*“You can look to us for giving up a few runs here and there, but we’re going to give up runs throughout the year. One thing we’ve got to do is, we can’t be giving them runs — in a sense — defensively. We’ve just got to simplify the game and get back to the basic things of fielding the ball, throwing the ball. It’s going to take a little bit off the pitchers when we do that.” ~The words of one Mr. Kevin Gregg, who blew the save last night when the tying run scored on a wild pitch. Here is some more of what he had to say…..
*”We had it. We had it right there. I got a ground ball that most of the time would be a double play. Tonight it didn’t turn out that way.” ~On the ground ball to Cantu who had to hesitate for just a second (this one wasn’t Cantu’s fault) because if he threw right away to second base, he would have taken off Jeff Francoeur’s head. The slight hesitation allowed the runner enough time to get to first….
*”With the wild pitch, it was a pitch that I liked, and I’d throw it again. I threw it again on the next pitch, with the winning run on third. So I didn’t change my approach any.” ~On the wild pitch that tied the game
Translation: “Don’t look at me, I mean I didn’t give up a hit. I got a ground ball that should
have ended the game. I made the hitter swing and miss on a bad pitch. It’s not like I got pounded out there. They tied the game because stupid Rabelo couldn’t handle my slider in the dirt. Yea, so what if I walked a couple of batters? There are 8 other guys with gloves out there, and they have to make the plays, not me. I just throw it, man. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the strike zone or not, I did my job. I wish the others would do theirs. It doesn’t matter when I make mistakes, that just means that my teammates have to be perfect behind me. And if they aren’t, well don’t look at me, look at them. Whaa. Whaaa. And my daddy didn’t let me put sugar on my frosted flakes either.”
I am certainly no psychologist, but does anyone else sense an air of animosity and lack of accountability by the Marlins closer? I mean, it wasn’t the shoddy defense that WALKED 2 Braves in the 9th inning. Last time I checked Mr. Gregg, walks are the pitcher’s fault. If you hadn’t put runners on base perhaps a double play wouldn’t have been necessary. By him saying that the defense can’t give away runs, he was obviously referring to the wild pitch that tied the game, but when you walk the leadoff hitter, and a free-swinging hitter at that, you are begging for trouble. Living in New Jersey, I don’t really get a feel for the mood of the Marlins’ clubhouse because I can’t read the local papers and watch the pre and post game interviews at all. I hope that there isn’t some dissension in the clubhouse between Gregg and some of the everyday position players. I’m sure Kevin was frustrated- we all are given the way the games have gone the past week- but can he step up and accept some of the blame for the loss? I mean after all, your team gave you the ball with the lead in the 9th inning. They did their job. I know closers blow saves, it’s part of the ebb and flow of the season, but have some class when you fail, and not pass the buck and deflect the blame to others. That makes a good teammate.
This loss hurts, as most of the ones on the road trip have so far. There were a lot of good signs in this game that the loss covered up: Olsen turned in a good start. I know he gave up 2 home runs, but he kept his team in the game and ate up 6 innings. His velocity seemed better too, as he threw several pitches 90-91 mph. Dan Uggla hit 2 more doubles, and just missed a third one by inches that would have scored 2 runs. Joe Nelson got Chipper Jones out with the bases loaded to keep the deficit at 1 heading into the 9th; He has been pretty consistent in his short time with the team. Also, the Marlins rallied against Smoltz to take the lead. Treanor hit a double, Helms hit a rope to left, and Hermida got the one big hit that the Marlins have been looking for the better part of a week. With 2 outs he hit a high fastball the other way to left which gave the Marlins the lead. I really thought that was going to be the big hit that got this team out of the rut they are in and give them some momentum. To take the lead against Smoltz in Atlanta with 2 outs in the 9th? Hits don’t come any bigger than that. Unfortunately, it just set the stage for a bigger heartbreak when Kensing eventually gave up the 2 run homer to Escobar in the 10th.
Now the Marlins face the tough task of having to take 3 in a row against the team with one of the best home records in the NL just to make this a 5-5 trip. The will and heart of this team will be tested in the coming weeks. They have lost a bunch of tough games lately, and how they do or do not rebound will tell a lot about how the rest of the season will go. I don’t know how many more ways they can find to lose a game, and they have to start winning now.
*”It was not the most ideal end in the game for us, but we had some comebacks there, we scored runs when we were down. We were down and we came back. And we were down, and we came back again. So there are positives to take, but obviously it didn’t end on a positive.”~ Marlins starter Scott Olsen. That’s the right thing to say, (Mr. Gregg) and hopefully the team rest of the team will have the same attitude and come out fresh and ready tonight
Badenhop vs. Campillo tonight. Campillo is just a 5 inning pitcher, but he has not given up many runs, as evidenced by his 0.99 ERA. Tough task again for the Fish tonight, but they must turn this losing skid around, because I get the sense that the season is on the brink of spiraling out of control if they don’t. Let’s go Marlins!
*All quotes are thanks to the Florida Marlins website. Although this citation is certainly not in MLA format, (it’s OK. I doubt my old English teachers are reading anyway) the lawyer in me says I have to attribute them to the proper source, because I certainly didn’t ask the players the questions. If I did, I think Gregg would have banned me from the locker room forever.