Sliding Stanton, Sharp Buehrle Propel Fish

The Marlins and Reds went at it Saturday night in the second game of a weekend set. Mark Buehrle dueled Johnny Cueto in Miami on a big night for Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Passan, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The Fish jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning after Giancarlo Stanton tripled in two runs, and Carlos Lee drove a sacrifice fly to right field. Stanton’s triple was a laser beam to right field that almost got enough lift to carry over the fence, but instead sunk before it reached the wall.

As for the sac-fly, credit can be given to Stanton as much as it can be to Lee. Lee drilled a fly ball to right field, directly to Jay Bruce who had a good position on it. Stanton tagged and raced toward the plate. Bruce made a strong throw, but it was slightly up the line. Stanton, who read the throw perfectly, re-routed his slide well into foul territory, and lunged back to swipe the plate with his left hand, eluding the tag and giving the Marlins their third run of the inning. That’s not all Stanton did in this game with his body.

In the top of the sixth, Ryan Ludwick smashed a sinking liner to right field. Stanton had a good read on it, and broke in. He clearly had a tough time judging its precise depth, after all, it was hit directly at him, one of the toughest plays for an outfielder. At the last second, already into a slide, he retracted his glove to make a shoestring catch. This is a great example of when having a 6’5″ right fielder comes in handy. Any smaller of a guy might have needed to extend farther, or he may have gone into a head-long dive to catch the ball. Instead, Stanton easily caught the ball at his laces, and topped it off with a slick slide.

Back to offense. Justin Ruggiano led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, and scored on Jose Reyes’ two-bagger, which followed. Carlos Lee drilled a two-run shot later that inning, which gave the Marlins a 6-2 lead.

Mark Buehrle held onto that lead to give the Fish a win, and was stellar throughout the entire game to earn his 13th victory of the year.

As aforementioned, the notoriously negative Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Passan, who loves exploiting, criticizing, and mocking all the “bad” in sports, was likely sporting a grin like a kid in a candy store this weekend as the unofficial milestone of Major League Baseball’s 500,000th error approached. As if it was meant to be, and to add to the disappointment and mockery of their season, the Marlins fell victim to this unfortunate stat. Jose Reyes “fumbled his way to history” when he bobbled a Drew Subbs ground ball in the seventh inning. Reyes could not have received a nicer hop, but the ball simply did not want to stay in his glove.

Overcoming the milestone muff, the Marlins recorded a “W,” as Steve Cishek knocked down his 14th save of the season. As a team, the Marlins hit for the cycle. In franchise history, the Marlins are still yet to have a single player hit for the cycle in a game.

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