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Slugfest at Dolphin Stadium

 

Josh Johnson today was the opposite of Anibal Sanchez yesterday

I certainly hope the fans at Dolphin Stadium enjoyed the no-hitter Anibal Sanchez thew yesterday, because today, they saw the other side of the pitching spectrum, from Sanchez’s fellow rookie, Josh Johnson. 

The game featured 22 runs scored on 29 hits (13 for extra-bases) and 1 error committed.  If yesterday’s game was a pitchers’ duel, today’s game was a pitchers’ disaster. 

Jon Lieber got the start for the Phillies, and he allowed the Marlins 3 runs in the first inning (on HRs by Miguel Cabrera and Mike Jacobs), before settling in, and allowing just one more run in his next 4.1 innings, to finish with a line of 5.1IP/7H/4R (4ER)/ 0BB/ 7K. 

Marlins starter Josh Johnson, a top Rookie of the Year candidate, may have lowered his poll numbers significantly, with today’s awful outing.  He surrendered Ryan Howard’s 54th homerun, as well as 8 other hits and 4 walks, lasting just 4.2 innings in a 5 run shellacking.  The rookie’s ERA jumped to 3.20, ending his reign of the ERA title.  Johnson has now pitched erratically in his last 2 outings, and 3 of his last 4, which is a sign that his rookie magic is wearing off. 

On the offensive end, the Phillies slugged 17 hits and scored 14 runs, led by Jeff Conine (3-for-6 with 3RBI and an HR — a double short of the cycle), Ryan Howard (2-for-4 with an RBI and 3 runs scored, including his 54th HR of the season), and Chris Coste (2-for-6 with 4RBI).  9 of Philadelphia’s 14 runs were scored in the last 3 innings. 

The Marlins countered with 8 runs of their own, on 12 hits.  They were led by Miguel Cabrera (4-for-5 with 2RBI and 3 runs scored including a HR), Josh Willingham (3-for-5 with 2RBI and 2 runs scored), and Mike Jacobs (2-for-4 with a 2-run HR).  The Fish stayed with the Phillies for most of the game, but their late-inning relief corps (Renyel Pinto, Yusmeiro Petit, and Randy Messenger) couldn’t handle the Philly attack in the last 3 innings of the game. 

It was a little bit disappointing to me that only 12,256 fans made it out to Dolphin Stadium to see Anibal Sanchez’s no hitter, but the fact that just 12,712 fans were there for today’s shellacking is not at all disappointing. 

If this kind of offensive production continues for the Phillies, they will be in control of their own destiny, in terms of winning the NL Wildcard.  This weekend’s series with the Marlins, by the way, could make-or-break both teams’ chances in the Wildcard race. 

______________________________________________________________________

Trivia time!

Yesterday’s Q and A…

Q: Who was the last rookie (before Anibal Sanchez) to throw a no-hitter?

A: Bud Smith, for the St. Louis Cardinals, on September 3, 2001, against San Diego.

Doc Hancock showed some great MLB knowledge in getting this one right!

And today’s question…

When Bud Smith was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002, three other current MLB players were involved.  Can you name them? 

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