Maybe someone finally woke up the Marlins.
Benches cleared in Friday’s ninth inning when Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling threw a pitch behind the back of Giancarlo Stanton. Manager Don Mattingly was screaming mad. Mattingly, Stripling and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren were ejected. But, in the end, the result was the same for the Marlins, who lost 7-2 to the Dodgers.
The ninth-inning uproar culminated another lackluster night for the Marlins. But at least they showed they still had some fire in them after sleepwalking through another dismal performance.
The whole episode started in the eighth after A.J. Ramos gave up a two-run homer to Cody Bellinger. He then plunked Brett Eibner with a two-out pitch, which apparaently riled the Dodgers.
“I haven't been on the mound in five days,” Ramos said. “The ball's going all over the place. I didn't have the control that I wanted. I'm trying to throw it hard low and away and it got away from me. I wasn't trying to hit him on purpose. But I guess they had a problem with that.”
Did they ever.
Mattingly contended that Geren then began yelling at Ramos from inside the Dodgers dugout.
“When he wants to yell and scream at our guys, then he's going to have to go through me,” Mattingly said. “He was yelling and screaming at our guy.”
Stanton was the first batter up for the Marlins in the ninth, and Stripling threw a pitch behind the slugger’s back. Stanton took a few menacing steps toward the mound, prompting both dugouts and bullpens to clear. Angriest of all was Mattingly, who vented his fury at Geren when the teams converged near home plate.
Mattingly said he was also upset that Corey Seager swung at a 3-0 pitch in the seventh with the Dodgers owning a 5-0 lead.
“(Ramos) gives up a homer and a guy gets hit. It looks bad,” Mattingly said. “But also they're up 5-0 and swinging 3-0. If they want to actually count stuff. They can say however they want it. But when they swing 3-0, up 5-0 going into the eighth, you can put it however you want.”
Ultimately, both Mattingly and Geren were ejected, as was Stripling.
Ramos was also upset.
“I was out there in the middle of that,” Ramos said. “No one said anything to me. If they had such a problem with it, they could have come at me right there. I was right in the middle of it. So, if they've got a problem with it, they can see me before the game, after the game, whenever they want to see me. It doesn't have to be at the game. If they still have a problem with it, it's their fault.”
In the end, players and coaches returned to their dugouts and the game continued without further incident.
Otherwise, tt was more of the same for the Marlins. More of the same inferior pitching. More of the same mediocre hitting. More of the same ineptness that has consumed them for the better of an abysmal month.
They lost again, of course. They lost on Fireworks Night in which the Marlins supplied none of their own.
This time it was Justin Nicolino giving up five runs and lasting all of four innings, another ineffective outing by a Marlins starter. This time it was a lineup that spent the night coughing up smoke like an old car with a cracked muffler. Dodgers starter Alex Wood toyed with them scattering six hits and never allowing a runner to advance past second.
So it became just another loss in a heap of them, a loss like so many of the others.
The Marlins have gone from 10-8 on April 23 to 14-27 now. They have lost 19 of their past 23 games. The only worse 23-game stretch in Marlins history: a 2-21 run in 2011 that led manager Edwin Rodriguez to throw up his arms and walk away. The Marlins are a quarter of a way into a season that is going backwards in a hurry.
On Friday, they offered no resistance until they became hopping mad.
The Dodgers scored a run in the first, two more in the third and another two in the fourth to knock out Nicolino, who gave up home runs to Chris Taylor and Brett Eibner. Cody Bellinger provided the finishing touch, blasting a two-out homer off A.J. Ramos, who was only on the mount to get in some work and shake off the rust from lack of use.
Offensively, the Marlins did little to nothing. Justin Bour prevented a shutout, homering in the ninth and the Marlins added another run on J.T. Riddle’s sacrifice fly.