Miami Marlins

Surging Miami Marlins get back to .500 mark with shutout of Philadelphia Phillies

El Nuevo Herald

So much for hitting the panic button.

Less than two weeks after the Mets made them 3-11 and manager Mike Redmond was reportedly on the chopping block, Dee Gordon and the red-hot Marlins have surged back to .500.

Saturday’s 7-0 shutout of the Phillies in front of 33,348 fans at Marlins Park was the ninth win in Miami’s past 10 games and another showcase for Gordon.

The sparkplug second baseman, who was batting .348 when the Marlins came home from their last road trip on April 24, picked up three more hits, scored three more runs, stole two more bases and made one heck of an over-the-shoulder catch.

“Dee’s locked in,” said Redmond, who didn’t get to see Gordon, the author of the Marlins’ new postgame dunk celebration, get dunked on himself for the first time this season during the postgame TV interview.

“He’s doing everything,” Redmond added. “He’s getting big hits, he’s driving in runs, he’s playing great defense. That play he made over his shoulder in shallow center field was as good as I’ve seen in a long time. He’s as advertised.

“This is the guy we knew we were getting when we traded for him. It’s fun to see him going out there and just being himself. That’s been fun for him, to go out and just play his game. We’re seeing the results.”

gordon on fire

With one game to go before the team heads back out on the road and begins a 10-game, 11-day road trip in Washington, Gordon is on the verge of putting together the hottest nine-game homestand ever by a Marlin. He is 20 for 31 (.646) — nearly 130 points higher than Miguel Cabrera’s .517 average from May 22-31, 2006.

Not only is Gordon’s .440 batting average the highest in baseball, but his 44 hits through his team’s first 24 games has only been outdone by six players in baseball history: Hank Aaron (49 in 1959), Tony Oliva (47 in 1964), Stan Musial (46 in 1958), Bill Terry (45 in 1930), Rod Carew (45 in 1983) and Darin Erstad (45 in 2000).

Gordon, of course, isn’t saying a peep about his streak at the plate. He doesn’t want to jinx himself.

“We won. It was a good win. [Dan] Haren threw great. [Martin] Prado swung the bat awesome and [Marcell] Ozuna as well,” Gordon said when asked if he has ever been in a zone like this.

“It’s a great team win for the guys.”

Haren did pitch a good game.

He tossed six scoreless innings, struck out four and gave up four hits, and he didn’t walk a batter after having issued eight free passes in his previous three starts combined.

Prado belted a three-run homer off Cole Hamels in the second inning and finished with four RBI after doubling Gordon home with two outs in the sixth.

But it’s the red-hot Gordon and the Marlins’ turnaround over the past 11 days that is the story.

Last year, Miami twice had periods in which it went 9-1 (April 29 to May 8 and July 20-29).

no panic

On Sunday, the Marlins will send pitcher Jarred Cosart — the guy who dunked on Gordon on Saturday — to the mound to try to get them over .500 for the first time since they were 64-63 last Aug.22.

“It says a lot about the team,” Haren said of how the Marlins have quickly surged back to .500. “I really don’t think anyone panicked in here.

“Obviously, we heard it from the outside. I think guys felt bad Red was getting blamed when it was us out there not performing. So we’re all happy to turn it around for him. We’ve gotten back to .500 after digging ourselves a pretty big hole. Red has been the same guy from 3-11 to today. I’m happy we turned it around for him. We just got to keep playing good ball.”