Marlins notebook

Thrilling rally reminiscent of Miami Marlins team in 2003

 

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

Monday night’s thrilling come-from-behind win against the division-leading Nationals wasn’t the first time Mike Redmond was on the bench for a big Marlins comeback.

In fact, the last time the Marlins rallied from a six-run deficit in the seventh inning or later and won before Monday was on June 28, 2003. Redmond was on the bench cheering his teammates on that night as they rallied from a 9-2 deficit in the eighth to stun the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Pudge Rodriguez had a pair of clutch RBI singles late before Mike Lowell’s three-run home run on a 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth put the Marlins in front for good 10-9.

“Thinking back on that, it was an amazing night, especially after the night before we got hammered 25-8,” Redmond said. “I was in that game in the fourth inning because Pudge was done.”

Those Marlins — the last to win a World Series — improved to 41-41 with that win and climbed to within 11 games of the division-leading Braves that night. Even though they lost the following night, they went on to finish 50-29 the rest of the way to earn the National League’s lone wild-card berth.

These Marlins (52-53 entering Tuesday night) climbed to within six games of the division-leading Nationals and are 4 1/2 games back in the wild-card race after Monday’s thriller. So what can a win like Monday’s do for a team?

“It can really be a catapult for your team and definitely something where if it all works out you can look back and say, ‘Man I remember that game we came back in,’ ” Redmond said. “But I just think overall it just shows the character of this ballclub, that these guys don’t quit.”

Even after winning eight of their past nine games and a season-high five in a row, the Marlins still remain long shots to make the playoffs. According to ESPN’s playoff predictor, the Mets (51-55) actually have a better shot at making the playoffs (13.4 percent) than the Marlins do at 8.5.

REST FOR STANTON?

Redmond said he might give struggling All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton (.205, two homers, nine RBI, 32 strikeouts in 23 July games) a day off soon.

“I haven’t been swinging the way I want to for a month,” Stanton said. “[Hitting in the derby] did make me feel better. But I’m still not where I want to be. I’m just out of rhythm out of sync.”

He had a rough trip and entered Tuesday having struck out in eight of his past 10 at-bats. Stanton has played in all 105 games this season and started 104 of them. The only game he didn’t start was May 18 at the Giants.

• According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network, the Marlins are among a group of teams who have expressed interest in Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. The Marlins have said they are looking for a pitcher with club control. Lester is a free agent after this season.

COMING UP

•  Wednesday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand (2-2, 4.19 ERA) vs. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82), 12:40 p.m. Marlins Park.

•  Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (7-7, 3.91) vs. Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (11-6, 2.08), 7:10 p.m. Marlins Park.

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