PHILADELPHIA — In the movie “The Matrix”, Morpheus makes a proposition to Neo, giving him a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. If he took the blue pill, Neo’s life would return to normal. If he chose the red pill, he would see “how deep the rabbit hole goes.” The blue pill represents blissful ignorance, while the red pill represents the need to embrace the harsh truth of reality. The Marlins should plan a blue pill giveaway during its next “Super Saturday” promotion because, to quote another movie, “reality bites.”
After snapping its season-high 8-game losing streak last Friday against the Diamondbacks, the Fish arrive in Tampa exactly one week later with a brand new 7-game losing streak in hand. The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” got a little bit dimmer this week as the Marlins lost four straight games — in three days — to the rival Phillies.
Nothing seemed to work against Philadelphia as the Marlins were soundly beaten with superior hitting and pitching. The Fish were outscored 27-6 in the series including a 3-0 shutout on Thursday afternoon. The Marlins stood no chance against Cliff Lee on Thursday as the Phillies’ ace tossed a complete-game 2-hitter.
Perhaps the Fish could have scratched out a gutsy, hard-nosed win against the veteran lefty had it not been for the soul-sucking debacle that occurred the night before.
After getting roughed up to the tune of eight runs in the day-game opener of the doubleheader, the Marlins were poised to get one back before the wheels fell off once again. Anibal Sanchez had pitched seven strong innings — and outdueled Roy Halladay — as the Marlins headed into the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead, ready to bring in Leo Nunez to close it out.
Carlos Ruiz and the Phillies had other plans.
Leo was in trouble after he gave up back-to-back singles to Ruiz and Ross Gload, and he was definitely sweating when Jimmy Rollins moved the runners over. Nunez blew his third save of the year — and got tagged with the loss — when Shane Victorino poked a two-out single up the middle, tying the game at 4.
The Phillies rode the momentum of their ninth inning rally into the 10th inning, relying on another collapse by the Marlins bullpen to pull out the win. After hitting Ryan Howard and walking Domonic Brown to lead off the inning, Marlins reliever Mike Dunn coughed up a walk-off seeing-eye single to Carlos Ruiz.
It marked the 16th time in 17 games that the Fish would end up in the loss column, and Glenn Geffner said it best after Ruiz’s hit when he made the call, “And just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does!”
The Marlins only consistency has been its inconsistency. The Fish have gone 2-8 on the road since its impressive sweep of the Giants in San Francisco — seemingly a lifetime ago — and have lost 11 of their last 12 games inside the friendly confines of Pro-Robbie-Land-Dolphin-Life Stadium.
It’s been a tough stretch lately for the Marlins and things seem to be getting worse by the day. The Fish had to move staff ace Josh Johnson to the 60-day DL as his injury lingers, and the team today made a head-scratching move as Chris Coghlan was optioned to AAA New Orleans. It was seemingly a panic move as the Marlins have tumbled all the way down into last place in the NL East.
Quite often when a team spirals out of control like the Marlins have recently, the team’s manager will get the dreaded “vote of confidence” from the higher-ups in the organization, usually followed up by an unceremonius dismissal. While nothing has yet been murmured about Edwin Rodriguez’s job security, if I were Edwin, I’d screen my calls until the team starts streaking in the opposite direction.
News and Notes:
ESPN is reportedly adding a documentary to its heralded “30 for 30″ series, and it will be based on the recent Ohio State scandal. Working titles so far are “Columbus Ink”, “Pryor to the Snap”, and my personal favorite, “The Vest That Money Can Buy”…A Fontana, CA woman is suing a local dollar store after she slipped on a banana peel and fell earlier this week. The store’s owners are already involved in a similar case, when last month a man stepped on a rake that reportedly popped up, striking him in the face…The Mets lost on a “balk off” against the Braves Thursday night. That’s it, there’s no need for a punch-line…
About the Author
Written by Jon Melton
Born in the Northeast and now residing in South Florida, I've traveled the country in search of truth, justice and the best hot dog. A regular contributor for the Miami Herald, I cover all the sports that SOFLA has to offer. Have questions, comments or cleverly constructed insults? Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org