The Marlins say it wasn’t secret spy cameras embedded in the Home Run Sculpture that enabled them to sweep the Atlanta Braves. Mostly, they said, it was just subpar pitching by the Braves hurlers that allowed them to outscore Atlanta by a combined score of 23-7 during the series.
“I’ve watched some of those at-bats and some of those pitches were just mistakes,” said manager Mike Redmond in the aftermath of published reports the Braves suspected the Marlins of stealing signs, perhaps with concealed cameras at Marlins Park.
The Braves became suspicious on Wednesday when the Marlins blistered starter Aaron Harang for seven runs and knocked him out in the fifth. The veteran brought a 0.85 ERA into the game and manhandled the Marlins the previous week in Atlanta.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said at one point during Harang’s outing, Braves coaches and players began looking around the ballpark for anything out of place.
"If you would have taken a look at our dugout at one point in the game, it was like the fourth or fifth inning, they were hitting balls everywhere, we got three guys looking at the scoreboard,” Gonzalez told reporters. “You got two guys looking at their bullpen. I’m calling [bullpen coach] Eddie [ Perez], ‘Eddie do you see anything?’ I’m looking at [catcher Evan] Gattis, thinking he’s maybe tipping his pitches. Carlos [ Tosca] is looking in the bench over there, maybe somebody is whistling or something.”
The Braves even wondered if there were cameras hidden in the Home Run Sculpture.
“There was one guy sitting [in outfield seats] who had a red hat and an orange shirt,” Gonzalez said. “I said ‘Boy that’s a bad combination to have.’ I told [ Jordan] Schafer and [ Tyler] Pastornicky to keep an eye on that guy over there.’ The guy got up, went to get a coke.”
Ultimately, Gonzalez said the Braves “came up with nothing.”
“At the end of the day, they didn’t miss pitches,” Gonzalez said.
Said Redmond of the Marlins’ sweep: “It was probably more special for us because they’ve really dominated us. We got in their heads a little bit.”
Once in a while
The Marlins went to closer Steve Cishek in the eighth inning on Thursday. But don’t expect it to become a nightly occurrence.
“I don’t think that’s a scenario we want to get in a habit of doing,” Redmond said. “But, would we do it in a situation where we had an off day and he hasn’t pitched in three or four days? Yeah. It made total sense to do it.”
Cishek entered with two outs in the eighth on Thursday and closed out the 5-4 win for his third-ever save requiring him to record four or more outs.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (0-0, 7.50) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.74), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (4-1, 1.59) vs. Dodgers TBA, 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.