Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Marlins among comeback kids

Throughout the playoffs, we’ve seen late-inning heroics and thrilling comeback victories.

On Monday, both games were decided by comebacks. Jimmy Rollins provided some two-out, walk-off drama in the ninth inning to rally the Phillies past the Dodgers in Game 4. Rollins lined a two-run double off Jonathan Broxton to lift his team to a 5-4 win.

Earlier in the day, the Angels overcame a three-run deficit and beat the Yankees, also 5-4, in 11 innings when Jeff Mathis came through with a walk-off double.

The Yankees certainly have had their share of clutch hits in the playoffs. In the A.L. Division Series, Alex Rodriguez had a ninth inning homer off Joe Nathan to help rally his team. And A-Rod also went deep in the ninth inning off Brian Fuentes of the Angels to pull the Yankees even in the A.L. Championship Series.

Resiliency, obviously, is a characteristic of a championship-caliber team. That’s why it isn’t shocking that the four teams in their respective League Championshp Series also are the teams that paced the Major Leagues in comeback wins during the regular season.

What many people probably don’t know is the Marlins were fifth in the big leagues in rallying to wins.

The Marlins didn’t wind up in the playoffs, but they did win 87 games. In 41 of those victories, they trailed at some point.

The top five comeback teams in 2009 were:

* Yankees, 51
* Angels, 47
* Phillies, 43
* Dodgers, 42
* Marlins, 41

The Marlins 41 comeback victories is two behind their franchise record.

Florida’s top comeback seasons are:

* 43 in 2008
* 43 in 1997
* 42 in 2007
* 41 in 2009
* 41 in 2000.

The 1997 Marlins, of course, won the World Series, and the 2008 squad finished with 84 wins.

— Joe Frisaro


Clarification on hit streak

More on the Marlins historical hit streak.

It was brought to my attention that there should be some clarification to the hit streak chart showing the all-time streaks of 10 or more hits. The record, since 1900, is 18, shared by the Indians (1925) and St. Louis Browns (1922).

The Marlins ran their string to 14 straight games with an 11-hit performance on Tuesday night at Houston. That’s the longest streak since the 1937 Browns hit in 15 straight.

If you date back before 1900, you’ll find some marks higher than 18 straight games.

The 1894 Phillies had 10-plus hits in 31 consecutive games, from Aug. 11-Sept. 11, 1894.

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins wild, tense seventh

A series of wild events and timely hitting punctuated the Marlins’ six-run seventh inning on Sunday.

There was tension right off the bat in the frame when home plate umpire Ed Rapuano ejected Shane Victorino, who was standing in center field. Victorino was tossed when Rapuano called an 0-2 pitch by Rodrigo Lopez a ball with Wes Helms at the plate.

Throwing his arms up in disgust in center field, Rapuano tossed the All-Star outfielder. Victorino charged toward Rapuano, and he to be restrained by his teammates. Ryan Howard did his part keeping his teammate from the umpire.

Jayson Werth replaced Victorino in center field. The Marlins went on to send 10 to the plate, scoring six runs, all with two outs.

Chris Coghlan had a two-run single with the bases loaded, but three runners scored when Werth misplayed the ball, allowing Coghlan to reach third.

Hanley Ramirez ripped a two-run double, giving him 160 two-base hits for his career. That’s sixth most in franchise history.

Phillies fans repeatedly booed Rapuano’s calls during the inning, and chanted: “Victorino!”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson worked out of a first-and-third, two-out jam by striking out Howard looking.

Howard took a full-count pitch, called a strike by Rapuano. Howard wasn’t happy with the call.

— Joe Frisaro


Makeup date set for Sept. 22

The Marlins-Phillies game that was rained out on July 18 at Land Shark Stadium now has an official makeup date.

The Marlins announced on Tuesday morning that the game has been rescheduled for Sept. 22 as part of a doubleheader at Land Shark Stadium. The first game will be at 4:10 p.m. ET that day, with the second game following.

Sept. 22 is a Tuesday. That series will be three-games over two days, concluding on Sept. 23.

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins set series rotation

With the All-Star Game completed, the Marlins rotation for their four-game series with the Phillies also has been set.

The Marlins will send Chris Volstad to the mound on Thursday against Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer.

In the remaining three games, Florida will go with Ricky Nolasco on Friday night, Josh Johnson on Saturday night, and left-hander Andrew Miller on Sunday.

The Marlins had been waiting to see where they’d slot Johnson, who was at the All-Star Game. Johnson comes off a victory last Sunday at Arizona, and he would have been lined up to start on Friday.

Even though he didn’t pitch for the National League on Tuesday night in the All-Star Game, the right-hander is getting an extra day of rest for the big showdown with the Phillies.

Philadelphia is starting Cole Hamels on Friday, Joe Blanton on Saturday and J.A. Happ on Sunday.

— Joe Frisaro


Coghlan big fan of Utley

Facing the Phillies has provided Chris Coghlan with the opportunity to see first-hand one of his most admired players — Chase Utley.

“I don’t know him at all, but I really respect the guy for the way he plays the game and the level that he plays it at,” Coghlan said.

Coghlan, 23, was a second baseman and third baseman in the Minor Leagues before he was called up in early May to play left field.

Coghlan, like Utley, hits left-handed. And Coghlan hopes to be talked about as someone people respect for the intensity level in which he plays the game.

