It had been nearly a year since Chris Coghlan had gone yard when he stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning last night with the game tied at 3. With runners on second and third, Coghlan crushed a three-run shot to right field to bust the game open in Miami’s favor. Two previous runs had scored in the inning on RBIs by Giancarlo Stanton and John Buck, but it was the homer that ultimately chased Tim Lincecum from Friday’s contest.
Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, had down seasons in 2010 and 2011, and was hindered by a string of injuries as well. After hitting .321 his rookie season, he has struggled to get his average back up, and is currently hitting .120 for the 2012 season. However, in the near future Coghlan will get a share of playing time due to injuries sidelining Emilio Bonifacio and limiting Austin Kearns.
Right now, Miami’s offense is hinging on the power of Giancarlo Stanton who last night hit his 10th home run of May. Stanton has put on a show over the past week, drilling the left-field scoreboard with a grand slam, shooting a laser to the Budweiser Balcony, and last night hitting a solo shot to the home run sculpture in left-center.
Last month, I promised the first player who hit the sculpture that I would write a 1,200-word article analyzing his swing. Technically, Stanton did “hit” the sculpture last night, but as you can see in this video, the ball actually cleared the thing and bounced off the back side of it. I’m sure Stanton will be the first to drill the sculpture straight up, though, so that blog post might be coming soon. In order for a home run to qualify for me, it has to hit off the gaudy pink-yellow-orange part that sticks up. And I will double the word count if the sculpture, as a result, becomes disfunctional.
As for the result of the game last night, Ozzie Guillen finally came to grips with the fact that Heath Bell might not be his dominant self anymore. Guillen pulled Bell with two on and one out in the ninth with the Marlins up 7-5. Steve Cishek earned his first save of the year without surrendering a hit, and Miami won 7-6.
The Marlins have not lost a series in the month of May, and they will try to keep that streak alive today when they take on the Giants at 4:10. The four-game set with San Francisco ends on Sunday.