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Desperate Marlins Dig Deep for Help


           This just in from the Cape Cod Times: the Marlins are calling up right-hander Steve Cishek (page 257 in the small-print section of the team's media guide) for bullpen reinforcements. Exclaimed Cishek (stats), who was as shocked as anyone by the promotion: "I've never even gotten in a major-league spring training game."

           That's what it's come to for the Marlins, who are crawling to the finish line on hands and knees.

            Losers of six straight, and with their pitching staff in shambles, the Marlins have, in essence, declared a state of emergency simply to make it through these remaining 14 games. Following Sunday's debacle at Sun Life Stadium in which the Marlins used seven pitchers and the staff combined to issue a team record 12 free passes, the Marlins put out an immediate call for help. Cishek, who started the season at Single A Jupiter before ending up at Double A Jacksonville, was driving home to Massachusetts when he was ordered to reverse course and hit the accelerator, what with a makeup game looming this afternoon against the Cardinals.

            The Marlins have already used a club-record 29 pitchers. Cishek would make it 30. And Sandy Rosario (page 278 of the media guide), fresh up from the Southern League champion Suns, will make it 31 when he gets his turn on the mound.

             If you're heading out to today's game, take my advice and buy a scorecard.