The Miami Marlins found a way to get it done. With Stanton standing on second base and two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of a 2-2 game, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to intentionally walk Jose Reyes to pitch to Hanley Ramirez who was in the middle of an 0 for 26 slump. Then with one swing of the bat Hanley’s hitless streak and the Marlins six game losing streak both came to an end. In what can only be described as a hell of a win for the Fish, the Marlins fought back from an 0-2 whole to win 3-2 tonight.
To say this game did not start out well would also be an understatement. In the first two inning, starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez gave up four walks, three hits, and two runs on 56 pitches. He looked as though he was on his way to being pulled very early in this game, but he was able to get the final two outs before giving up a run and then retired the next 15 consecutive batters on his way to a career high 14 strikeout night. However, despite as good as Sanchez played it looked as though the Marlins were still on the verge of their seventh loss in a row.
In the previous six games the Marlins had all six starting pitchers pitch a minimum of six inning and not let up more than two runs, but do to a hitting slump by seemingly the entire team they lost all of those games, scoring just six runs in six games. And threw six innings today the Marlins continues to strand runners in scoring position, the worst of it being when after a Greg Dobbs lead off triple Brett Hayes and Chris Coghlan both struck out before Anibal Sanchez lined out. This was just after an inning where the Marlins had runners on second and third with one out and failed to score. Then in the seventh inning Omar Infante, who did not start today due to his sore groin, pitched hit for Anibal and was able to leg out a triple he hit over the head of Geraldo Para. Two batters later, Jose Reyes, who blamed himself for the teams struggle to hit and was moved down to second in the batting order today, was able to single to right and score Infante. It was the Marlins first run scored in 19 innings. Then in the bottom of the 8th Logan Morrison hit a solo home run, the first home run to right field in Marlins Park history, to tie the game at two. Hanley then went on to win it in the 9th, and when all was said and done the Marlins finished the game today with 10 hits and only allowed one Diamondback player to reach base after the second.
So now that they were able to not only win a game, but to do so in such dramatic fashion and to have both Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez get such huge RBI singles today, the question that people want to know is can this win spark the offense for the Marlins? In truth only time will tell, but you would like to think so, especially with the way it ended you would think that it would just be a huge confidence boost to both Hanley and Reyes. However it does need to be pointed out that this was also not the typical Marlins line up. Both Stanton and Infante did get in the game and both got a hit and scored a run, but they both did so as a pitch hitter. The Marlins actually started Dobbs in right field, Chris Coghlan in center, Brett Hayes (who hit two doubles today) at catcher, and Emilio Bonifacio was moved up to the leadoff position and played second base.
So will the Marlins just fall back to their slump when they go back to a normal line up? Will this win spark a hot streak for the Marlins? Was today just an aberration? Only time will tell, and for now it the 32,000 people at Marlins Park and the other thousands who watched on TV should just bask in the good feeling that comes from such a great win.