extend their lead to seven games over the third place Marlins. If the Fish want to contend they have to start showing it. They have a series against the Dodgers over the weekend in Los Angeles before come back home to face the Braves and the Cubs. Losing a series is out of the question. It is unlikely that they will be able to overtake a healthy Philadelphia squad, but when has a wild card spot not been sufficient?

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