Posted by Wally Londo on 12:39am, Tuesday August 11th 2009
In a season of big streaks, the Florida Marlins are suddenly back in the hunt in the NL East.
Rick VandenHurk pitched five effective innings, five Florida players had at least one RBI and the Marlins beat the Houston Astros 8-6 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.
“It was nice to come out and not be flat,” Marlins catcher John Baker said, referring to the Marlins’ first game since a three-game sweep at Philadelphia.
Baker had two RBI, and NL batting leader Hanley Ramirez had two singles and an RBI to help chase starter Brian Moehler (7-8) after five innings.
Florida moved within 3½ games of idle Philadelphia for the NL East lead.
VandenHurk (2-1) struck out four and allowed two runs and five hits.
“It wasn’t feeling like a good outing early on, but we scored some runs and it allowed me to keep attacking,” VandenHurk said.
Excellent overall win. Vandenhurk wasn’t stellar, but he did enough, and the offense gave him an early cushion to work with by scoring 4 in the first.
The top of the order for the Marlins has continued to play excellent, with Chris Coghlan getting on base 3 more times, though his streak of multi hit games was stalled at 8; just a new club record.
Each of the club’s first 6 batters reached base at least 2 times, and Cody Ross was the only starting position player to not be on base twice; he only had one walk and a sac fly for an RBI.
Don’t have the ability to post photos, so no nice pretty Craig Counsell Hero of the Game Award picture, but we’ll give it out nonetheless, and tonight John Baker is the big winner!
The Marlins are now just 3.5 back and have a real opportunity to bury a hurting Houston team in the next three games going into a big wild card showdown with Colorado on the weekend. Just 26 of the team’s next 32 games are against teams with a winning record, so this is the prime time for the Marlins to make a run.
The magic number for the Wild Card is between 88-92 wins over the last 7 seasons, so you want to see them win 30 of their next 50, a not insurmountable task, but a tall one.