May 2011

Nolasco gives up record 15 hits

LOS ANGELES — Ricky Nolasco’s rough afternoon on Sunday was record-setting.

In five innings, the Marlins right-hander allowed eight runs. But his 15 hits are now the most ever by a starter in franchise history.

Previously, the mark was 14, shared by three.

Livan Hernandez (9/7/1998), Brad Penny (8/3/2001) and Jesus Sanchez (7/23/2000) had each given up 14 in a game.

Before Sunday, Nolasco’s high was 12, on June 5, 2008 against the Braves.

Joe Frisaro

Hanley exits with back stiffness

LOS ANGELES — Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was replaced in the second inning on Sunday afternoon due to lower back stiffness.

In the first inning, Ramirez lifted a pop out to second base against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. He played the field one inning, and wasn’t involved in any plays.

Emilio Bonifacio moved from third base to shortstop in the second inning, and Wes Helms was brought in to play third.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins look to take series

LOS ANGELES — Ricky Nolasco anticipates about 100 family and friends to be on hand when he takes the mound on Sunday against the Dodgers.

The Marlins are in position to take the series, after they beat the Dodgers, 6-1, on Saturday.

Since 2007, the Marlins are 10-5 at Dodger Stadium, and they have evened their three-game set. Lefty Clayton Kershaw is throwing for Los Angeles.


Coghlan, CF

Ramirez, SS

Morrison, LF

Sanchez, 1B

Stanton, RF

Buck, C

Infante, 2B

Bonifacio, 3B

Nolasco, P

Joe Frisaro


Did collision compare to Morgan-Hayes incident?

LOS ANGELES — Go back to Aug. 31, 2010, and the Marlins were on the receiving end of a vicious and controversial collision at home plate.

Catcher Brett Hayes separated his left shoulder after being plowed into by Washington’s Nyjer Morgan.

Hayes missed the remainder of the season, and a benches-clearing incident occurred the next day after Chris Volstad twice threw at Morgan, who charged the mound the second time.

Were there any similarities between the Morgan collision and the one that occurred on Wednesday night at San Francisco? In the 12th inning, Scott Cousins barreled into Giants catcher Buster Posey, who fractured his lower left leg and sustained ankle ligament damage.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez says the two collisions are apples and oranges.

“I don’t think it was the same situation,” Rodriguez said. “I think [Hayes] was way off home plate. He was standing up. It was a high throw. The runner on that play had a clean shot to home plate.”

When Morgan charged home, Hayes was rising to catch a high throw, and he was not blocking the plate. Rather than slide in and score easily, Morgan initiated contact. Then he went back to touch home plate.

Cousins clearly was looking to knock the ball loose from Posey, who was attempting to field a short hop, and in the process of turning. Because of the throw, Posey’s left leg was exposed. He lowered it to the ground in front of the plate.

Cousins didn’t know Posey hadn’t come up with the ball.

“It would have been hard for me to make a decision five feet before I got to home plate, to avoid the catcher,” Rodriguez said of Cousins. “I think that was part of the game. We are very sorry. There is no one here who wasn’t sorry. Even after he scored, there was no celebration in the dugout. There was zero celebration in the dugout. He came in shaking hands and all that. But there was zero celebration.”

Marlins catcher John Buck says the blocking the plate drill is worked on for more than a week during Spring Training. Buck adds that Posey was prepared to withstand the hit to his upper body. But his legs weren’t braced beneath him, resulting in the injury.

“There is about a week in spring, maybe more, working on that specific play,” Buck said. “For that reason. It’s a high risk play. You work on how to receive the ball, even if you are kicked or slid into. You’re trying to position your body if you are exposed, so even if you get hit, you can take it.

“It’s high emotion. Your thought as a catcher is to catch the ball and block home. I think that’s why you spend so much time in Spring, so you have that muscle memory. But it was a short hop. His leg turned, and left him exposed.”

Buck added that Posey normally wouldn’t lower his leg, but he was caught out of step due to the short-hop throw.

“I would venture to say, he doesn’t normally do that,” Buck said. “You have so much riding on that play, that you’d do so much to catch it and block the plate. Because the ball was short-hopped, it looked like he laid that left leg down to block the plate. His left leg was in front of the dish, his leg was trying to block the plate. I think he thought he had the ball. So once he did, if you look as [Cousins] hits him, [Posey’s] knee is down. But you could see, he was ready to absorb that hit.”

Joe Frisaro

Marlins seek sweep

SAN FRANCISCO — The Marlins have not pulled off a three-game sweep at San Francisco since 1998, when the Giants played at 3Com Park.

