Thursday, August 6, 2009

Florida Marlins: The Hunt For October - Volume 2

National League East Standings
  • Philadelphia (61-45)
  • Florida (55-53) - 7.0 Games Back
  • Atlanta (55-54) - 7.5 Games Back

Wild Card Standings

  • San Francisco (60-48)
  • Colorado (59-49) - 1.0 Game Back
  • *Chicago (57-49) - 2.0 Games Back
  • St. Louis (59-51) - 2.0 Games Back
  • Florida (55-53) - 5.0 Games Back
  • Atlanta (55-54) - 5.5 Games Back
  • Milwaukee (54-54) - 6.0 Games Back

* Denotes the N.L. Central Leader

"Marlins Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine"

The Marlins made a habit of come-from-behind victories against the Nationals this year. This time around the Nationals got a taste redemption. In the series opener and closer, Florida managed to squander comfortable leads.

This series was supposed to help close the gap in the playoff race. The Marlines were 9-0 against the Nationals this year and 18-2 in the past two seasons. Washington has not won more than 9 games in a month this season. Only six days into the month of August and the Nats are 4 wins shy of tying that mark. August is looking like May for Florida, who lost 4 of 5 to start both months.

The Fish fell back 2 games in the division and wild card race after being swept for the sixth time this season.

  • Game One Recap: Florida 4, Washington 6 (L) - With a 4-0 lead, Josh Johnson entered the eighth inning poised to get his 11th win of the season and had only gave up 2 hits all game. He had even hit his second home run in as many starts in the fourth inning, going back-to-back with Cody Ross. Johnson failed to record an out in the eighth. He left with a 4-2 lead with a man on second and third, who scored before the second out of the inning was recorded. Dan Meyer gave up the game winning 2-run home run to Adam Dunn before getting Elijah Dukes to ground out to end the inning. The Marlins had a man on first and second with one out but Jeremy Hermida grounded into a double play to end the game.
  • Game Two Recap: Florida 4, Washington 6 (L) - The Marlins bullpen has found a way to wipe the outstanding pitching of Rick VandenHurk in his last two starts before this one. This time around VadenHurk did himself in by giving up 5 runs in 4 innings. Three of the runs came off 3 solo shots. VandenHurk has given up five solo shots in his 4 starts this year. The Marlins crawled back into the game behind Dan Ugglas 3 RBI but didn't have enough to stage their fifth come-from-behind victory in the season series.
  • Game Three Recap: Florida 8, Washington 12 (L) - The Marlins came out swining in the Matinee. They looked determined to end the series the right way taking a 6-0 lead by the second inning. They Tagged on 2 more in the top of the fifth to make 8-3. That's when the Fish put it on cruise control. Ryan Zimmerman (4-4, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI) and Elijah Dukes (3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI) took advantage of the Marlins lackadaisical pitchers. Florida still held an 8-7 lead going into the seventh inning but Brian Sanches gave up the game tying home run to Dukes. The Marlins had Nick Johnson on second and Bonifacio on first with one out but Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu both flied out to center field to end the threat. Washington went for the Fatality in the bottom half of the inning.They scored 4 runs off reliever Luis Ayala (8.59 ERA) and the rest is history.Note: Josh Johnson entered the game in the top of the 6th inning and drew a walk in his first career pinch-hitting at-bat.

Games to Follow

  • Florida vs. Philadelphia - The last time these two clubs met the Phillies swept the Marlins for the second time in the season series. The Marlins are 2-9 in the last 11 meetings but are 6-3 at Citizens Bank Park the last 2 seasons. If there is a series that is losing is not an option, it would be this one. The Marlins can not afford to plummet any farther down the standings if they want to stay in the hunt. The Marlins have their two best pitchers lined up for the series and also the return of Sean West who was sent down to the minors after giving up 24 runs in his last 5 starts.
  • San Francisco vs. Cincinnati - The Giants are traveling to Ohio to face the Reds who are losers of 22 out of their last 28 games. San Francisco holds a five game lead over the Marlins in the wild card race. They are going to need help from the Reds. Cinncinatti has won the last five meetings against the Giants but this is their first meeting this season. the Giants took 2 of 3 from the Astros in their last series. The Reds lost 2 of 3 to the Cubs.
  • Chicago vs. Colorado - This match-up pits two teams in the thick of things. The Cubs are tied atop the Central Division with the St. Louis Cardinals but are 2 games back of the wild card. Colorado is in the National Leagues toughest division this year. The Dodgers are the best team in Baseball and the Giants and Rockies are 1 and 2 in the wild card. The Rockies are returning home, where they are 27-21, after a 10 game east coast swing. Chicago is 1-5 on the west coast this year and are on their 7th game of a 10 game road trip. Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is questionable for his start on Friday after leaving his last start with a stiff back.

Notable Series

  • Atlanta vs. Los Angeles
  • Houston vs. Milwaukee
  • St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh

Florida Marlins: The Hunt for October will come to you at the begining of each series as long as the Marlins stay in contention. They will be in the playoffs this year, so we will be keeping you updated with the series recaps and previews until October.

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