Other than Brad Penny himself, perhaps no one was happier with the pitcher’s winning performance Saturday than his former Marlins manager, Jack McKeon.
“I was really proud of him,” said McKeon, who watched the telecast of Penny’s first Marlins outing in 10 years from his home in North Carolina. “He was one of my favorite guys.”
Penny, of course, was a key member of the 2003 Marlins, going 14-10 that season and winning two games for them in the World Series.
“It brought back a lot of memories,” McKeon said of Penny’s comeback outing Saturday. “He was like the old Penny. He was a bulldog like he used to be. He knows how to pitch. He doesn’t give in.”
Even with Jarred Cosart and Henderson Alvarez scheduled to rejoin the rotation this week, Penny will remain in the rotation — at least for the time being.
Manager Mike Redmond said the Marlins would use six different starters over the coming six days, with Penny going next on Thursday at Marlins Park.
Cosart, who missed his previous start with an oblique strain, will return to the mound on Tuesday. Alvarez, who has been on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, will come off the DL on Saturday to face the Diamondbacks.
Steve Cishek couldn’t have picked a much better spot in which to record his first major-league pickoff.
With the Marlins clinging to a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning on Saturday, a runner on first with no outs for the Reds, and a full count on Billy Hamilton, Redmond signaled from the dugout for Cishek to throw over to first.
“In that situation, we knew [ Chris Heisey] was going to go, and we hadn’t thrown over at all, and it seemed like the right time to throw over there,” Redmond said. “It was just a perfect time. We fired over there, and it worked.”
Heisey was caught leaning when Cishek threw to first, and ended up being tagged out in the ensuing rundown. Cishek promptly retired the next two batters to close out the win.
“Pickoff is probably the last way I think I’d ever get someone out, but it worked out great,” Cishek said. “[Heisey] was going for sure. A 3-2 count with a decent contact hitter up there, he was probably going to go. The dugout picked up on it, and it worked out great.”
COMING UP• Monday : Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (7-9, 3.80 ERA) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller (8-8, 3.99), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Tuesday : Marlins RHP Cosart (0-1, 6.75) vs. Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (14-6, 2.28), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.