LVP: Braden Looper (-.154)
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As yesterday's did, tonight's game got off to a bit of a rough start. The Marlins came out sitting on Braden Looper's fastball and hammered it all over the park, racking up three runs before Looper had even recorded an out. However, Rickie Weeks served notice that Milwaukee's bats would not sit idly by and watch the score get out of hand, shattering the air with a leadoff bomb. Though the Marlins scored again in the second inning, the Brewers added single tallies in the 2nd and 3rd innings to make the score 4-3 heading into the 4th. Weeks tripled in the 3rd, giving himself roughly 2/3 of the game to notch the front half of the cycle.
After Mike Cameron and J.J. Hardy made outs to open the bottom of the 4th, it looked like the Brewers would have to wait until the next inning to tie the game. Corey Hart followed with a walk, but the fearsome duo of
Flynn and Jimmy Blake Jason Kendall and Looper was up next. But lo! As in Thayer's poem, the two unlikely sources of offense both reached base, with Looper's blooper tying the game and bringing tonight's Casey, Weeks, to the plate. Thankfully, Weeks did not strike out, instead beating out a grounder to second and bringing in the go-ahead run. After a Craig Counsell RBI flare and a Ryan Braun walk, Prince Fielder capped the inning with a two-run single to bring the score to 8-4 and much joy to Mudville.
Though Looper had settled down after the first two innings, recording 1-2-3 frames in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the Marlins began to touch him up again in the 6th. John Baker hit a solo shot, and Ross Gload's long fly ball was initially ruled a two-run homer that would have made the score 8-7 but was overturned by replay, becoming the second such reversal both tonight and ever.
The Marlins continued to threaten, scoring again off Todd Coffey/Mitch Stetter in the 7th, but Carlos Villanueva and Trevor Hoffman came on to slam the door. As for Mighty Rickie, he did strike out in the 5th and popped out in the 8th to finish just a double short of the cycle but was still easily the MVP of the game.