At one point not long ago, manager Edwin Rodriguez was concerned that one of his primary weapons -- his bullpen -- would be overtaxed and cooked by the All-Star break.
"The way it was going," Rodriguez said, "the middle of the season, these guys were going to be overworked. Now we're back to normal."
For that, the Marlins can thank last Saturday's rainout in Philadelphia, Monday's off day, and performances like last night's when Anibal Sanchez went the distance in his one-hit victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Since last Saturday's rainout, the bullpen has worked just 9 1/3 total innings and gone from being one of the most overworked pens in the NL to one of the league's least-used. The Marlins bullpen ranks 14th of the 16 NL teams with 55 1/3 inning total relief innings. Only the Brewers and Phillies have fewer innings from their pens.
Then again, with Javier Vazquez headed back to the hill tonight for the first time since April 15, the holiday could be over for Marlins relievers. This is a big outing for Vazquez to prove that he belongs in the rotation.
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Emilio Bonifacio, lf; 9. Javier Vazquez, p.