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"That's for you"


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MIAMI -- When the ball ripped by a diving David Wright at third base, Miguel Cabrera turned to the dugout, pointed to Dontrelle Willis and said, "That's for you."

 

The Marlins certainly needed a big boost from their two biggest stars: Cabrera and Willis.

 

Together, the team leaders delivered Thursday night in the Marlins' energized 4-1 win over the Mets in front of a split crowd of 24,097 at Dolphin Stadium.

 

Cabrera's three-run double down the third-base line off Aaron Heilman (1-4) with two outs in the eighth inning snapped a tie, and gave the Marlins and Willis a nice victory.

 

On a night Willis (7-8) hooked up with Pedro Martinez, and helped the Marlins take two of three from the Mets, there was plenty of excitement in the ballpark. As always when the Mets are in town, a large number of fans were wearing New York orange and blue.

 

Cabrera was the offensive hero. A night after driving in four runs, but striking out against Billy Wagner in the ninth inning to end a 6-5 loss Wednesday, Cabrera was celebrating.

 

"They stepped it up," manager Joe Girardi said of Willis and Cabrera. "In a big game, our two big guys were there. They are the returners and they've had big-game experience. They were there tonight, big."

 

There were a lot of inspired plays throughout the game. On the mound, Willis was as animated as he's been since he broke onto the big-league scene as a rookie in 2003. Fist-pumping, pointing and bouncing around on the field, the D-Train worked eight splendid innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits while striking out five and walking three.

 

"It's big," said Willis, who helped his cause by inducing four inning-ending double plays. "We've had a lot of tough breaks this season. When the ball bounces our way out there, I'm excited. Not because I'm out there. Today, David Wright [in the eighth inning] hits a ball right at my face. It goes right to Hanley [Ramirez] and he turns it. That's a ball that usually kicks into the dugout and they get two bases. That's the luck we've been having."

 

The play Willis was describing was the left-hander's 120th and final pitch of the night. With one on and one out, Wright lined a comebacker that deflected off Willis' glove toward short. Ramirez scooped it up, got the force at second, and threw on for an inning-ending double play.

 

In the eighth inning, Heilman got into immediate trouble, allowing a leadoff single to Miguel Olivo. A sacrifice bunt by Alfredo Amezaga put the go-ahead run at second. Ramirez then walked, and after Dan Uggla struck out, Mike Jacobs walked to fill the bases.

 

Cabrera turned on the first pitch, delivering his three-run double. Once the ball blistered by Wright, Cabrera did something rare. As he was running to first, he pointed into the Marlins' dugout on the first-base side.

 

"It was the first time, when the ball went by him, I looked at Dontrelle, pointed to him, and said, 'That's for you,'" Cabrera said.

 

Jacobs scored from first when the ball bobbled out of catcher Paul Lo Duca's glove. With a three-run cushion, Joe Borowski worked a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.

 

The crowd erupted when Borowski struck out Lastings Milledge for the final out.

 

"When the Mets come here, we see a lot of fans here," Cabrera said. "We see a lot of people coming to the field. They put a lot of extra energy for us.

 

"When you see 20,000 people in your home, it makes you feel good, and you want to win."

 

The Marlins have the lowest home attendance in the league, so having more than 20,000 raises the excitement level.

 

"When you see 5,000 and 10,000 people and you don't see everybody rooting for you, it lets you down a little," Cabrera said.

 

The anticipated brilliantly pitched game lived up to form. Martinez and Willis battled and made key pitches when they needed to.

 

The Marlins got to Martinez first. With two outs in the sixth inning, Jacobs crushed a first-pitch offering 391 feet into the right-field seats.

 

Ironically, a year ago when Jacobs was with the Mets, Martinez was one of his biggest supporters. Called up from Double-A in August 2005, the Mets were considering sending Jacobs back down after he belted a pinch-hit, three-run homer in his first big-league at-bat.

 

"I hit the home run, and I was supposed to get sent down, and he let some people know that was the wrong move, and he was pretty vocal about it," Jacobs said of Martinez going to bat for him. "If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be here right now."

 

In the seventh inning, the Mets tied it on Jose Reyes' RBI groundout to second. The run came amid some controversy. With one out, and the count full, Julio Franco lined a pinch-hit single to right field. Jeremy Hermida tried to make the catch, and the sinking drive skipped past the Marlins right fielder. The two-base error allowed Franco to reach third and set up the unearned run.

 

But during that sequence with Franco, Willis was ahead 1-2 in the count and made two very close pitches that home-plate umpire Mike Reilly called balls. When the inning ended on Lo Duca's flyout to center field, Willis approached home plate and said a few words to Reilly. It is uncharacteristic for Willis to say anything to the umpires.

 

Quickly, Olivo stepped in. Reilly felt Willis was showing him up, but tempers were quickly restored.

 

"It's the first time all year I've seen him upset like that," Girardi said of Willis. "That's OK. That's the emotional part of the game. You want players to have emotion in this game. I don't want a bunch of deadbeats going out there."

 

Willis insisted he wasn't trying to made Reilly look bad.

 

"I just said, 'Hey, we're working too hard.' That's all I said," Willis noted. "You can ask him. I didn't swear at him. I just said, 'We're working too hard.' By the time I looked up, Olivo was in my face and I'm not getting around Olivo. I wasn't disrespecting him. The only thing is I shouldn't have gone up to him, because I feel like that's not my place.

 

"But that shouldn't happen. If I see him, I'm going to apologize."

 

The inspired win typified how the Marlins have played since late May. They are maturing each week, and team owner Jeffrey Loria is happy with the progress. "Dontrelle deserved to win this game," Loria said. "He was awesome. He was fired up, but under control. ... Everybody thought we'd lose 120 games. When you're in the middle of it [making a push for the Wild Card], it's nice to watch."

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

How can you not love Dontrelle or Miggy? :notworthy .

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very emotional and energetic win, gotta be one of the top wins of this season considering the team and circumstances. amazing series on both sides and Miguel Cabrera and Willis doing it big in this game shows they can lead this ball club no matter how young they are.

 

beautiful stuff and now its time to carry it into todays game.

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I'm more impressed by Miguel saying something like that (which is great to hear). I had fears after last season that perhaps Miguel wasn't an ideal clubhouse kind of guy.

 

Last year Miguel was considered a clubhouse cancer because he felt people looked at the number of his age then the numbers of his stats. He felt he was not being respected by the veterans of the club and stuff. This year, he is an inspiring hitter being looked up to by everyone in the CH, everyone is picking at his brain for help and thats probably why he likes the team so much this year.

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I'm more impressed by Miguel saying something like that (which is great to hear). I had fears after last season that perhaps Miguel wasn't an ideal clubhouse kind of guy.

 

Last year Miguel was considered a clubhouse cancer because he felt people looked at the number of his age then the numbers of his stats. He felt he was not being respected by the veterans of the club and stuff. This year, he is an inspiring hitter being looked up to by everyone in the CH, everyone is picking at his brain for help and thats probably why he likes the team so much this year. That and he is playing ona team with people his age and his wavelength. :p

 

 

 

That was so awesome how fired up it was last night. As much as I hate Mets fans, they bring out the best in Marlins fans. :D

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