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Marlins Today


August 25, 2009 11:35 PM

Game #125: Marlins @ Braves

Turner Field - 1:30 PM - Ricky Nolasco vs Derek Lowe

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The Marlins fought back from an early three run deficit to take the lead at the midway point of Sunday afternoon's rubber match against the Braves but a late decision by Fredi Gonzalez to pitch to Brian McCann rather than walk him to load the bases and put the double play in order led to their downfall. McCann singled back up the middle, knocking in two runs which wound up being the difference in a 7-5 loss.

Ricky Nolasco: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K - Gave up just one hit in the 1st inning but it came after two walks and it was a big one, a McCann three run homer. the inning killed him in more ways than one. Not only did he give up three runs but 2/3 of the offense came after lengthy ABs. By the time he got out of the inning, his pitch count was at 29. Nolasco was just ok in the 3rd before having a bad 4th in which a hit by the opposing pitcher allowed the Braves to get back within a run and ruined any hopes he had of at least getting out of the day with a quality start. He was only spared from giving up the lead by a Ross Gload diving catch in that inning and after he loaded the bases with only one out in the 5th, was bailed out by the combination of Gload and Cristhian Martinez. He was never even close to the big quick inning he needed to have to get deep into this start as his shortest frame lasted 15 pitches. Whether it be a good scouting report, something they see in his tipping procedures, or something else, the Braves have Nolasco completely figured out. They have always been the team that has hit him the hardest. In 51 career innings against them, he owns a 5.08 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP, and a .324 BAA.

Ronny Paulino: 1-4, 3 RBI, K - Because this was a day game after a night game, he started against a righty and grounded into a double play in his first AB, wasting the Marlins' chance to tie it in the 2nd but redeemed himself and then some in the 4th with a huge bases clearing double that put the marlins up by two. Righty or lefty this month, it doesn't matter much. Hitting .364 since July 17, the guy is locked in.

Cristhian Martinez: 1.2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K - Got into 0-2 counts to both of his hitters, only threw one two balls, one of which could have easily been called a strike, and got out of a bases loaded one out jam with the lead intact. The last two times he's been called into a game, the bases have been loaded. He's gotten out of both of them. He got the first two outs in the 6th before a stupid call by Fredi Gonzalez to pitch around Chipper Jones to get to McCann, who had already homered and was representing the go ahead run. Martinez got behind 3-1 to McCann before McCann was awarded first on what the second place umpire called an illegal move to the mouth while he was walking back up the hill. However, Martinez showed composure well beyond his years as he was able to stay within himself and get the inning ending ground ball. Should Sean West struggle on Tuesday against the Mets and Martinez have another good showing such as this, he may be in the rotation come this time next week.

Kiko Calero: IP, H, 2 ER, BB, K - Gave up the lead in the 7th on a Matt Diaz triple and a Gorecki sac fly that was aided by Jeremy Hermida losing it in the sun. Calero hasn't had a bad month but compared to the rest of his season, it has been disappointing. In 8.1 innings, he has a 3.24 era and has been credited with two blown saves. The two runs today ran his era back up to 2.15, the highest it's been since may 31.

Renyel Pinto: 0.1 IP, H, ER, 2 BB - Walked the first two hitters in the inning before getting an out and opening first base with McCann coming up. McCann entered 0-5 with 4 ks in his career vs Pinto but it's not like Adam LaRoche, the guy he would have faced if the Marlins put McCann on first and put the double play in order, hit him well either. LaRoche was 0-3 with two Ks vs pinto. However, even though run expectancy is lower with the bases loaded and one out as opposed to second and third with one out and even though LaRoche is a worse career hitter vs lefties than McCann, the two career ks even though pinto only threw 7 of his 18 pitches for strikes, apparently changed Fredi's mind. he elected to pitch to McCann who lined one back up the middle and knocked in the two runs that decided the game.

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