Marlins Today

August 9, 2009 6:04 PM

Game #110: Marlins @ Phillies

Citizens Bank Park - 7:30 PM - Sean West vs Cole Hamels


After the bullpen kept the Phillies in check for three innings, (who else but) Cody Ross jacked a two run homer to put the marlins ahead by one. The Marlins gave Matt Lindstrom and Leo Nunez a little more leeway with a two run eighth, allowing them to comfortably finish the job to take the first two of a three game series against Philadelphia and get back to within five games of the division lead.

Sean West: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K - Got into a bit of trouble with the aid of a terrible no strike call in the 1st, setting the Phillies up with runners at the corners but came back to strike out the their best LHP hitter, Jayson Werth to end the threat. In the 2nd, there was no bad call. He just flat got into trouble, putting runners at first and second with only one out, which was a fantastic leaping catch in left by Chris Coghlan. He then allowed Cole Hamels to reach on an attempted sacrifice by nearly throwing the ball over Nick Johnson's head. He gave up the tying run on a fielder's choice and the lead on a hard hit Shane Vctorino single before finally ending a 27 pitch inning. Up until this point, control wasn't a problem as he had thrown 30 of his 45 pitches for strikes. Perhaps driven by some very understandable frustration, that came in the 3rd when he only threw 13 of his 27 pitches for strikes. He had bad control over his glove in the inning as well as he allowed Raul Ibanez to reach on an error. Despite those issues, West induced what should have been an inning ending pop up but a Johnson error put an unearned run on his line and forced him to throw seven more pitches, running his count to 76. It was a long and terribly frustrating outing for west until this point. It should have ended on a good note as he tossed a 1-2-3 4th but i guess that seemed too unrealistic for Fredi Gonzalez. At 92 pitches, he tossed him back out to start the 5th and give up a leadoff double to Ryan Howard, who had already walked and singled against him. Overall though, West wasn't bad. He flashed improved offspeed stuff and still had the good velocity on his fastball. It only looked bad on his line because he was victimized by bad defense and horrible luck. More than half of the offense he gave up was of the squibbler and dribbler variety. West wasn't posting out of this world numbers in the minors so a start like this in a park like Citizens Bank against a divisional leading team wasn't too far fetched but he pitched better than his line suggested. His next start will come against the Astros at home so we should be able to get a much better read on how he's progressing and if he's worthy of sticking around for the rest of the year then.

Chris Coghlan: 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB - Led off the game with a solo homer and walked twice before tying the Marlin record for most consecutive multi-hit games in the 8th with an RBI single. Coghlan couldn't be anymore on fire than he is right now. His august is off to a major league leading .469/.514/.688/1.202 start, amongst qualified hitters.

Nick Johnson: 0-2, 2 BB, K - Walked to load the bases in the 3rd and took first again in the 9th. Before his arrival, Chris Coghlan, a pretty patient hitter, had walked six times in the two spot. Those walks were Johnson's ninth and tenth in seven games. Since his arrival, the 1-2-3 hitters are OBPing over .500.

Emilio Bonifacio: 2-4, 2 R, K - Inventing a new dance when he takes routes to fly balls, tippy-toeing around underneath them. When Fredi said he'd be filling the Alfredo Amezaga super utility role, I didn't think he meant he'd be playing the same positions as Amezaga, playing the most important outfield position while the team's best outfielder, Cody Ross, plays a much less important right field. I just can't wait until Bonifacio has to throw someone out at home.

Cody Ross: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, K - Giving clutch a new meaning. Before his third AB, the offense was 2 for their last 11. Then boom. Ross mashed a two run homer on the first pitch he saw to put the Marlins up a run. When within one run, he's hitting .277/.330/.537/.867 with 12 homers. He's 20% better in high leverage situations than in a neutral environment.

Jorge Cantu: 0-4, R, BB - Has played much improved defense at third base since his first start there on the first of the month. However, since then, his offense has stayed the same. Cantu is off to a terrible start this month at the plate. He's just 3 for his first 25.

Leo Nunez: IP, 2 H, ER - Walked the high wire in the 9th, giving up a leadoff triple, an RBI groundout, and bringing the tying run to the plate after a Howard single twice and gave up some hard hit balls but right at Coghlan and Bonifacio. With a 1.22 WHIP, Nunez hasn't been a lights out closer by any means. He's put men on in five of his last six save ops but he's done just enough to get the job done. As long as his reputation stays the same, he should hold on to the closer role but if it wavers in the slightest, Matt Lindstrom, who threw a nearly spotless 8th inning tonight, is waiting in the wings.

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