The Marlins have not been the stereotypical home run-hitting, error-making, 75-win team this year. They’ve been doing a lot off little things right in order to get wins. Believe it or not, their bullpen is the best in the majors. And they have a deep pitching staff filled with power arms who can win on any given day.
The Fish continued their winning ways last night with Chris Volstad on the hill. In the first inning, Andre Ethier stretched his hit streak to 23 games with an RBI double, but Florida didn’t let that bog them down. In the bottom of the second inning, Gaby Sanchez crushed a solo home run into left center field, one of the deepest spots in the South Florida ballpark. But the Dodgers quickly manufactured another run on a sacrifice fly.
Down by one in the bottom of the fourth, Hanley Ramirez reached on a single. He then attempted to steal second on a pitch that Gaby Sanchez grounded to third…Hanley didn’t stop running. James Loney fired back to third after recording the out at first, but the throw got by and Hanley was able to score on the groundout. Talk about small ball!
In the bottom of the sixth, Mike Stanton broke the Marlins free of the tie with a two run single into right center field. The Marlins won the game without any additional scoring.
Leo Nuñez recorded his seventh save in seven chances, recording two strikeouts and allowing just one hit in the ninth inning. This year, the Marlins’ bullpen has lost just three games, and only one bullpen pitcher has an ERA above 4.
Florida is now in sole possession of the NL East as they look to sweep the Dodgers today at noon (MLB Network). They have the second best record in baseball, 15-7, which is tied for their best 22 game start in franchise history (2004).