“I always think of Utley as a great player. He can do everything,” Coghlan said. “Steals. Plays good defense. Obviously, his offense out-shines everything else. But I just respect him, and I just call him a gamer.

“If anyone ever says that about me, it’s the ultimate compliment.”

Coghlan puts Utley in the class of Yankees great Derek Jeter.

“Jeter is still the same way, and people say the same thing about him,” Coghlan said. “He still is a great player and a winner. Utley, in the last four years, people are starting to talk about him that way. I think that’s the ultimate compliment.”

— Joe Frisaro

Badenhop to start Wednesday

The Marlins have decided on who to start on Wednesday at Philadelphia.

Burke Badenhop will make his first start of the season. The right-hander has thrown out of the bullpen in long relief since he was called up from Triple-A New Orleans.

A sinkerball pitcher, the Marlins are hoping he can get his share of groundball outs in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

How long Badenhop can go is up in the air. He did make two starts at Triple-A, but those came in early April.

His longest outing with the Marlins has been 3 2/3 innings and 53 pitches, last Wednesday against Arizona.

— Joe Frisaro

Gregg offers Lindstrom advice

For two years, Kevin Gregg was a veteran presense who offered advice to Matt Lindstrom.

This season, Lindstrom has replaced Gregg as the Marlins closer. Gregg, meanwhile, is pitching for the Cubs. The two had a long conversation at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

“He’s learning on the job now,” Gregg said. “He’s got the reins full time. Obviously, he has the stuff. Now it’s just figuring out how to use his stuff, and bouncing back day-to-day. You’re not going to be perfect out there.”

Lindstrom is 5-for-7 in save chances, but his most disappointing outing came on April 24 against the Phillies. The hard-throwing Lindstrom entered in the ninth inning with Florida ahead 3-0, but he was tagged for seven runs, including a grand slam to Shane Victorino.

“When he gave up those seven runs against Philly, that’s part of the lumps you’ve got to take,” Gregg said before the Marlins faced the Cubs on Friday. “You’ve got to learn what you’re doing, and how to control it.

“That stuff happens quick. One thing, you’ve got to get out of that inning. Secondly, then you’ve got to come back the next day. The game is going to come after you right away. He bounced back, and he’s throwing well.”

While Lindstrom has logged two straight saves since he suffered that loss to the Phillies, he had to wait four days before taking the mound again. That opportunity came on Tuesday in New York, and he closed out the ninth.

“There are times when you don’t want to stew on it, but there are also times that it’s good for you,” Gregg said. “You have to know what that feeling is like, because you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to repeat that ever. But, I think that made him tougher, and realize, ‘Hey, I’ve got to attack the hitters, and go after them.’ That’s what he showed in New York.”

— Joe Frisaro


Taylor lined up for Sunday

Officially, the Marlins will announce their Sunday starter after Saturday’s game.

Indications for several days have been that it will be Graham Taylor, the left-hander from Double-A Jacksonville.

The latest clear indicator is the fact Taylor was scheduled to start for Jacksonville on Saturday night at Montgomery. Now, Jacksonville is starting Jarrett Santos.

A left-hander, Taylor will fill Andrew Miller’s rotation spot. Miller is on the DL with a strained right oblique. If he performs, Taylor could make a couple of starts.

Going with Taylor against the Phillies makes sense since Philadelphia is loaded with left-handed hitters.

— Joe Frisaro

Lindstrom not available Saturday

Matt Lindstrom still is the Marlins closer. But not for Saturday night.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez is staying away from using Lindstrom on Saturday because he threw 38 pitches in the ninth inning in Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Phillies.

Lindstrom was tagged for all seven runs in the ninth inning, including a grand slam to Shane Victorino and a solo shot to Chase Utley.

Because of the high pitch count, Lindstrom was given Saturday off. Still, Gonzalez says about Lindstrom, “There’s something special there.”

A closer for the first time, Lindstrom is 3-for-5 this season in save chances, and he’s converted eight of 13 in his career.

The Marlins are being patient with Lindstrom, letting him grow into the role.

“You can’t simulate that seventh inning,” Gonzalez said. “I looked it up. He’s only had 13 opportunities.”

The pressures of the ninth inning just aren’t the same as in the seventh or eighth. Gonzalez notes that starting pitchers feel the same heat while trying to get through the necessary five innings to qualify for a win.

“It’s the ninth inning for the closers and the teams, and it’s the fifth inning for the starters,” Gonzalez said. “How many times do you see the starters go out there, and all a sudden they say, ‘If I get one more hitter, I get the W?’ Then all of a sudden, it’s like base on balls, and 25 pitches later.”

Lindstrom watched some video of his performance on Friday, because he wanted to see the location of his pitches. He admitted to having a rough night of sleep.

“I’ve got to stop getting behind hitters,” Lindstrom said. “I’ve never had an inning like that. Never like that. Not even in the Minor Leagues.

“There were quite a few pitches I’d want back from last night. Pitches I threw with not a lot of conviction, just because my stuff was a little more difficult to harnass last night.”

Lindstrom said his fastball was cutting five or six pitches away from the plate.

“Then I’d have to ease one in there to throw a strike,” Lindstrom said. “That’s not going to cut it, especially when these guys are timing it, timing it and timing it.”

Leo Nunez is the strongest candidate to close, but Gonzalez said he would play matchups.