By MIKE PHILLIPS
The idea is for Hanley Ramirez, whose 6-year, $70 million deal became official Saturday, to grow into a superstar.
Ramirez admits he is growing daily, especially since pitchers are attacking him differently, and throwing him fewer strikes.
“They are pitching me differently,’’ said Ramirez, who isn’t seeing as many strikes this season. He added that he hasn’t been hitting well of late, because of a lack of patience.
“I’m trying to do too much (lately),’’ he said. “That’s what I keep telling myself. You have to stay back and wait for your pitch. I haven’t been doing that.’’
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said he appreciates his young star’s attitude.
“We saw it last year with Miguel Cabrera, and we all think Cabrera is a pretty good hitter, right,’’ Gonzalez said with a smile. “We saw it where Cabrera started expanding the strike zone and that’s when you get into hitting slumps. Ask any hitting coach and (he’ll tell you) you usually get into hitting slumps when you start swinging at bad pitches.
“I’m glad (Hanley) recognizes that,’’ he said. ”I know we have talked to him about that, and told him it’s OK to walk. You walk, steal a base and score a run…and we win.
“The way I feel (about Hanley) is that it doesn’t matter if he is hitting in the first hole, the second hole, the ninth hole that he is not going to get as many pitches to hit.
“I think pitchers are pitching him differently,’’ Gonzalez said. “Every team goes into their advance meetings and say we’re not going to let this guy beat us, and that’s the way it is with Hanley.’’
Mike Jacobs, who hadn’t starter since he injured his right quadriceps May 7, started at first base Saturday. The Marlins have been without Jacobs and Josh Willingham, who is on the disabled list with a sore back, but they have not seen a drop in run production.
“Everybody else been doing a pretty decent job, and (Dan) Uggla has put his on his back and carried us,’’ Gonzalez said. “Scoring runs has not been a problem, and usually you lose your fourth and fifth hitter and you are going to scuffle scoring runs, but the other guys have kept us in it.’’
Brett Tomko, who started Friday for Kansas City, forgot he was pitching in an interleague game.
And it might have cost him a run. Matt Treanor hit a two-out RBI double in the fourth to close the score to 4-2. Tomko said later if he had known he was pitching in a National League park with NL rules he would have probably pitched around Treanor, the eighth hitter in the lineup.
“I got so locked into the American League mode I forgot the pitcher was on deck,’’ Tomko said. “I probably would have had a little better pitch selection to Treanor with the pitcher coming up.’’