Hero of the Game: Hanley Ramirez (0.368 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Ricky Nolasco (-0.212 WPA)
Play of the Game: Hanley Ramirez homered in the sixth inning. Omar Infante scored. (0.302 WPA)
The Miami Marlins had to be disappointed after a tough loss in last night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Part of the disappointment was going to be having to face Cole Hamels today, but it seemed Hamels met his own foil on the Fish. No, it was not Ricky Nolasco, who pitched decently but got poor results, but rather Hanley Ramirez, who turned the game around for the Fish with a pair of home runs.Hanley Mashing
Hanley Ramirez continues to be on an epic tear. Since the start of May, he has hit .317/.358/.520, and today he continued with two home runs that were impressive both in terms of distance and clutch. There was some controversy with regards to the first home run, as the Phillies' outfielders appealed the call because a kid reached to grab the ball. On replay, it appeared that the fan did actually reach out into the field and catch the ball. However, the umpires, upon review, deemed the ball heading out regardless of the fan, so that homer delivered.
The second one, the second one was legit.
This home run came in the sixth inning following an Omar Infante single. At the time, the Marlins were down 3-2 after a good fourth inning in which Ramirez also hit a home run. As a result, the situation was at a Leverage Index (LI) of 2.6, meaning it was 2.6 times more important than normal. Ramirez delivered after a battle at the plate and helped to chase away Cole Hamels.
One thing that angered me during the game was Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins' handling of starter Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco did not have a terrible outing, as he went seven innings and struck out five hitters with only two walks and a homer. But his outing could have perhaps looked better if Guillen and company had not entrusted him with more than what was necessary. During the seventh inning, Nolasco came up to hit with one out and Chris Coghlan at first base. Guillen stuck with Nolasco because he had only thrown 71 pitches at that point and had him lay down a sacrifice bunt.
Nolasco pitched the seventh inning and went smoothly, but he continued into the eighth inning because he was at only 80 pitches. Prior to the seventh inning, I had already mentioned this in the live thread.
By the eighth inning, he was entering the fourth go-around in the rotation, when pitchers are traditionally worse. At this point, I said this on the live thread.
This was mere seconds before Nolasco allowed a leadoff triple to Jimmy Rollins followed by the four-pitch walk to Juan Pierre. Again, Guillen only pulled Nolasco when he "showed signs" of trouble instead of trying to predict when trouble would come. Given that Nolasco was not even having a dominant performance but was pitching merely average, you would figure that Guillen would have less of a leash on him. Unfortunately, because he had gotten a few ball in play outs earlier, his pitch count was down and Guillen was simply managing to the pitch count. He did not even have his bullpen ready when Nolasco allowed the triple; the team sent out pitching coach Randy St. Claire to stall for time while they readied a reliever. As a result, the Fish pulled Nolasco two batters too late and ended up giving up a run for their troubles.
Steve Cishek came in and finished off the inning only allowing a run and with a strikeout. It was not easy, but it could have been avoided had Guillen tried to anticipate problems and trust his bullpen instead of pulling his starter after damage had already been done.
20-year old righty starting pitcher Jameson Taillon came into this season as the Pirates’ #2 prospect according to Baseball America. Taillon has pitched in 10 games (all starts) in A-ball for the Pirates so far this year and he is 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He has now pitched [...]
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Commence Luke Hochevar complaining in 3...2...1.
Given the comparative ease of scoring at altitude, I would guess that a team playing half of its games at Coors Field would have more rallies from behind than teams that play elsewhere. I would also guess that the pitching for said team would give up more rallies from behind than teams that play elsewhere. So far in 2012, the latter point is true, the Rockies when entering an inning with a lead, have given up 23 rallies to opponents allowing them to tie or go ahead, the most in the division. Unfortunately, the first point has not proven the case, despite the team having a decent offense this season, the Rockies have only 14 game tying or pull ahead rallies, which puts them in the middle of the NL West pack for right now.
I bring this up because today's 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was a pretty potent reminder of a Rockies team that just seems to miss getting the important hit when it's needed. This game always seemed just out of reach, but perhaps it didn't have to be. The Dodgers are actually the worst team in the division when it comes to playing from behind, partly because it happens so rarely this season, but they really are also pretty bad at catching up, with just 10 rallies all season, their 2-14 record in games they trail entering the sixth inning is easily the worst among NL playoff contenders right now. For tomorrow's game and the rest of the season getting an early lead on this team should be seen as a priority for the Rockies.
That early lead didn't come this afternoon thanks to a rough start by Juan Nicasio, which was made rougher when the right hander strained his left knee and was pulled from the game in the second inning. Nicasio allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in his short time. It was enough for the Dodgers as the anemic Rockies offense managed just six hits against Los Angeles pitching all afternoon. DJ LeMahieu had the most hits for Colorado with two, Wilin Rosario and Michael Cuddyer had the two run producing hits with one apiece.
22 - 30
The Rockies five game winning streak was snapped, the team will try to start a new streak in tomorrow's rubber match. No word yet on whether Nicasio will miss his next start, but with an already depleted rotation that's seen another setback with Jorge De La Rosa's recovery, there aren't a lot of alternatives available right now.
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Unlike in the past, Strasburg had very little trouble facing Atlanta's offense. He struck out the first four hitters he faced and worked out of a two-out rally in the third with two on.
Both pitchers put up zeros through four until Beachy served up a mistake to Jesus Flores leading off the fifth, and it was smacked for a home run and a 1-0 lead for Strasburg. Beachy had started off with three walks in the first three innings, two of them to Bryce Harper, but had appeared to settle down until the home run.
The lead was enough for Strasburg. He limited the Braves to four hits in seven innings with two double plays turned behind him. Washington added an insurance run in the seventh when with two on and one out, pinch-hitter Xavier Nady drove in Danny Espinosa with a double to right off Jonny Venters.
Tyler Clippard earned the save for Washington with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
Brian McCann had to leave the game in the seventh when a pitch from Jonny Venters struck him hard on his knee. Beachy has now suffered a loss in each of his last three starts. He walked four in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and allowed only three hits. Only one Atlanta base runner reached third base in the game.
Andrelton Simmons was hitless in three at-bats in his major-league debut, grounding out all three times.
Fernando Martinez will make his Astros Major League debut in right field.
Saturday, Jun 2, 2012, 6:15 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park
Sunny. Winds blowing out to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 90.
Jan 18, 1979
Dec 09, 1987
Derek Jeter 1996 Topps ‘Future Star’ I’ve been on a bit of a Derek Jeter kick as of late. And while little of that has to do with baseball cards as most of it revolves around his amazing play during … Continue reading →
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