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The Skid, Hanley, Etc.....

            NEW YORK -- The losses continue to pile up -- seven in a row at the moment -- but the Marlins still have a ways to go to reach the club record of 11 consecutive defeats, which was accomplished twice during the 1998 campaign. This is the longest stumble the club has experienced since the '07 season.

             -- Hanley Ramirez's hand remains swollen, he's not in tonight's lineup, and manager Fredi Gonzalez gives him about a 50-50 chance of playing Wednesday when the Marlins take on Johan Santana. Judging from the looks of the hand, I have serious doubts whether Ramirez will be available for that game, either. He didn't swing a bat today, isn't available for pinch-hitting (I assume he could pinch-run, if necessary), and can't be inserted as a defensive replacement since it's the throwing hand we're talking about. He was able to squeeze his fingers and make a fist for the first time today, but my guess is he won't see action until the Marlins get to Chicago on Thursday for the Cubs series.

            -- Don't blame defense for the Marlins' swoon. They've had their issues with hitting and pitching during the slump -- hitting most of all, and the resulting failure to score runs -- but they've remained relatively consistent in the field. They've made almost half as many errors (11) as their opponents (20). "We haven't had one of those 3-error games yet," Gonzalez said.

            -- Andrew Miller (15-day DL, oblique strain) threw a side bullpen session on Monday. Gonzalez said he'll probably make a rehab start in the minors at some point before he rejoins the Marlins staff.

            -- It's hard to make a clear assessment of the Marlins, what with the 11-1 start to begin the season and the current 7-game losing streak that's taken some of the starch out of their sails. "Sooner or later it's going to balance," Gonzalez said. "and we're going to find out where our needs are going to be."

            -- Gonzalez is going with the 1-2 combo of Bonifacio and Maybin at the top of the lineup tonight even though both players are struggling and striking out often. Alfredo Amezaga (starting at shortstop in place of Ramirez and batting eighth) was a possibility to lead off, and Gonzalez said he gave the idea some consideration before ultimately dismissing it.