Mike Redmond found pleasure — something he hadn’t experienced all season — just in filling out the lineup card on Monday. For the first time as the Marlins’ manager, he was able to spell out S-T-A-N-T-O-N and M-O-R-R-I-S-O-N and think happy thoughts.
“We’ve been waiting for this day,” Redmond said during his daily dugout briefing with reporters beforehand. “I had a lot more fun than I’ve had [in making out the lineup card], and it was a lot easier than it has been in the past.”
Thanks to the return of Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison from the disabled list on consecutive days, the lineup certainly had a more formidable look.
But what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate to actual performance, and the Marlins’ new and improved lineup came up empty in a 6-1 loss to Milwaukee.
“I like the makeup of our lineup,” Redmond maintained afterward. “It looks a lot better.
“But those guys haven’t played for a while. It’s going to take those guys a little while to find their groove and get comfortable.”
Stanton, back on the field for the Marlins for the first time since April 29, singled in four at-bats. But his hit was one of only five on the night for the Marlins, who were shut down by Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Gallardo is now 4-0 in his career against the Marlins, and he recorded his 1,000th career strikeout when he whiffed Marcell Ozuna in the seventh, becoming the third Milwaukee Brewer to reach that milestone.
And even though he’s suffered through a subpar season so far for the Brewers and had lost five of his previous six outings heading into Monday’s game at Marlins Park, he held the Marlins in check for eight innings, inducing ground-ball outs with frequency.
Gallardo retired Stanton on a routine ground ball in the first inning, Stanton’s first at-bat back from a hamstring injury. Stanton stroked a broken-bat single up the middle in the fourth.
But although it was one more hit than he totaled during his minor-league rehab stint with Single A Jupiter, where he was 0 for 15, it didn’t lead to a score for the Marlins.
Nothing did until the ninth when the Marlins barely avoided their 10th shutout loss after Juan Pierre tripled and scored from third on a ground-ball out.
Once again, the Marlins provided starter Ricky Nolasco with no help offensively.
Among pitchers with at least 13 starts, Nolasco had received the fewest runs of support (21), and his support per nine innings (2.30) was also lowest.
Of the Marlins’ five hits, one belonged to Nolasco. But Nolasco was no help to himself, either, while on the mound.
Nolasco couldn’t locate his pitches for strikes in the first inning and the result was a two-run first for the Brewers.
Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy each drove in runs with singles, and Nolasco labored through a first in which he threw 33 pitches, only 16 of them for strikes.
He gave up another run in a 22-pitch second inning and a solo home run in the third to Rickie Weeks. Nolasco was lifted with one out into the sixth.
“First inning was tough,” Nolasco said. “All night was tough. Not much we can do when I put the team down 4-0 after three innings.
“Dug ourselves a big hole, and it’s tough to come back from.”
Nolasco, though, said he liked having Stanton and Morrison in the lineup, even though Monday’s results weren’t great.
“It’s nice to get those guys back and hopefully things start turning around,” Nolasco said. “But we’ve got to remember, those guys have been out for a while. Big-league pitching is tough, so we can’t expect all of a sudden to score 10 runs every game.”
Although Stanton and Morrison are finally back from the disabled list, the Marlins might have lost yet another player to an injury. Placido Polanco, who has a recent history of back problems, left Monday’s game with lower-back stiffness not long after going over the dugout railing for a foul ball. The third baseman is listed as day-to-day.
“He just said his back tightened up on him and we had to get him out of there,” Redmond said.