Words cannot express the feeling in my stomach. What an absolutely gut-wrenching loss. The Florida Marlins had everything going for them. Great starting pitching, run support, and good middle relief. It seemed like a win was right around the corner, once third baseman Wes Helms made a fabulous diving catch to save more base runners. It seemed like the Marlins closer Kevin Gregg was off the hook.
The game started with an RBI single by Carlos Zambrano, yes I said it Carlos Zambrano. Marlins Pitcher Josh Johnson was able to get out of the inning giving up only one run. The Marlins answered back in the bottom of the first. Cody Ross ripped a double to drive in Dan Uggla. Later in the game Jorge Cantu would rip a three run homer, Josh Willingham added on a run to give the fish a 5-1 lead.
The Marlins seemed to be in control, until Mark Derosa ripped a two run homer. This shrunk the Marlins lead to 2 runs. Matt Lindstrom and Joe Nelson held the leads, and looked good doing it, leaving a two run lead to the closer Gregg.
Gregg has always been solid when he gets the first batter out, the problem is he has not done that much this year, and he continued the trend tonight. He walked the lead off hitter Mark Derosa. Helms bailed Gregg out by making a diving catch for the first out, but Gregg could not close the door. Reed Johnson came up and knocked a base hit. Daryle Ward was up next.
Once I saw Ward come up to the plate, I was praying Gregg would not try and blow fastballs by him, and what do you know on an 0-1 count Gregg throws a fastball, and it's in the stands.
This sunk the fish's lead and gave the Chicago Cubs a 6-5 lead. The loss to the Cubs, and win by the New York Mets sends the Marlins 3 1/2 back of first place. It seems this Marlins team does not have the experience, and timely hitting to make the playoffs. Meanwhile as the fish have faltered the Mets are soaring up the standings, and seem destined for a division title.
No man in Florida must feel worse than Kevin Gregg. This is a difficult loss to swallow, but that's the beauty of the game ,anything can happen. The season is not over yet, but the fish definitely find themselves on the ropes.