Despite their win last night, the Marlins failed to gain ground in the standings on first-place Philly. The last time they moved that needle? Memorial Day. And you also have to go back their sweep of the Giants in May (24-26) to find the last time the Marlins won a series or back-to-back games. They have a chance to do both tonight when they close out their three-game set with the Angels.
MORE ON HANLEY-GATE -- Logan Morrison wasn't the only one who was upset with Hanley Ramirez when the shortstop walked in during Jack McKeon's inaugural address to players on Monday. Multiple sources said that front-office executives were hopping mad, as well, more so than McKeon. McKeon is clearly trying to put the issue to rest, going out of his way to praise Ramirez and his positive "attitude" after the player's two-hit game last night.
MCKEON-ISM 1 -- When talking to reporters after last night's victory, McKeon slipped -- but quickly caught himself amid laughter -- when discussing Ramirez: "It was good to see Cabr......not (Miguel) Cabrera. I wish I did have him...Ramirez and big Stanton come through back in the lineup, get a couple of hits, boost up the confidence. It was great."
MCKEON-ISM 2 -- Tweeted Morrison after the game: "Jack asked me what I'm doing tonight. I told him I'm going hom to play with Twitter. He asked, "What kind of dog is it?"
FROM KOCH TO CHOATE -- Anyone remember the time in 2004 when, with the bases loaded and one out late in a tight game in Philadelphia, McKeon made a pitching change -- Armando Benitez for Billy Koch -- after Koch had already gone to 3-0 on a batter? With his back against the wall, Benitez managed to work out of the jam without any runs being scored. McKeon did something similar last night, taking the ball from Randy Choate after the lefty specialist walked the first batter in the eighth and went to 2-1 on Alberto Callaspo. McKeon brought in Burke Badenhop, who gave up a single to Callaspo, but then retired the next three Angels hitters to get out of the inning.
"I don't think it's ever happened to me," Choate said. "I wouldn't say I was upset. I was just a little caught off guard. I thought they were coming out to talk to me, and they took me out. That's his prerogative. And you know what? It worked out and we won the game."
Said catcher John Buck: "It doesn't happen very often. I don't think Choate blinked. That's what we needed. Go against the grain a little bit."
McKeon said he was hoping Choate could get past Callaspo in order to face lefty hitter Russell Branyan.
"I just figured I'm going to give him an opportunity to get the right-handed hitter out," McKeon said. "But I wasn't going to let him get buried. I knew if he could have got him out, he had left-handers coming up. But he hasn't pitched that much against right-handers and I wasn't going to take a chance. Not the first time (I've done it). You've been around here where I've taken guys out with a 3-0 count. So now it's 2-1. I got to work on something else next."
BULLPEN GAME -- Even knowing that tonight's game would be a "bullpen game," with Brian Sanches scheduled to take the mound first, McKeon used five relievers on Tuesday. "I'm not worrying about tomorrow," McKeon said. "Maybe in the past everybody around here worries about tomorrow. I use 'em all. If I got to use eight tomorrow, I'll use eight tomorrow. I'm not worrying about tomorrow. It might rain."
SLIMMER CEDA -- Big Jose Ceda saw his first action since being promoted from Triple A and would have finished the game if not for a Greg Dobbs fielding error on what should have been the third out in the ninth. The 24-year-old right-hander, whom the Marlins obtained from the Cubs in the Kevin Gregg trade in 2008, said he's lost about 25 pounds since the start of spring training, when he showed up out of shape and overweight. "I'm 270 something now," Ceda said. "I was 290 something in spring training." Ceda said he is working on improving his splitter, which he uses along with a cutter, slider and fastball.