Florida has a chance on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park, a building where they are 14-23 lifetime.

The Marlins send Anibal Sanchez to the mound, looking to win their third straight. Hanley Ramirez, who bruised his right foot after being hit by a pitch in the ninth inning on Wednesday, is out of the lineup on Thursday.


Coghlan, CF

Bonifacio, SS

Morrison, LF

G. Sanchez, 1B

Dobbs, 3B

Stanton, RF

Buck, C

Infante, 2B

A. Sanchez, P

Joe Frisaro

Stanton batting fifth on Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO — The Marlins look to claim a series victory on Wednesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Behind Ricky Nolasco’s strong 8 1/3 innings outing on Tuesday, the Marlins took the first game, 5-1, over the Giants.

Chris Volstad takes the mound on Wednesday, while San Francisco is going with lefty Madison Bumgarner.

Mike Stanton, who has nine home runs in May and 11 on the season, went deep on Tuesday off Matt Cain. It was just the 20th homer hit at AT&T Park this year.

Against left-handed starters, the Marlins are 6-6 this year. In 2010, the club won a franchise most 34 games against southpaws. The Marlins are hitting .263 against lefties, which is the fourth highest average in the National League.


Coghlan, CF

Ramirez, SS

Morrison, LF

Sanchez, 1B

Stanton, RF

Buck, C

Helms, 3B

Infante, 2B

Volstad, P

Joe Frisaro

Buente designated, Cishek called up

SAN FRANCISCO — The Marlins on Tuesday opted to swap off starting pitching for relief help during their series with San Francisco.

Florida designated right-hander Jay Buente for assignment. Reliever Steve Cishek was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Buente made an emergency start on Sunday and he suffered the loss to the Rays at Sun Life Stadium. In three innings, he gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits with three walks and a strikeout.

Buente was filling in for Josh Johnson, who is on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The Marlins are hopeful Johnson will rejoin the rotation on June 1 at Arizona. The team now must decide who will pitch on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Before being called up, Buente was 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 10 games and five starts with the Marlins.

Cishek, who was called up earlier in the season by Florida but he didn’t pitch, has appeared in 15 games for New Orleans. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA, striking out 19 and walking 12 in 23 innings.

Joe Frisaro

Tough test in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Road success is a big reason why the Marlins are two games back of the Phillies in the National League East.

The road gets a bit tougher beginning on Tuesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The Marlins open a three-city, nine-game West Coast swing at a place they’ve traditionally struggled. While they are 12-7 overall on the road this year, the Marlins are 12-23 lifetime at AT&T Park. Dating back to when the Giants were at 3Com Park, Florida is 23-48 all-time in San Francisco.

There is some encouragement looking back to 2010. Florida split four games in San Francisco. But from 2006-09, the team was 1-2 each season.

Still, the defending World Series champion Giants took five of seven from the Marlins a year ago, including a three-game sweep at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

The last time the Marlins won a series in San Francisco was in 2005, when they took two of three. And they were last swept at the Giants in 2001.

Joe Frisaro

JJ placed on 15-day disabled list

MIAMI — Josh Johnson, whose velocity dipped to 91 mph in his last start, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The Marlins announced their roster move on Saturday. The team selected the contract of right-hander Jay Buente from Triple-A New Orleans.

To make space on their 40-man roster, infielder Donnie Murphy was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Johnson, who is 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA, is on the DL retroactive to May 17. In his last start, he worked five innings against the Mets, giving up one run in a no-decision.

For the season, Johnson has made nine starts and he’s struck out 56 in 60 1/3 innings.

Johnson was scheduled to start on Sunday in the series finale with the Rays.

Joe Frisaro

LoMo was big fan of Macho Man

MIAMI — News of Randy Savage’s death hit home with Logan Morrison.

The Marlins left fielder grew up a professional wrestling fan, and during those years he was watching regularly, “Macho Man” was his favorite.

Savage died at age 58 on Friday.

“I was a big wrestling fan, and he was my favorite wrestler,” Morrison said. “I was a big fan for like two years. When I was, he was my favorite dude.”

When Savage was advertising for Slim Jim’s, Morrison would rush out and buy the product.

“I’d try to imitate him, ‘Snap into a Slim Jim,’ ” Morrison said, doing his Macho Man impersonation. “Then you’d do it so much, your throat would get hoarse.”

Morrison paid tribute to Savage on his Twitter account.

“He was my guy,” Morrison said.

Joe Frisaro