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Marlins setup man Clay Hensley has been unavailable to pitch since slipping down flight of stairs Friday at team hotel

CINCINNATI -- A day after the Marlins bullpen blew a three-run lead and cost Josh Johnson another victory, manager Edwin Rodriguez praised his ace for the way he's been able to handle the disappointment.

Clay Hensley "I've been very impressed with JJ. Not for the obvious things, everybody knows about his ability to pitch. It's the way he approaches the game. The way he controls his emotions. He's the whole package," Rodriguez said.

"If it would have been me, I would have been throwing things all over the clubhouse. He's been very, very good about it."

Turns out things might have gone a little differently Saturday if not for an unfortunate accident involving setup man Clay Hensley, who slipped down a flight of stairs at the team hotel before Friday's game and was unavailable to pitch in the first two games of this series versus the Reds with a bruised left shoulder blade.

"Just slipped. I was wearing my dress shoes and caught the step on it, hit my back pretty hard," Hensley said. ""The first day we were here I couldn't even put a shirt on because of the bruise on my left side.

"It sidelined me [Friday] for sure. [Saturday], I was kind of questionable. I threw a bullpen, but they wanted me to give it another day of rest. I had some x-rays, didn't fracture anything. It is what it is. I have to be ready to go today."

Rodriguez acknowledged he would have called on Hensley, his regular setup man, with two outs in the eighth inning Saturday. Instead, Edward Mujica came in and allowed four straight hits before being pulled for Ryan Webb, who couldn't protect the Marlins 3-2 lead at that point.

"Tough situation," Rodriguez told The Miami Herald. "We kind of had our hands tied without Clay and [closer Leo Nunez] available."

Webb was charged with the blown save, his third of the season. The Marlins, the last major league team to blow a save on April 24, have blown four saves over their last six games.

The Marlins bullpen, which owned the lowest ERA in the majors entering the series (2.10), now ranks second (2.38) behind the Padres (2.31). A year ago, the Marlins bullpen blew seven leads handed over to them by Johnson. They've already done it twice this season.

Mujica (2-1, 6.10 ERA) said Sunday he was ready to turn the page on his rough outing.

"I just [screwed] it up bad," Mujica said. "I didn't say nothing to [Johnson]. My job was to make that out. But like I said, sometimes you're not going to do your job the right way."

STRUGGLING HANLEY

Before the season, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told the media he wanted All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez to go after the National League MVP trophy.

Ramirez has been anything but an MVP candidate thus far. The 2009 NL Batting Champion closed the month of April hitting .200 (17 for 85) with nine RBI. He has yet to hit a home run -- a drought that spans all the way through spring training and back to the second game of a double header against the Phillies last Sept. 6. Ramirez, who said he wanted to steal more bases in 2011, has also been successful on just three of his seven steal attempts.

"What I'm concerned about is how he's taking it, that he will keep the same energy he's been doing," Rodriguez said.

"He's been handling the situation perfectly. He's showing a lot of energy, he's pulling for his teammates even when he's struggling. I'm not concerned about the numbers he's going to put up or when he's going to start hitting. I know he's going to start hitting."

Asked if he might consider moving Ramirez out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Rodriguez said: "Who are we going to put in that third hole? Chris Coghlan? Then, who is going to lead off?

"I think he needs to play himself out of that whole situation... if we have one guy here who should be able to get out of that slump, it's him."

FACING CHAPMAN'S HEAT

Saturday's game was the first time the Marlins got a chance to see hard-throwing Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in person.

The experience wasn't so bad as the Marlins drew three walks and scored two runs off Chapman with a Wes Helms bases-loaded double. Chapman, who registered a pitch on April 18 at 106 miles per hour, hit 102 on the gun Saturday night.

"I faced Randy Johnson and a bunch of those guys. I'd compare him to Randy Johnson back in his day," Helms said. "Randy had a little closer release point to you, so it made it tougher. But as far as velocity goes, he throws hard. That's all you can say, he really brings it."

CUP CHECK

Before Josh Johnson finished up his seven scoreless innings Saturday night to drop his ERA to a major-league leading 0.88, he unleashed a wicked breaking ball in the dirt that left catcher John Buck bruised, but relieved he was wearing a cup.

"Cracked it right here," Buck said as he showed reporters where his NuttyBuddy protective cup was damaged. "The guy who does these takes one off the pitching machine at like 90 miles per hour. It works good. Obviously saved my testicles last night."

Pastel fish ROLLING IN STYLE: Win or lose Sunday, a few Marlins are planning on walking out of Great American Ball Park wearing some new rather colorful, stylish suits.

Josh Johnson said he Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad and Mike Stanton purchased the suits near the team hotel shortly after going out to dinner Thursday in Cincinnati.

Johnson's suit is peach, Nolasco's is gold, Stanton's is pink and Volstad's is blue with pinstripes.

Comments

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Lou Vales

Thank you for being first with the Hensley news.Phi Beta Kappas at the Sentinel still have not posted info.

Lou Vales

Now I just heard Danny "Deadbeat"Murphy has a sore wrist.What in the ahell is he doing a Major League roster. The man CAN'T play when he can play--which is RARE---and the only thing he is good for is eating up the per diem meal money.

Edwin, we get it. You see Murphy in yourself, but now we need you to see Danny Boy in New Orleans.

Lou Vales

It's not Danny's fault is that he still gets to fly with a MLB team.Nobody is turning down a Big League salary and the perks, this is on Marlins' management for the continuing charade.

infante grounds out to 2nd

His name is DONNY, not danny. stop posting irrelevant things, you blog groupie!

Glags

Ha ha. To think I liked your posts at one point Lou. Following the team and their affiliates does not constitute u as a "real" fan. I don't care if u drive 665 miles to watch this team. It's obvious that you don't like them or support them in any way shape or form. Quit yer bitchin'. I think they're doing pretty good. I don't know if you've noticed the standings.

Glags

Here is a thought if you don't like this guys blog, why don't you stop reading it. Start your own blog but I don't think people would be interested in reading non sensical rants.

Lou Vales

I'll stop blogging as soon as Donnie, Danny, Davey or whatever is in New Orleans with his .105 batting average.

Deal???

By the way, CONGRATULATIONS to EVERYBODY involved with the taking down of Bin Laden. I hope the body and the DNA will be enough for the Trumpster. Will be hard to get Bin Laden's "long form birth certificate"

Jack

Lou is a curmudgeonly old fart. Jealous that these players get paid a lot of money to play a game he wishes he was able to play back when he was a young buck, back in the 19th century.

Every year he picks on a couple players and calls them fat, over paid, lazy, soft, whatever cliched insult he can hurl behind the friendly confines of his broken down desktop.

He calls himself a Marlin fan, but he's just an old gasbag who wishes things were still the way they were in the good ol days.

Go away, loser.

porcupine

You guys got one of the top two pitchers in baseball. Next week were gonna see a matchup you wont forget. It'll be Halladay vs. Johnson next week. Put this game on ESPN!!!!

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