Rob Brantly sampled a cup of coffee for the first time in his life Wednesday, took a few bitter sips, and promptly threw the remainder in the trash can inside the Marlins clubhouse.
He didn’t fancy the taste.
And he said the joe had no stimulating effect on him whatsoever.
Considering how lethargic the Marlins have looked at the plate this season, perhaps the clubhouse pot is filled with decaf. It was another sluggish night offensively for the Marlins — at least in the one category that counted most — who dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cincinnati Reds. The Marlins, losers of seven of their past eight, need a win Thursday to avoid a sweep.
The Marlins even reached a new all-time low, coming up empty in the scoring column despite collecting 11 hits. It was the first time in team history the Marlins were held scoreless with that many hits. The previous record was nine hits without a run.
It also was the first time any team in three seasons that a major-league team failed to score with exactly 11 hits.
The Marlins also top the majors in number of times being blanked: seven.
“Same old stuff,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
In all, the Marlins stranded 12 runners and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, the Shin-Soo Choo show continued.
Choo, who has spent the season tormenting the Marlins, had another monster game, going 4 for 5 with two homers. Choo has reached base in 22 of his 31 trips to the plate against Miami this season for an otherworldly on-base percentage of .710.
“He’s one of those guys we just haven’t been able to figure out,” Redmond said. “He wasn’t red-hot coming into this series and we found a way to heat him up.”
It was Alex Sanabia who endured Choo’s wrath Wednesday.
Choo tagged a solo homer to left off Sanabia in the fourth and another to right in the sixth. Sanabia, who has now lost each of his past five starts, was done after six innings.
Not until reliever Mike Dunn whiffed Choo in the ninth did the Marlins manage to keep the Reds leadoff hitter off the base paths. But it did them no good, as the Reds claimed their fifth win in the six meetings between the two teams.
It wasn’t as though the Marlins didn’t have their chances. They put runners aboard in every inning but the sixth. Their first two batters reached in the seventh off Reds starter Mike Leake. But the Reds right-hander struck out Juan Pierre on a 3-2 fastball, retired Placido Polanco on an infield pop, and reliever Sean Marshall closed out the frame by striking out Derek Dietrich.
So much for keeping the lineup intact.
For the first time all season, Redmond used the same lineup for a second consecutive game.
“We’re getting guys on base but we’re not getting hits,” Redmond said. “I’m trying to be patient, have been patient. But, at the end of the day, somebody’s got to step up and get a hit with guys in scoring position.
“We’re just not able to get it done. We’ve got some guys in there who, in the past, got it done. Right now, they’re not.”