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9/16 - Marlins(74-73) at Braves(70-77) 7:05pm


Marlinswschamps2008
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Just win.

That's the message that manager Joe Girardi is preaching to his youthful squad in this stretch run of the National League Wild Card race.

 

The Marlins did just that on Friday, bouncing back from successive tough losses to the Mets to take a 6-4 decision from the Braves at Turner Field.

 

They are aware that they have a small margin of error in the second game of the series on Saturday if they are to claim the Wild Card.

 

Initially, this game was slated to be nationally televised in the afternoon on FOX. But a few weeks ago, it was switched to a night game, with no national feed. SUN Sports will air the game in Florida.

 

The Marlins are sending one of their best pitchers to the mound in hopes of taking their second straight game at Atlanta.

 

Anibal Sanchez is certainly on a roll. The rookie has won three straight starts and four consecutive decisions. Of course, the masterpiece in the streak was his no-hitter over the Diamondbacks on Sept. 6.

 

For an encore, he went out and tossed seven splendid innings in beating the Mets. New York did get three runs and four hits, but in that outing, he struck out a career-best eight.

 

As a starter, Sanchez is 8-2 with a 2.40 ERA, logging 90 innings. He's in line to make three more starts this season. If he wins two of them, he will become the fourth Marlins rookie to post 10 or more wins in the same season. No Major League team has ever accomplished that.

 

The other rookies to have reached that benchmark are Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Scott Olsen, the first trio to reach 10 or more wins since three members of the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers did so.

 

Sanchez certainly has a tough assignment, as he matches up with veteran John Smoltz.

 

Smoltz (12-9, 3.86) has lost three straight decisions. He comes off a rough outing against the Cubs in which he gave up six runs in two innings.

 

For the season, Smoltz has compiled 203 innings in 31 starts. He has three complete games and a shutout. In three meetings with Florida, he is 1-1 with a 4.64 ERA.

 

Pitching matchup

 

 

 

FLA: RHP Anibal Sanchez (8-2, 2.96 ERA)

Sanchez has been sensational, winning four straight decisions. In his last start, he held the Mets to three runs on four hits in seven innings while striking out a career-high eight. That effort came after his Sept. 6 no-hitter against Arizona.

 

 

 

ATL: RHP John Smoltz (12-9, 3.86)

Smoltz tries to avoid his longest losing streak of the year, as he's lost three in a row for the second time this season. In his last start, the Atlanta ace lasted only two-plus innings against Chicago, surrendering six runs and six hits, including a pair of three-run homers. His ERA over his last two starts at Turner Field is 16.71.

 

Player to watch

Dan Uggla connected on his 25th homer on Friday night, establishing a Major League record for the most home runs by a rookie second baseman. He passed Joe Gordon's mark of 24, set with the Yankees in 1938. Uggla and Josh Willingham each have 25 homers, one shy of the Marlins' overall rookie record set by Preston Wilson in 1999.

 

On the Internet

MLB.TV

Gameday Audio

? Gameday

? Official game notes

 

On television

? SUN

 

On radio

? 560 WQAM, 1140 WQBA (Espa?ol)

 

Credit: MLB.com

 

Let's keep winning. Sorry for posting the game thread so late. I've been kinda busy with college stuff. :gofishb

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