Heath Bell gave up the home run that ruined one of the most dramatic comebacks in Marlins history. But manager Ozzie Guillen reserved most of his wrath for the Marlins’ other pitchers following a crushing 13-12 loss to the Brewers on Tuesday.
Guillen, in a profanity-laced clubhouse tirade that lasted several minutes, ripped the team’s other pitchers while deflecting blame away from the embattled Bell, who gave up a game-ending two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th to Aramis Ramirez.
The two-out blast wiped out a furious Marlins comeback in which they rallied from a 9-2 deficit in the seventh to take a 12-11 lead in the 10th on a Jose Reyes home run. Had Bell done his job and the Marlins held on, it would have matched a franchise record — done twice previously — for largest deficit overcome in a win.
Instead, it turned into perhaps the season’s most deflating loss for Miami.
“Make sure Miami people don’t [expletive] Bell,” Guillen said angrily to reporters, but loud enough for players, including Bell and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, in the hushed clubhouse to hear. “Bell gave up two runs. How about the rest of the [expletives] 10 or 12 runs they scored? That’s why this [expletive] game is not [expletive] fair. It’s Ozzie talking [expletive]? No. It’s Ozzie talking the truth, about how [expletive] we were before that [expletive] inning. Put that [expletive] down!”
Bell blew his fifth save opportunity.
“I just let everybody down, plain and simple,” said Bell, who has been a major disappointment for the Marlins, who gave him a three-year contract. “If I would have made a better pitch and gotten Ramirez out, we would have been cheering and happy. But I didn’t, and I feel really bad letting all 24 players down here.
“There’s no worse feeling than letting your teammates down.”
With mainstays Giancarlo Stanton and Hanley Ramirez — the team’s two leading home run hitters — scratched from the starting lineup due to sore knees, the Marlins erupted for five home runs and scored 12 runs, both season highs. But they were sloppy in the field for the second consecutive day — committing three errors — and pitched poorly before mounting their comeback charge.
“I think that was a very [expletive] big-league baseball game, both sides,” Guillen said. “Bad pitching. Errors all over the place. We finished up the game the way we started, very bad. You take the win away and have a punch right in your stomach.”
Sanchez was ineffective for the Marlins, allowing six runs on 11 hits in five innings. Following a Reyes error in the sixth, reliever Chad Gaudin served up a three-run homer to Ryan Braun. And reliever Ryan Webb gave up two runs in the seventh.
But the Marlins scored three runs in the seventh and six more in the eighth to erase a 9-2 deficit and extend the game to extra innings. Justin Ruggiano homered in the seventh, and John Buck and Scott Cousins hit back-to-back shots in the eighth. The Marlins just missed taking the lead in the eighth, but Carlos Gomez made a sensational, inning-ending catch on Logan Morrison’s long fly ball to center despite crashing into the wall.
Reyes, who was charged with two errors, made partial amends in the 10th when he homered off Livan Hernandez to give the Marlins a 12-11 lead. But it fell apart in the bottom of the inning after Bell issued a leadoff walk to Gomez.
Norichika Aoki brought the crowd at Miller Park to its feel when he belted a long fly ball to center that was caught on the warning track by Cousins. Bell then struck out Braun on three pitches to bring up Ramirez, who clubbed an 0-1 pitch over the wall in center to give the Brewers their 10th consecutive win over the Marlins.
“It’s kind of tough to swallow,” Reyes said.