Florida Marlins: The Immortal Donnie Murphy For the Walk-Off Win
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Marlins
trailing 8-7, pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy came off the bench and hit a two-run
opposite field jack that gave the Fish the walk-off win. The only way last
night's ending could be scripted any better is if Sun Life Stadium folded in
half and Leonard DiCaprio showed up and said it was all a dream!
The Marlins put the hurt on Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez,
who entered the game with a make-hitters-crap-their-pantalones 0.0 ERA against
NL East teams. Florida got four earned runs against Jimenez off six hits in
just 5.1 innings, with most of the damage coming off the bat of uber-rookie
Mike Stanton and his amazing feats of awesome. Stanton went 3-for-4 on the
night, including a three run homer off Jimenez, his sixth of the season.
Florida seemed to be cruising along and everything seemed
just peachy. And with the Marlins bullpen seemingly having gotten their crap
together of late, bringing a 23 scoreless innings streak into the game, it
looked as if it was going to be a one-way ticket to Miller Time for the Fish.
But then the bullpen apparently remembered that it's supposed to play like
shit, and things imploded. Clay Hensley gave up a homerun to Ian Stewart, then
plunked a batter, and walked another, setting the table for Jhan Martinez to
come in and give up a three-run jack to Jonathan Herrera, and -- ping! -- a 7-4
lead magically dissolved into an 8-7 deficit in the eighth before our very
eyes. Nice to have you back, bullpen!
Still, the craptacular performance by the pen only helped to
set up the walk-off heroics. The Rockies brought out closer Houston Street, who
had not blown a save all season, to shut things down and call it a night.
Street retired the first two Marlins in the bottom of the ninth. But then Dan
Uggla, a man who never saw a pitch he didn't think was in the strike zone, astonishingly
drew a walk. And then Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, apparently acting on a
dare by one of his bench coaches, called up Murphy -- he of only four at-bat
appearances all season -- off the bench. Street delivered the 1-0 fastball, and
with one swing of his bat, Murphy jacked the ball into an endless sea of plastic orange,
giving the Marlins the 9-8 walk-off victory. Murphy's teammates mobbed him at
the plate, and then later slammed his face with a shaving cream pie while he
gave a television interview. Hurray silly arbitrary game-winning celebrations
that needlessly stings the eyes!
It's the third win in a row for the Fish who neither made
any headway in the standings, nor gave us any indication that the bullpen has
changed its ways. But it was still a pretty kick-ass way to win a ballgame.
So there's that.
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