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Gotta love Joe's and the players attitudes.


Hollyberry
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HOUSTON -- They may be young, but the Marlins certainly are determined.

 

Facing an uphill battle and a five-run deficit on Wednesday night, the Marlins nearly pulled off an impressive comeback at Minute Maid Park. But ultimately, the Astros prevailed, 6-5, with closer Brad Lidge shutting the door in the ninth.

 

Though Lidge logged his second save in three nights, the All-Star closer certainly was tested in a 28-pitch frame. The Marlins threatened with two outs when Jeremy Hermida drew a walk after being down 0-2 in the count. Miguel Cabrera, also facing 0-2, collected a single, putting runners on first and second for Josh Willingham.

 

Battling after being down two strikes, Willingham broke his bat on a ground ball to short to end the game.

 

Houston took two of three in the series, with both of Florida's losses decided by only one run.

 

"Tonight I'm most proud of our team," said manager Joe Girardi, who suffered Wednesday's tough loss after his first victory, an 11-2 rout on Tuesday night. "This is the best game we played. We got down early and we didn't quit. We just took, arguably, the No. 1 or [2] closer in the league -- him and [the Mets' Billy Wagner] -- it took him [28 pitches] to get us out. It's unbelievable what our kids did tonight."

 

The Astros jumped on Brian Moehler for six runs in two innings, including a pair of two-run home runs in a four-run first. Moehler was lifted after 31 pitches and with the Marlins trailing, 6-1.

 

The 34-year-old veteran says he is physically fine but that his mechanics are off right now.

 

"It was a terrible game tonight, it's the only way to explain it," said Moehler. "I didn't pitch well at all. Mechanically, I just don't feel right. Something is out of whack. The ball keeps running on me -- I'm having a hard time with location."

 

Down by five, the Marlins made it a one-run game in the seventh inning on Cabrera's RBI double, which scored Hermida, who'd also doubled.

 

"This team, we're not going to give up out there," said Hermida, who had a solid night, going 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. "We're playing hard to the last out. It's something we're going to take pride in, and we're going to go out there and try to win some one-run ballgames."

 

Starting six rookies, the Marlins naturally will go through growing pains. Showing the ability to scrap in front of 26,589 and making a closer such as Lidge give a little more effort are part of the character-building of the club.

 

"Even though this was a loss, we can take some good stuff out of it," said Hermida. "We got down early, and our bullpen came in and shut them down the remainder of the game."

 

In the Astros' four-run first inning, Lance Berkman and Preston Wilson each hit opposite-field two-run home runs. Then, in the second inning, Craig Biggio and Berkman added RBI singles.

 

Moehler said that the pitch Berkman hit out was supposed to be inside, yet it ran across the plate. Wilson's home run, Moehler said, came on a pitch up and middle-in rather than down and away.

 

"My location is horrible right now," he said.

 

Moehler says that the mechanical problems have plagued him since his last few Spring Training starts. Being able to refine his delivery will be crucial, because his next scheduled start is on April 11, the Marlins' home opener, against the Padres.

 

Florida is currently going with a four-man rotation because of two early off-days. The team has Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson, both of whom were starters in the Minor Leagues, working long relief out of the bullpen. If some of the starters struggle on a consistent basis, it is possible that they could skip a turn or two in the rotation in order to iron out their problems.

 

The Marlins on Wednesday were able to rally largely because their bullpen gave up only two hits over the final six innings.

 

Three solid innings of scoreless relief by Nolasco, making his Major League debut, enabled the Marlins to chip back to 6-4 off Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez, who was lifted after five innings.

 

"These guys play hard," said Moehler. "They didn't give up. They played hard. Nolasco pitched great. We had our chances in the ninth. That's the good thing about a young team. Not that veteran guys don't, but young teams, it seems like [they] have a little bit more fire to them. Hats off to everybody. Everybody played well."

 

Willingham had an RBI single in the first inning, and Florida closed the gap to two with a run-scoring double by Dan Uggla in the fourth inning, and then two more runs in the fifth. Cabrera delivered an RBI single in that inning, and Willingham lifted a sacrifice fly.

 

The Marlins had a bases-loaded opportunity in the fourth inning, when they trailed 6-2. But Girardi opted to let Nolasco bat with two outs, and the pitcher struck out against Rodriguez.

 

Girardi said that he didn't pinch-hit then because Johnson had thrown 1 2/3 innings on Monday. Since it was early, the Marlins wanted Nolasco to stay in the game. "If I wouldn't have thrown Johnson a couple of innings the other night, I would have done it," said Girardi of pinch-hitting. "But we've said all along, we're going to protect our arms. We're not going to abuse them. We're not going to risk anyone's health for one win. I won't do it."

 

 

 

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...t=.jsp&c_id=fla

 

 

 

I really LOVE Joe's and the whole teams attitude.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

Girardi said that he didn't pinch-hit then because Johnson had thrown 1 2/3 innings on Monday. Since it was early, the Marlins wanted Nolasco to stay in the game. "If I wouldn't have thrown Johnson a couple of innings the other night, I would have done it," said Girardi of pinch-hitting. "But we've said all along, we're going to protect our arms. We're not going to abuse them. We're not going to risk anyone's health for one win. I won't do it."

 

 

 

What a breath of fresh air as compared to the last few seasons. It's nice to see someone have a plan, and not run the bullpen willy-nilly on hunches and gut feelings. It's also nice to see that protecting our arms and planning for the future is a priority instead of going for the complete game in April.

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Guest Juanky

"It was a terrible game tonight, it's the only way to explain it," said Moehler. "I didn't pitch well at all. Mechanically, I just don't feel right. Something is out of whack. The ball keeps running on me -- I'm having a hard time with location."

That is not good and hopefully if he doesn't clear it up in his side session, his next start is made by someone else.

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"It was a terrible game tonight, it's the only way to explain it," said Moehler. "I didn't pitch well at all. Mechanically, I just don't feel right. Something is out of whack. The ball keeps running on me -- I'm having a hard time with location."

That is not good and hopefully if he doesn't clear it up in his side session, his next start is made by someone else.

 

Go Ricky..Go Ricky...

 

:whistle

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