Friday, August 15, 2014

Game of the Day (8/14/14)

Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 4 (10). Arizona started Chase Anderson, a 26-year-old rookie who's actually pitched quite well this year, which is not necessarily what you expect from a 26-year-old rookie. Miami countered with Brad Penny.

Wait, Brad Penny? The guy who got two wins for the Marlins in the 2003 World Series and was a good pitcher for a decent chunk of a decade, then pitched badly for the Tigers as a starter in 2011 and worse for the Giants out of the bullpen in 2012?

Yeah, same guy, returning to the majors after a nearly two-year absence - and making multiple starts for a fringe contender, no less.

Ender Inciarte led off the game with a walk, stole second, took third on a flyout, and scored on a Mark Trumbo single. Giancarlo Stanton singled in the bottom of the inning, but was left on. Penny retired the Diamondbacks in order in the second, while Anderson walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia, then removed him on a double play.

Arizona extended the lead in the third when Cliff Pennington walked, David Peralta tripled him home, and Trumbo scored Peralta with a double. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Penny doubled; it was his first hit since 2010, and his first double since 2007. Donovan Solano doubled as well to get Miami on the board, and Stanton followed with an RBI single. Casey McGehee singled to put the tying run in scoring position, but Garret Jones struck out to end the inning.

Ozuna's single in the fourth made him the only runner to reach for either team. Pennington tripled with two out in the fifth before being left on, while Christian Yelich and Stanton singled in the bottom of the inning to put runners at the corners, and were stranded when McGehee grounded out. The Diamondbacks scored in the sixth when Trumbo walked, stole second, and came home on a Miguel Montero double; Chris Hatcher relieved Penny and ended the inning without further damage, and the Marlins got the run back on a Jones walk and a triple by Adeiny Hechevarria. Reed Johnson then grounded out to leave the tying run at third.

AJ Ramos allowed an Inciarte single and walked Pennington in the seventh, then retired three in a row. Evan Marshall was flawless in the bottom of the inning, and Ramos retired the side in order in the eighth. Brad Ziegler recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the eighth, then walked Saltalamacchia and Ozuna and allowed a game-tying Hechevarria single.

Mike Dunn worked an immaculate top of the ninth; Bradin Hagens allowed a hit to Yelich, then went bunt-Stanton IBB-double play to send the game to extras. Dunn was perfect again in the top of the tenth, and Hagens promptly allowed a Jones walk, a Jeff Mathis single, and a walkoff Ozuna double.

The Marlins got some good hitting in this game, most notably 3 hits and an RBI from Giancarlo Stanton (routine) and an RBI triple and game-tying single from Adeiny Hechevarria (somewhat surprising). They also got some incredible bullpen work, as Chris Hatcher, AJ Ramos, and Mike Dunn combined on five 1-hit, 8-strikeout innings. In all, it was just enough to overcome Brad Penny's shaky second start back - in fact, they've won both of his starts so far this year. Now if they can only get their bullpen to pitch this well in every game, they'll be right back in the race...

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