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Fish Food: Marlins 5, Phillies 4

This was one of those games where everything started out promising. The weather was gorgeous, with Mother Nature atoning for her misbehavior the prior day, and the Phillies were getting timely situational hitting off of a pitcher who often confused them. Three runs had been scored on a Chooch-y ground out, a Rollins infield hit, and a Hunter Pence home run. And the Marlins had been held to a couple of singles (and most importantly off of the score board)... it was a third of the way through the game, and for Phillies fans, it could not get much better. But there were still six innings left... time for the fish to feed, and the Phillies bats to go quiet... and well, you know how that turns out.





In the top of the fourth, suddenly Hamels's pitches became Fish Food. First he fed a first pitch fastball to Hanley Ramirez, that Ramirez was more than happy to let a front row fan reel in, over the objections of Shane Victorino. Then, after frustrating Giancarlo Stanton, and giving up a single to Logan Morrison, Justin Ruggiano bit on another fastball, and while this ball stayed in the yard, Morrison scored and the game stood at 3-2.

Then came the top of the sixth. Omar Infante started the inning off by nibbling off an infield single. Then up came Hanley Ramirez, who, hungry for more runs, hit his second home run of the day to left field, putting the fish up 5-4. Hamels then managed three outs, including a pair of K's to end the inning, but it was too late. The lead had slipped away. The Marlins, still hungry for more, managed to tack on a vital insurance run in the seventh when, after Hamels fed a walk to the struggling Chris Coghlan, Jose Reyes feasted on Cole's final offering of the night, a cutter that he shot into the left field corner for a double. Marlins 5, Phillies 3.

At this point, the bullpennery began, and the Fish Feast ended. Chad Qualls came out and managed to induce a ground out from Omar Infante to end the Sixth. Schwimmer and Valdes would work an uneventful eighth and ninth for the obviously sated Marlins

Offensively, the Phillies worke up from their slumber in the eighth and ninth. After throwing only 77 pitches through seven, Nolasco gave up a triple to Jimmy Rollins to start off the seventh inning, then walked Juan Pierre before departing in favor of Steve Cicheck, whose day started out by facing Hunter Pence. After Juan Pierre stole second, Pence was up there with a pair of runners in scoring position, no outs, with shadows, and a difficult to see sidearm pitcher dogging his chances. Surprisingly, Pence managed to knock Rollins in on a Sac fly, moving the tying run to third with one out. Unfortunately, this is still the Phillies offense, and predictably, knocking one run in from third with less than 2 outs was the best they were going to do. Chooch struck out, flailing at a slider outside, and after Victorino worked a walk, Ty Wigginton flailed at a high slider.

And so they went to the bottom of the ninth. Polanco led it off with a single, and was replaced by pinch runner Mike Fontonot. Following a bunt single sacrifice bunt by Freddy Galvis, Brian Schneider and Jimmy Rollins came up to the plate, and both popped up, ending the game.

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