Your Florida Marlins are coming off a weekend series with the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. And if you're a fan of perpetual bullpen meltdowns and shaving cream pies in the face, you're in luck! Here's how it all went down:
Game 1, Marlins 7 - Braves 6: We can talk about the bullpen blowing yet another lead, but that would only ruin everyone's day. Instead, we turn our attention on Donnie Murphy and his ability to not totally crap his pants when a game is on the line. It's uncanny!
Only four days after his pinch-hit walk-off homerun to beat the Rockies, he goes and does it again against the Braves on Friday. With the score knotted up at 6 a piece and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Murphy stepped in and drove a Billy Wagner pitch into center field, bringing in the walk-off win and the traditional shaving cream pie in the face for the walk-off hero. Last week, he was taken by surprise by the pie, and excused himself from a television interview because his eyes were stinging. This time, he lifted his arms and waited for the pie in the face. But we're pretty sure that didn't stop his eyes from stinging again, so it probably didn't matter.
Game 2, Marlins 5 - Braves 10: Two Marlins errors turned into ten runs for the Braves. Six of those runs all came in the eighth inning. Yup, that's our hometown ballclub!
Game 3, Marlins 5 - Braves 4: It took eleven innings, but the Marlins delivered another walk-off win, this time off the bat of Wes Helms. Because Donnie Murphy will not be the only one on this team that gets irritated eyes from shaving cream pies to the face, dammit! Of course, the heroics wouldn't have been possible without yet another blown lead by the Florida bullpen. But it would seem the Braves relief pitchers would suck slightly more than the Marlins relief pitchers. And there's also the benefit of having the last at-bat as the home team. With the score tied in the eleventh, Hanley Ramirez singled off Braves reliever Jesse Chavez. This was followed by a Dan Uggla single and a Cody Ross walk. With the bases juiced, Helms stepped in and drove Chavez's 0-1 pitch into left field, bringing home Ramirez and getting the shaving cream pie in the face treatment. That's seven walk-off wins for the Fish, and a 49-49 record. Amazingly enough, the Marlins are in playoff contention. Perhaps all that shaving cream to the eyes is helping somehow.
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Highlights: We need more cases of shaving cream!
Lowlights: The walk-offs are fun, sure. But it highlights just how bad the bullpen is. It's gotten to a point where you don't want the Marlins to break a late-inning tie, so they can win it in walk-off fashion instead. Not so much because it's exciting to win a game in walk-off fashion, but more because you know the bullpen won't have a chance to blow the lead.
Up Next: The Marlins start a three game series in San Francisco tonight. So you'll have to stay up late to watch the bullpen meltdowns.