Both Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins have accelerated to full gear in recent history. New month, new business for the Fish as they have won three of their last four and are going for a second straight series win today in Arlington. Ramirez hit three homers this past week, upping his 2011 total to seven. The slugger has played like his all-star self ever since Jack McKeon introduced him to the cleanup role.
Last night, Florida wasted no time getting the offense going garnering three hits and two walks in the first inning. Taking advantage Derek Holland’s lack of command, the Fish loaded the bases for Hanley who hit his first grand slam since June of last season when he launched one in Puerto Rico. That makes last night’s round tripper his first domestic grand slam since June of ’09. Holland left after just 2/3 of an inning. He surrendered five runs, the fifth coming on a Wes Helms RBI double.
On the other side, Brad Hand was called up from AA to make his fourth major league start this season. He was looking for his first career big league victory, but he too had command struggles. Hand gave up solo home runs to Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton in the third inning; he left in the fourth.
The game was 7-5 in favour of the Marlins in the seventh inning when Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison went back-to-back with solo shots. The home runs gave Florida a 9-5 lead, which would be the final score in the slugfest down south.
Steve Cishek earned the win (1-1), and Holland the loss (6-4). The rubber matchup of this series is today at 8:05, and Florida is going for their second straight series win. Despite what the start time may seem to indicate, this is not the featured Sunday night game on ESPN (unfortunately). This is the second straight week the Marlins have played Sunday evening and not on ESPN, kinda strange. Last week they lost to Seattle.
Among other items worth noting:
The Marlins called up outfielder Bryan Petersen from AAA New Orleans on Saturday. They plan to start him rather than use him as a bench/utility player as they did last season. Petersen said he thinks he can help the team as a starter and will perform better as a starter than as a bench player. Manager Jack McKeon told the outfielder to just relax and play the game he knows how to play; there is no need to impress McKeon.
The all-star game selection show is today on TBS. Every team is represented and there are no Marlins players that will be voted in preliminarily by the fans, leaving the decision up to NL coaches. Jack McKeon says that Gaby Sanchez, Anibal Sanchez, and Leo Nuñez are the players he feels should be considered. Gaby said his vote is for Anibal who said he would love to play in the all-star game. In my opinion, the Sancheese should both be considered.
Mike Stanton is everyone’s vote to be in the Home Run Derby, but the eight participants in that contest are taken from the all star team. Stanton should be voted in purely because of the derby.