The Marlins scored three runs in the ninth to tie the game, but a home run by former Marlins first baseman Derrerk Lee in the 10th led to a 9-8 Cubs victory before 35,811 fans at Land Shark Stadium.
Florida’s three-run rally started when Ronny Paulino hit his first career pinch-hit home run to spark the Marlins with two outs in the ninth. Chris Coghlan followed with a single to left and Nick Johnson singled to put runners on first and third for Emilio Bonifacio. The infielder, who replaced Hanley Ramirez before the fourth inning due to a left knee contusion, delivered with a two-run triple over center fielder Kosuke Fukudome that tied the game at 8.
Lee led off the 10th inning with a solo home run on a 2-0 Leo Nunez fastball that put the Cubs back in front, 9-8, but that was not all the damage he did on Saturday night. The former Marlins first baseman was 4-for-6 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.
The Cubs scored six runs over 1 2/3 innings off Marlins starter Burke Badenhop, but Florida’s relievers shut out Chicago’s offense until Ryan Theriot hit a two-run double with two outs in the top of the ninth. The bullpen was led by Brian Sanches, who threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Badenhop while striking out six and allowing just two hits.
The Marlins began to claw at the six-run deficit by scoring a run in the bottom of the second. Jeremy Hermida’s single drove in a run in the third while Johnson doubled in a run in the fourth. Hermida drove in two more in the fifth, but the Marlins were unable to score again until Paulino homered in the ninth.
Nice to see them battle back, and great to see the life Nick Johnson injected into this lineup, getting on base 5 times, and even nice to see Emilio Bonifacio excel in his emergency fill in duty. He is overexposed as an everyday player but should be more than acceptable in short bursts.
Burke Badenhop is not a starter at the major league level, he didn’t have a clue of where the strike zone was today. He can be great as the 6th man in the pen when Ricky Nolasco gives up 3 early home runs or something, but like Bonifacio, he is overexposed as a starter. I don’t know if it is a mental thing, but he’s got a 3 run lower ERA as a reliever vs as a starter. He did not look good today.
But really nice to see them fight back, doubly so to score three off Gregg, even if Nunez did turn around and hand it to the Cubs in the next inning.
Now it’s time for that dreaded award, the Scott Olsen Mugshot Memorial Award.
Obviously Burke Badenhop’s 1.2 innings, 5 H, 4 BB line has got to be the choice. Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez looked like they were having batting practice.
Yes, Burke did bad. Burke did very, very bad.
Jorge Cantu was also a candidate for throwing away the first two balls he got at third, but he’ll be given some leeway because he hasn’t played third in a while.
Gotta take tomorrow’s game, Ricky vs. Dempster, and I like the chances of that.