After a pair of six to zip shutouts, the Marlins finished off the Pirates on Thursday night with their hot bats by a score of 9-5. Chris Volstad got the start going five and a third for the win. Scott Cousins, Mike Stanton, and Brett Hayes all hit their first dingers of the year. The Marlins moved to 11-6 on the season, tied with Philadelphia for first in the east.
Scott Cousins emerged last year in his first major league at bat, lacing a walk-off hit against the Braves at the end of the summer in the midst of hot streak for Florida. In his first at bat on Thursday night, he jacked a grand slam into the people, or lack thereof in Florida, for his first career home run. He was the tenth Marlin in history to have his first dinger be a grand slam, Mike Stanton accomplished that last year versus Tampa Bay.
Mike Stanton has crushed a multitude of baseballs this year in various games, including one about 430 feet in Houston to dead center. But his first home run came on a lofty line drive over the high advertisement wall in left off of Michael Crotta in the fifth. I predicted 42 for Stanton this year. If he gets one every 17 games, he’s on pace for less than ten. But that’s not going to happen, the 42 might not either, but Stanton will get hot and start producing for the Fish.
I was at a September game in 2009 at Nationals Park. The Marlins were leading the Nationals by a couple runs, and it was late in the game. Brett Hayes stepped to the plate and proceeded to hit his first career home run into the flowers in left field. At that point, I had no clue who he was beyond the catcher who started in that game. Ever since then, I have followed him a little bit, and I’m happy that he’s been providing offense for the Marlins. He hit the second of three homers on the day for Florida, a three-run shot to left. Hayes has bounced back nicely after last year’s shoulder injury. His playing time will be down this year due to the acquisition of John Buck.
So Florida completed its first sweep of the year, coming at home, outscoring the Pirates 21-5 for all three games. And the Marlins starters are going deep into games, another factor that may be a contribution to the bullpen’s success. All three starters this series got wins, a nice positive moving forward for the Fish.