Marlins Today

August 18, 2009 11:50 PM

Game #117 and #118: Marlins vs Rockies

Land Shark Stadium - 1:35 PM - Chris Volstad vs Aaron Cook


Chris Volstad ended a two start streak of giving up at least four runs by going five innings and only giving up a solo tally. The offense thanked him by giving him seven runs of support and his ninth win of the season in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Chris Volstad: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K - Gave up a solo homer in the 1st, making it look like he was going to continue struggling but after being given a second chance by Hanley Ramirez, he struck out the first two he faced and got the third to ground out for a 1-2-3 2nd. That and helping his own cause with a two RBI single with the bases loaded on top of a three run Chris Coghlan homer in the bottom of the inning would have given most normal pitchers all the support they needed to play with but considering Volstad had blown five and six run leads in his previous two outings coming in, it wasn't a sure thing. He proved that by walking the pitcher for a second straight outing and giving up another hit to Carlos Gonzalez to put him in scoring position in the top of the 3rd before ending it on a double play. That looked like it would wind up being the turning point for Volstad as he got through his next two innings easily but his day ended on a sour note as he put two men on without getting an out in the 6th. The five innings and only one run were an improvement over his last two outings, both of which he gave up four plus runs and failed to make it out of the 5th but the four walks were not. They marked the third time in his last five outings that he's walked as many. However, he's been limiting the damage done by walks as not even a quarter of those 17 have come around to score and he's also throwing strikes. The five punchouts he tallied marked the second time over that same span that he's Ked as many. Volstad's problem this year lies within the fact that he is throwing too many hittable pitches on the first and second offerings of an AB because of his inability to throw anything but a grooved fastball for a first pitch strike. On the first pitch, hitters touch him up at a .387 clip. Seven of his 24 homers have come on the first pitch. on 1-0, his BAA .342. He only gets in to 0-1 counts 57% of the time which is 46th amongst 63 qualified NL starters. He had similar first pitch numbers last year but now that scouting reports are out and hitters are getting to know him, his ERA is ballooning. As he matures, the trick for Volstad will be to gain enough confidence in his secondary pitches to throw them more on the first pitch of ABs or to at least take hitters out of the zone more to start off ABs, limit homers, and thereby limit runs.

Dan Meyer: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K - Used for more than an inning for the first time since may. I'm all for attempting to save the pen with a converted starter and former long reliever but not when that guy is the second best guy in the pen in the first game of a doubleheader. Cristhian Martinez hasn't thrown since being recalled.

Kiko Calero: IP, BB - Used in a six run game in the first game of a doubleheader. need i say more?

Hanley Ramirez: 3-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K - Solo homer in the bottom of the 1st and a single in the 4th marking his seventh straight multi-hit game. He also singled and doubled, coming within a triple of Marlins' history. Coghlan's franchise record of eight games with multiple hits may not be a record long.

Dan Uggla: 1-2, 2 R, 3 BB - Singled, walked three times, and scored two runs. it was the second time this month he's walked 3+ times. one of them came after a great at bat with runners at the corners and one out. with a man on third and less than two outs, he is OBPing .435. how ridiculous has uggla's month of august been? it is beginning to rival his .347/.425/.827/1.251 may of 2008 which is the second best month all time in franchise history.

Cody Ross: 4-5, R, RBI - Collected a seasonal high four hits, all singles, two of which loaded the bases and one of which drove in a run. Hitting .296/.367/.505/.872 with runners on this year as a full time player, Ross is getting close to the numbers he posted two and three years ago when he only saw time in 51 and 79 games.

Land Shark Stadium - 5:15 PM - Rick VandenHurk vs Jorge de la Rosa


Despite tying a career high in strikeouts, Rick VandenHurk struggled through a third straight start, giving up six runs in less than six innings and leading the Marlins to a 7-3 loss in the back end of a twi-night double header. With Anibal Sanchez ready to return to the majors, it appears that the 24-year-old journeyman will be headed back to the minors.

Rick VandenHurk: 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 3 BB, 9 K - Put the first batter of the game on with a leadoff walk, gave up a single, threw a wild pitch with one out to put them both in scoring position and gave up a run on a Troy Tulowitzki groundout. Despite the run scoring, the silver lining was that RVH didn't have to face another hitter in the inning. He got about as lucky as he could've gotten as the Marlins caught Carlos Gonzalez in a run down then threw out Tulowitzki who was trying to take second to end the inning. There was no silver lining, only blue lines of seats where Clint Barmes' two run home run landed and orange ones in the 3rd where Gonzalez's solo shot landed. What Cody Ross was to the Rockies today, Gonzalez was to the Fish. He went 4-8 with two homers. back to RVH, the homers he gave up were his eight and ninth of the year. His HR/9 is at a pathetic 2.60. about the only thing that wasn't bad about VandenHurk in his first three innings was his pitch count as he only had to throw an average of four pitches to each hitter. From the 4th up until he got two outs in the 6th, that was about the only thing that stayed the same. looking like a completely different pitcher, RVH set down his next ten in order. He then gave up a five pitch walk and his third homer of the game to Brad Hawpe. Along with giving up long balls, finishing innings has been another big problem for VandenHurk this year. With two outs, hitters touch him up at a .316/.395/.737/1.132 clip. After three good starts in which he owned a 2.65 ERA, the VandenHurk we'd all come to know so well is starting to rear his ugly head again. He has lost two of his last three starts in which he has a 8.24 ERA. Anibal Sanchez's next throw day in AA is tomorrow. His next start after that will come on Saturday, the same day RVH is set to start against the Braves. The team has said they wanted Sanchez to get in two more rehab outings before returning but he has shown he's likely ready already. With all of his velocity and no discomfort, he's only given up five hits and three runs in 10. 1 innings for the Jacksonville Suns.

Emilio Bonifacio: 3-5, RBI, K - Smacked an RBI single, his second hit of the game, that gave the Marlins their first run. He went on to have a three hit night. Limited action is working wonders for Bonifacio. Since the acquisition of Nick Johnson and the move to the bench, he's gone 11-28 (.393).

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