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Marlins Today


August 20, 2009 12:55 AM

Game #119: Marlins @ Astros

Minute Maid Park - 8:00 PM - Ricky Nolasco vs Bud Norris

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"Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Ricky Nolasco learned the true meaning of the Old Klingon Proverb on Tuesday night. After having his worst outing of the year giving up ten runs in just 3.1 innings his last time out against the Astros in mid 90 degree heat, Nolasco went to the air conditioned confines of Minute Maid Park and tossed his third career complete game, giving up just two runs and leading the Marlins to a 6-2 victory. The fact that the new stadium will be enclosed 95% of the time was great news for everyone in South Florida including Nolasco. He owns a lowly 0.98 WHIP and a .206 BAA in seven career indoor games.

Ricky Nolasco: 9 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 10 K - After giving up ten runs to them in his last start at LandShark, Nolasco entered the night looking for redemption. However, at Minute Maid, it was going to be hard to come by. For the first three batters of the game, it looked like it was meant to be as after Hanley Ramirez erased a hit with a great play, he got some unheard of help from Minute Maid Park in the form of a 410 foot out and what would have been a double anywhere else except maybe at the Polo Grounds. However, Carlos Lee then equalized all of that putting one in the Crawford boxes. Nolasco only had twelve pitches worth of rest between the 1st and 2nd. He must have gotten out of the phone booth with his super suit on just in time. The most he gave up from then on were a few deep fly balls that sent Cody Ross to the wall in the 8th, an inning in which he ran his pitch count up to 98 pitches. Nolasco broke his streak of consecutive batters retired in the 9th by allowing Michael Bourn to reach on a hard luck infield hit but eventually thanked Fredi Gonzalez for his confidence by finishing off the complete game. How did he go from having his worst outing of the year to his best in just five days with the former being in an extreme pitcher's park and the latter in an extreme hitter's park?

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He kept the ball down with much better efficiency. In the start at home, he only put 16% of his pitches in the lowest quarter of the zone. Tonight, that figure was 25% which is right around his average. Before his last start, he had gone five outings before struggling. Before his six inning, seven run adventure on July 10, he had gone five outings before struggling. Unfortunately, off nights have to happen once in a while. It's part of the game. The good news is that's all Nolasco's last start was. 

Hanley Ramirez: 3-5, R - Recorded a hit in his first two ABs locking up his eleventh multi-hit performance in his last fourteen games. The second resulted in the Marlins' first run and marked a seventh straight game that Hanley has been plated.

Dan Uggla: 2-4, 2 R, RBI - His homer in the 2nd tied the game and his infield single in the 6th set things up for a good inning to become a big inning. Uggla has seen his line drive percentage raise to 16.6%, just two tenths of a point off of his seasonal high and both his walk and strikeout percentages are exceeding ZiPS' expectactions. That's all thanks to his ridiculous .333/.471/.630/1.100 month of August for which he looks primed to take home NL Player of the Month honors for.

Jeremy Hermida: 3-4, R, 2 RBI - Two hits, including a 6th inning RBI single. Despite rebounding from his worst month of the season by having his second best month of the season in July, he received a lot of flack for his inability to hit with runners on as he had his worst month since 2006 in driving in guys not named Hermida with six. In more than half as many ABs this month, he's already surpassed that mark. To celebrate, he homered in the 8th, his first in nearly a month. The solo shot made the Marlins the first team since 1929 to have at least 10 hits in 14 consecutive games.

Gaby Sanchez - Called up to take Rick VandenHurk's spot on the roster. His callup tells us that Nick Johnson's injury is worse than first expected. This probably won't end Johnson's season but it will be enough to prolong his career long incomplete seasons streak. Sanchez will platoon with Ross Gload at first base.


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