Marlins Today

July 29, 2009 12:27 AM

Game #99: Marlins @ Dodgers

Dodger Stadium - 4:30 PM - Chris Volstad vs Jason Schmidt


First, the Marlins jumped on Jason Schmidt then the Dodgers jumped on Chris Volstad and the Florida bullpen but the Marlins' jump was just a bit higher and better than Los Angeles' as they went on to win, 8-6, taking two out of three games from the best team in baseball and ending a 5-1 roadtrip.

Chris Volstad: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K - Gave up a walk and a 420 foot out to begin the 1st but got helped out by a boneheaded baserunning mistake by Orlando Hudson to end the inning. He allowed another runner to get into scoring position in the 2nd but got bailed out by torre batting the pitcher eighth. He allowed the leadoff man to get on base in the 4th only to be the beneficiary of a great throw by baker to nail him trying to steal. Then he was the beneficiary of a four run Marlin 4th that gave him an eight run cushion to work with. even before the game started he was getting helped as neither Manny Ramirez who is hitting .316/.409/.667/1.076 since his return was out of the lineup for Juan Pierre who has hit just .242/.265/.303/.568 this month was in the lineup and Casey Blake, a .285 bat, was sitting for Mark Loretta, a .235 bat. Still, even with all of that, he couldn't settle all the way in. He walked leadoff men in the 4th and 5th and gave up a double to one in the 6th which lead to four runs. Before today, the first batter in an inning was only hitting .105/.150/.105/.255 vs him so it was very uncharacteristic. Volstad  got behind against seven of his last 12, and didn't have any 1-2-3 innings. The 6th inning homer he gave up that lead to his removal was hit by a guy that had just one XBH since May 30. I would give the best team in baseball excuse but he only faced 2/3 of that team. Largely because of the backing he received from his defense and the run support he received from his offense, Volstad won three games in July and had a 3.86 ERA, both yearly bests but in terms of control, he had his worst month of the season, walking ten and striking out 16. He also gave up six homers which is tied with may as his highest monthly total. not to sell volstad short, July also included his best start of the year, a complete game shutout against the Giants but considering he gave up 9 runs in his next three starts, that can probably be attributed to san fransisco hitting a below league average .258 so don't let that fool you. Right now, Volstad is struggling nearly as much as Sean West was when he was sent down.

Dan Uggla: 2-5, R, RBI - Coming in, he had only knocked in one run in his last eleven games. he ended that streak in the 2nd, knocking in a run on a DP ball then doubled it up in the 4th with homer #17, his first since July 8. It upped his OPS to .764, the highest it's been in two weeks. Uggla's struggles may be beginning to subside. He has seven hits in his last six games.

John Baker: 1-1, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB - Has had no such trouble this month. In the 4th, he knocked in his ninth July run with a double down the right field line. It was his seventh hit on this road trip. He's also been playing great defense, perhaps the best we've seen him play in his Marlins career, throwing out three runners (two officially). Before that, he was 0 for his last 6 against base stealers.

Emilio Bonifacio: 0-4, R, 2 K - Made the best case scenario a reality in the 3rd: kept the bat on his shoulder and took a pitch off his elbow. However, he returned to form in the 4th, being the only player to record an unproductive out. He was the only Marlin positional player not to record a hit. None of the ABs he had today lasted longer than four pitches. This month, he's seeing an average of just three pitches per AB. He never hits lower than second in the lineup.

Hanley Ramirez: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, K - Bonifacio's HBP paved the way for this guy's two RBI double. After it looked like Bonifacio had killed the 4th inning rally, this guy shouted a huge "or not" by driving a single back up the middle for his third RBI of the game. He's hit in eight straight with multiple hits in three of those games.

Jorge Cantu: 2-5, R, RBI - This guy then added an RBI double, his second two bagger of the game. He also scored the Marlins' first run after a double in the 1st, marking his fourth straight game with an RBI. Cantu also hasn't struck out at all over that 6-15 span and has walked four times. 

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