Volstad shines in Seattle; three and counting

The Marlins continued their ‘home’ series in Seattle yesterday as Chris Volstad took to the mound looking to improve his thus far dismal season. He did just that working into the seventh inning surrendering just two runs on five hits. Volstad did not surrender a hit until Carlos Peguero homered off him with two outs in the fifth inning. He helped his own cause also with an RBI single.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Marlins loaded the bases and Hanley Ramirez came through with a ground rule double to right-center giving the Fish a 2-0 lead. Mike Stanton added another run scoring Gaby Sanchez on a sacrifice fly.

After Pegurero’s homer made it 3-1, in the bottom of the sixth John Buck led off with a double. Jason Vargas did a nice job striking out the next two batters to get to the pitcher. Since the Marlins are considered the home team in this series, National League rules do apply meaning there is no designated hitter. That played to the Marlins’ advantage when Volstad drove a clutch RBI single into right center extending Florida’s lead.

The pitch Volstad hit off of Vargas was about 6 feet off the ground, but to 6’8″ Volstad, that’s meaty. To put it into retrospect, the same pitch would have been at or above Cody Ross’ helmet.

Volstad recorded his first win since April 26th improving to 3-7 on the year. This key victory for Volstad came after his stellar start in Tampa Bay in which he surrendered just one run while working seven innings.

When Volstad’s stuff is on, it’s on. He has proved himself to be capable of going deep into ball games without surrendering much offense. His 6’8″ presence on the mound is certainly intimidating to batters just 60 feet away from the rubber. And with his elongated stride, those 60 feet become 52.

And he’s not the only one on the team who scares batters. Florida’s pitching staff is the size of a small NBA team. Volstad stands at 6’8″, JJ is 6’7,” and up and coming Sean West is also 6’8″. Among other large pitchers on their team are Burke Badenhop (6’5″) and Ryan Webb (6’6″). These guys make Ricky Nolasco (6’2″) and Anibal Sanchez (6’0″) look like little leaguers.

I’ve stood next to some of these hurlers, and trust me, it would not be enjoyable to face them on the mound.

The Marlins polished their June record to a forgettable 3-21. The rubber matchup for this unusual Seattle series comes today, Bloody Sunday (thanks again U2).

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