Marlins Park works to Marlins advantage
MIAMI — Chris Coghlan’s walk-off infield single on Saturday night gave the Marlins their first home victory of the season.
In the 2-1 win over the Phillies, did the Marlins receive their first “home field” advantage?
A factor in the game just might have been the new turf at Marlins Park. The type of grass being used this year right now plays faster than a year ago.
The Marlins may have capitalized by the turf in the fifth inning when they scored their first run. Adeiny Hechavarria laced a liner over second baseman Chase Utley’s head. The ball whistled along the turf into the gap and past right fielder Laynce Nix. When the ball rolled to the wall, Hechavarria finished with a triple.
He scored on Jose Fernandez’s single to left.
And in the ninth inning, with the infield in, Coghlan tapped a grounder that wasn’t handled cleanly by Utley. It was ruled a single, and Placido Polanco scored the game-winning run.
Marlins Park, which opened in 2012, has a different type of turf this year.
A year ago, the brand of turf was called Celebration. It had a tough time growing because of the unpredictable rain patterns at Marlins Park. The need to close the roof prevented the grass from getting steady stretches of sunlight.
The park now has two different styles of grass. In the field and foul territory is Platinum TE Paspalum, and in the outfield is Tifway 419, a type of Bermuda grass, which is similar to what is used at Turner Field in Atlanta.
A couple of days ago, Miami outfielder Justin Ruggiano noted the turf now plays fast.
“I found myself in BP, I had to take deeper routes, and make deeper angles to balls,” Ruggiano said recently to MLB.com. “It skips like off a fairway, like on a golf course. But it’s good. We’ll get used to it. Play it to our advantage, hopefully.”
Maybe Miami got its first taste of home cooking on Saturday.
The Marlins wrap up their three-game set with the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Kevin Slowey gets the nod against Roy Halladay.
1) Pierre, LF
2) Coghlan, CF
3) Polanco, 3B
4) Dobbs, 1B
5) Ruggiano, RF
6) Brantly, C
7) Valaika, 2B
8) Hechavarria, SS
9) Slowey, P
— Joe Frisaro