September 2010

Is the bad blood now over?

Now that the dust has settled, has the matter really been resolved?

The Marlins certainly hope so.

Tempers flared and fists were flying in the Marlins’ 16-10 win over the Nationals on Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Benches cleared after Nyjer Morgan charged pitcher Chris Volstad in the sixth inning. On the night, there were six ejections. MLB is expected to issue harsh suspensions and fines.

To Marlins veteran Wes Helms, what took place on Wednesday should put an end to the bad blood.

“I know it’s over for me,” Helms said. “I hope it is for these other guys.”

We’ll find out soon. The Marlins face the Nationals Sept. 10-12 at Nationals Park.

“[Wednesday night] was something we had to do,” Helms said. “But we need to be professionals and just play the rest of the season. Unless something else happens there that starts it, then we’re going to go there and just play baseball.”

Chad Tracy was one of the first players in the pile at the mound.

“You’re trying to protect your pitcher from getting hurt, because after about the first 10 seconds, it’s just bodies on top of each other anyway,” Tracy said. “You’re trying to keep yourself from getting hurt. But at the same time you’re trying to protect your pitcher. If you go in throwing blows, you’re asking for a suspension. We can’t really lose any more players right now.”

Asked if the tensions between the teams are now resolved, Tracy noted: “It should be, yeah.”

— Joe Frisaro


Hayes has separated left shoulder

As a result of a hard collision at home plate on Tuesday night, Brett Hayes has a separated left shoulder.

“Separated left shoulder,” Hayes said shortly before the Marlins faced the Nationals on Wednesday night. “Nothing is torn. Who knows what will happen.”

As of now, surgery isn’t an option. And while Hayes likely will miss the rest of the season, he says he should be healthy for Spring Training.

Hayes was hurt after colliding at home plate with Nyjer Morgan in the top of the 10th inning. Hayes said he didn’t hear anything from Morgan.

Asked if he felt Morgan made a clean hit, Hayes said: “Obviously, we all know last week [against St. Louis] and what he tried to do. Put that aside, and it was a good, clean hit in my opinion. Do I feel if he had slid that he would have been safe, absolutely. 

“Do I think he decided to run me over as he rounded third, absolutely. That’s my opinion. But in terms of the hit, I thought it was a clean hit. Nothing wrong with the hit. I just hope the intentions were good.” 

— Joe Frisaro


Nolasco concerned about knee

Ricky Nolasco, feeling discomfort in his right knee, is now doubtful to make his scheduled start on Friday against the Braves.

“He’s concerned about his knee,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “Right now, that’s the only thing I can say.”

Nolasco has a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He went 11 days without pitching before he faced the Braves last Saturday (Aug. 28) at Atlanta.

In a rough outing, Nolasco gave up six runs in two innings, throwing 62 pitches, with 41 in the second inning.

Nolasco’s season may be over. The right-hander is 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA.

Andrew Miller, who took batting practice with the pitchers on Wednesday, is the likely replacement to face the Braves on Friday. But that has not been announced.

— Joe Frisaro


Hatcher, Sosa called up

The first wave of September call-ups have arrived. Right now, there are only a couple of additions.

On Wednesday, the first day of September call-ups, the Marlins selected the contracts of catcher Chris Hatcher and right-handed reliever Jorge Sosa from Triple-A New Orleans.

Hatcher, who opened the season at Double-A Jacksonville, promises to see some playing time now that Brett Hayes has an injured left shoulder.

Hayes was hurt during a collision at home plate with Nyjer Morgan in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Nationals.

Hayes is expected to be out a while, meaning Brad Davis will get a bulk of the starts.

Hatcher enjoyed a 3-for-4 night at the plate on Tuesday night for New Orleans. Overall, he’s appeared in 101 games, and his batting average is .197 with five homers and 36 RBIs. For New Orleans, he appeared in 17 games and was batting .167.

Sosa, meanwhile, was 5-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 23 games, with nine starts, at New Orleans. He has been with the Marlins a couple of times already this season. In 10 big league appearances, he is 2-2 with a 5.87 ERA.

— Joe Frisaro

Youthful lineup prevails

Featuring one of their most inexperienced lineups in years, the Marlins were able to pull out a dramatic walk-off, 1-0, victory over the Nationals on Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Florida started four rookies and had six players total with less than three years of MLB service time. In fact, those six players — Cameron Maybin, Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Brett Hayes — combined to have 671 games of big league experience.

H2Rslide.jpgBy comparison, Hanley Ramirez, who is 26-years-old, was playing in his 745th MLB game.

Ramirez took over the game in the 10th inning. First, in the top of the inning, the three-time All-Star made a heads-up play to throw out Nyjer Morgan at home plate.

With two on and one out, Adam Kennedy bounced to Bonifacio at second base. The flip went to Ramirez for the force out at second. Had Ramirez attempted to complete the double play at first, Kennedy would have been safe.

Ramirez held the ball and saw Morgan never stopped running when he rounded third. The throw went home, and Hayes no sooner caught the ball before he was charged into by Morgan. Hayes held on for the out, but in the process injured his left shoulder.

In the 10th, Ramirez took over. He singled, stole second and scored with a great slide on Chad Tracy’s single to left. Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez felt Ramirez was out, and he argued with home plate umpire Jim Wolf. After seeing the replay, Rodriguez apologized to the umpire, noting the call was correct, capping an entertaining night.

— Joe Frisaro

(photo courtesy of Denis Bancroft/Florida Marlins)