15 April 2012
Despite the Marlins best efforts they were still able to win their first series of the season taking two of three from the Houston Astros. Oddly enough all three of the games ended with the same 5-4 score. The first two games of the series both saw the Marlins take 4-1 leads going late into the games before giving up the lead in the 9th inning. Luckily on Friday night the Marlins only gave up the tying run and the Marlins were able to win the game later thanks to Gaby Sanchez's first walk off hit of this career. Saturday the fish were not as lucky on Saturday night as Heath Bell in his second save attempt as a Marlins let up four runs and got the loss. Sunday was different as the Astros took a 3-1 and 4-2 lead before Hanley Ramirez hit a 2-run home run to tie the game in the 8th. Luckily Chad Gaudin was able to pitch three scoreless innings in relief and in the 11th inning Hanley Ramirez again came to the rescue hitting a walk off hit with the bases loaded and one out.
All and all it was just a series of miss ques and errors for the Marlins, from Logan Morrison dropping a fly ball, balls getting past Omar Infante and Jose Reyes, Reyes and Infante colliding together on an infield fly, Emilio Bonifacio unable to pick the ball up cleanly on the warning track, ext. In the three games the Marlins had a total of seven errors. The bullpen gave up seven runs and had two blown save. Even the television broadcast had technical difficulties in the 11th inning. So all and all it was just a calamity of errors for the Marlins this series and they were lucky to get away from it with two wins.
Even with all of that the only real question the Marlins fans and team has to wonder is what is wrong with Heath Bell. Bell was one of the Marlins major additions this off season and had a good spring training so no one was anticipating what has happened in his two save opportunities this year. The two times Bell has come in for a chance to get a save he has given up six runs (four earned) on eight hits. In his other two appearances Bell has two innings pitched and has given up no runs, no hits, three walks (all in one game), and two strikeouts. For now the Marlins have no choice but to continue to send him to the mound and hope that this is just some weird aberration, considering his numbers and efficiency the past few year it should be, but out side of Mariano Rivera it is not uncommon for a closer to go from best in the game to just an average guy in a matter of a season.
All that being said the Marlins did have some good individual performances in the series. Omar Infante hit the first Marlin to hit a home run at Marlins Park. All three starting pitchers in this series, Nolasco, Zambrano, and Sanchez, gave up less than two earned runs, although none of them made it past the sixth inning. Although it ended on Sunday Emilio Bonifacio did have a eight game hit streak. Also Gaby Sanchez got his first career. Finally Hanley Ramirez seemed to have come alive in the final two games of the series as he went 7 for 9 with four RBI, two runs, a home run, and had his second career walk off hit on Sunday.
The Marlins have a day off on Monday to help rest a rather tired bullpen, and will have a three game series against the Chicago Cubs starting on Tuesday. They will also have Ozzie Guillen back on the bench managing on Thursday.
- Tuesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Josh Johnson (0-2) vs Ryan Dempster (0-1)
- Wednesday 7:10 at Marlins Park: Mark Buehrle (0-2) vs Matt Garza (1-0)
- Thursday 12:40 at Marlins Park: Ricky Nolasco (1-0) vs Jeff Samardzija (2-0)
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