By Blake Chadwick
The staff of Second Half Push wanted the full-on Marlins experience, so for $7.90 a ticket and the opportunity to watch multiple fantasy players in action, including both starting pitchers, we had to attend this must see affair. Well, we thought it was a must see affair anyway. How perfect the scenario, I have the young gun Tommy Hunter on the hill for Texas, and my opponent in our Yahoo H2H league had Anibal Sanchez for the Fish. Every pitch was important. Moreover, I had the chance to see one of my all-time favorites, Vlad Guerrero. Unfortunately, the only plate appearance Guerrero had was an intentional walk–bummer .
The announced attendance was just over 17,000– an absolute joke. Anyone watching on TV or at the game could tell you there was 7,000 there tops, half of them wearing jerseys of teams not even in casual conversations with the night’s competitors. An early scare for me 2 1/3 innings into the game, Hunter was yanked for a leg injury. My fantasy gem was squashed without even giving up a hit. The Texas bullpen sustained the lead for Hunter, which included 2 perfect innings from former Met Darren O’Day.
After an in-person look at the Texas lineup, this team is for real. Julio Borbon is starting to heat up after a shaky start, connecting for his first HR of the season off Sanchez in the second. Josh Hamilton collected four hits including a towering shot to dead center over the 400 foot sign late in the game to seal the deal. Also, Michael Young might be one the most underrated players in the game. The guy gets it done year and year out, playing multiple positions while doing whatever is asked of him by the coaching staff. He’s hitting .320 this season and just took the all-time Rangers lead for hits with the team last night.
The Marlins did not quite make the same impression on me last night. Hanley Ramirez looked solid as usual and Chris Coghlan has appeared to regain his 2009 Rookie of the Year form, but otherwise the team looked like they belonged under .500 and destined to miss the postseason once again. All in all, it was an entertaining night for Second Half Push with fantasy points collected and a Marlins loss. What a perfect scenario.