Miscues costly for Miami Marlins in loss to Cincinnati Reds
The failure by Marlins players to make key plays led to an extra-inning loss to the Reds.
04/21/2013 12:01 AM
07/31/2014 5:15 PM
Juan Pierre didn’t get the bunt down.
Nick Green didn’t make the throw.
Steve Cishek didn’t make the pitch.
Wade LeBlanc didn’t do his job.
Get the idea? The list of things that didn’t go right for the Marlins far outnumbered the ones that did, and the result was a 3-2 loss in 13 innings to the Reds that prevented Miami from posting its first two-game winning streak.
The Marlins used every member of the bullpen except for Jon Rauch and completely exhausted their bench of position players. But it still added up to a loss as Brandon Phillips won it with a sacrifice fly off Cishek.
“Same old story,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Given the fact the Reds left 17 runners on base, it could have been much worse for the Marlins. As it was, there was no shortage of players willing to accept personal blame for the defeat.
Pierre was one. With two runners aboard in the fifth, he failed to drop down a bunt that would have given the Marlins two men in scoring position. Instead, his soft liner on a half-swing resulted in a double play.
“I get the bunt down there it’s game over, 3-2,” Pierre said. “I have to get the bunt down there. Those things I have to do.”
Green, who was making his second start in a row at shortstop, made a high throw to second on what looked to be an inning-ending double play grounder in the fourth. The Marlins only got one out of it, and Joey Votto made them pay with two-out RBI single on the next pitch.
“I beat myself up the whole game after that,” Green said. “It’s one of those things we can’t afford to do. Whenever we give them runs like that, it’s tough to swallow. When you feel like it led directly to a loss, it’s tough.”
And then there was LeBlanc.
The left-hander was coming off three consecutive outings in which he gave up runs in the first inning. He didn’t do that Saturday. But he was still erratic, as the Reds knocked him out after the fourth. While he gave up only two runs, LeBlanc gave up seven hits, walked three, and threw a total of 85 pitches in rather quick time.
“My day was terrible,” LeBlanc said. “My job is to save the bullpen, and I did pretty much the opposite. It could have been a lot worse. But it could have been a lot better, too. I needed a lot better bounce-back game after the game against the Nationals, and I wasn’t able to give this team what we needed, which was innings and a chance to win.”
Trailing 2-0, the Marlins tied it in the fifth on Joe Mahoney’s first major-league hit — an RBI single up the middle off Arroyo — and Placido Polanco’s RBI double. After Polanco’s hit, though, the Marlins went dead at the plate, managing only three more base runners (one of those via an intentional walk) the rest of the game.
Giancarlo Stanton remained mired in a season-long slump, going 1 for 6. His average now stands at .163, and he has yet to hit a home run or drive in a run.
Pierre struck out three times looking. It was the second game in a row in which he was whiffed three times.
About the only thing that did go right for the Marlins was their bullpen, which was impressive in blanking the Reds from the fifth inning through the 12th. Tom Koehler, A.J. Ramos and Ryan Webb each delivered two scoreless innings.
It wasn’t enough. Cishek, who picked up his first save on Friday, worked a scoreless 12th before giving up a leadoff double to Shin-Soo Choo, who reached base six times Saturday. After Choo advanced to third on a deep fly ball to center and Votto was walked intentionally Phillips lofted another deep fly to center that easily scored Choo.
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