After totaling seven hits in their first two games, the fans of the brand new Miami Marlins were ready to divulge themselves to panic. After all, this was a team that had speed at the top of the order, superb power in the middle, and enough at the bottom to lift up the stars. After decent but not ace-like performances by P’s Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle resulting in one total run of support, the Miami Marlins finally emerged in a big way against Cincinnati Reds ace Mat Latos and their high powered lineup.
Leadoff sparks SS Jose Reyes and CF Emilio Bonifacio each collected hits and runs while 3B Hanley Ramirez hit his first home run of the season. The biggest accomplishments went to RF Giancarlo Stanton and 2B Omar Infante, who respectively totaled six hits, four of them extra base hits, and four RBI’s with Infante falling a single short of the cycle. For good measure, power hitting C John Buck threw in a two run blast, his first as well.
The across-the-board contribution, with seven out of nine starters gaining hits, is not enough to take away from the outstanding eight inning performance of up and down RHP Ricky Nolasco, whose third earned run was more of a fatigued freebie.
The Fish continued their mastery of Latos but also tagged the Reds bullpen for a few runs. The three run fifth inning in particular was a microcosm of things to come, with extra base hits, stolen bases, walks, and brutish hitting from Stanton all in the mix. Finally, the offense was capable of supporting some solid starting pitching.
To top things off, CP Heath Bell shut the door in a park that had his fly-ball style worrying some. Mat Latos is a fly-ball pitcher, which had many concerned about his ability in the Great American Ballpark. If this is as much a sign of things to come for Latos as it is for the Marlins, the Reds might want their trade back.
The biggest lesson to gather from this win is the total team effort. Great pitching, timely hitting, and crisp base running were all part of the mix. The best win is a well-rounded victory, which Miami brings to the table each night. There are 159 games remaining, with a single game never being taken too much into account. This win, however, shows the type of dynamism that this lineup showed on paper when unveiled. Translating writing to results, is the fun of being a fan.