Marlins Today

July 26, 2009 8:56 PM

Game #98: Marlins @ Dodgers

Dodger Stadium - Rick VandenHurk vs Hiroki Kuroda


The Marlins held the lead for much of the night on Saturday in Los Angeles but a bad decision by Fredi Gonzalez and a 9th inning rally allowed the Dodgers to come from behind and beat the Fish, 4-3 evening this three game series at a game a piece.

Emilio Bonifacio: 1-4, R - Singled in the 1st and came around to score on Jorge Cantu's RBI double. After a four game run-less streak, Bonifacio has scored runs in three of his last four. With the hit, he upped his July ops to .657. That's on pace to be his best monthly ops this year. However, he's on pace to post seasonal lows in many other stat categories, including steals. Gotta keep that speed up there.

Rick VandenHurk: 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K - Gave Bonifacio's run right back in the bottom of the inning by giving up a lead-off triple, a single, and a walk which wasted a strong throw that would have gotten a stealing Orlando Hudson by John Baker but was able to wiggle out of trouble by getting Casey Blake to strike out and James Loney to fly out. Considering the 1st is one of his best career innings, you could tell he wasn't going to dominate from the start. Missing up a lot, he walked the pitcher on five pitches in his best career inning, the 2nd, and allowed him to get to second on a wild pitch, gave up an Andre Ethier double in the 3rd, a leadoff walk in the 4th, and a leadoff single to the opposing pitcher Kuroda in the 5th. In each one of those innings, he gave up at least one very hard hit ball including one that sent Cody Ross to the dead center field wall. However he was the beneficiary of some very good defense which allowed him to get through five one run innings. VandenHurk's stuff bordered on fair as he wasn't fooling the Dodgers one bit. However, if we're going to shrug off his last outing against the worst team in baseball, it's only fair to do so in an outing against the best team in baseball. His next start against a middle-of-the-road Cubs team should be a good measuring stick of exactly where he's at.

Jorge Cantu: 1-2, R, RBI, 2 BB - Got on base in all of his first three plate appearances and created runs in two of them, driving in Bonifacio in his first and scoring in his second after singling and advancing to third on a throwing error by martin who was attempting to catch him stealing. Cantu's 1.76 WPA is on pace for a career best and is second on the team to only one guy: Hanley Ramirez.

Jeremy Hermida: 1-4, RBI, K - Knocked in a run for a fourth straight game. Unfortunately, that's about all he's done since the break. A perennial better second half player, Hermida is hitting just .185 in his last eight games.

Renyel Pinto: 0.1 IP, 2 H, ER - Coming into tonight, the last five times Dan Meyer had been used, he had faced eight lefties, two switch hitters, and zero righties despite being at his best against RHBs. Fredi decided to stop using Meyer in that right tonight in a high leverage situation and instead go to this guy. Meyer in high leverage situations? A team best 14 tOPS+. Pinto in high leverage situations? A team worst 122 tOPS+. Pinto threw to four hitters, gave up two runs, and took the win away from VandenHurk the defense that played behind VandenHurk. I just got that Jeff Conine thought again.

Luis Ayala: 0.1 IP, H, BB, K - After Meyer put the first two men in the inning on, he came in, struck out Manny, got Ethier to swing at two pitches out of the zone even though he was being intentionally walked, and made some great pitches to Casey Blake, a .308/.471/.538/1.009 hitter with RISP and two outs. However, Blake lucked out, blooping a single off the end of the bat to win it. With a roster spot needing to be opened for Matt Lindstrom who will be returning from the DL soon, after blowing this game, Ayala could be the odd man out. However, that would go hand-in-hand with the kind of luck he had tonight. He couldn't have pitched much better. 

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