Marlins manager Jack McKeon and Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, along with players from both sides, said nothing Friday or Saturday to rekindle the bad blood between these teams from May’s home-plate collision with Scott Cousins and Buster Posey when the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year suffered a season-ending injury.
After all, San Francisco has bigger concerns than getting retribution. The Giants, two games behind Arizona in the NL West standings entering Saturday’s game, are worried about winning their division.
“That’s in the past. I don’t think anybody has even thought about it,” McKeon said. “How are they going to retaliate? They’re fighting for a pennant. They can’t afford to have anybody suspended or get in a battle.”
Former Marlin Cody Ross called the incident “water under the bridge.”
“Really, I just think they overreacted,” McKeon said. “It was a case where they were sorry that they acted that way, overreacted as time went by. I saw a couple of the Giants people at the draft. They said, ‘We probably jumped the gun.’ And it’s only natural. They lost one of their key guys, and you say things. After you say them, you wish you hadn’t said them.”
Regarding bang-bang plays at the plate, though, McKeon fondly remembered Pudge Rodriguez holding onto the ball for the last out of the 2003 NLDS after J.T. Snow steered into the catcher. Florida went on to the World Series.
“No one said anything about J.T. Snow coming in and barreling into Pudge, did they?” McKeon said. “You didn’t hear anybody then. Just us celebrating, sending them back to San Francisco.”
HELMS: TOUGH TIMES GOOD FOR FISH
When times are tough, concentrate on the positives. That’s the approach veteran infielder Wes Helms is taking to the Marlins’ recent struggles.
"I know the fans don’t want to hear it, the front office doesn’t want to hear it and we don’t want to hear it as a team, but I’m kind of glad these young guys are going through this failure, because it can make them better in the long run," Helms said. "We would have loved to run away with this division and gone to the playoffs, but the bottom line is, were not right now."
If this failure helps this team in the long run, next year or even the next year, so these guys know how to dig themselves out of a hole quick, rather than getting themselves deeper. then you know what? We can look back on this year three years from now and say, I’m glad it happened, because these guys got better from it. It made them better players.’ Sometimes you’ve got to be knocked down on your butt to become a better player or a better person in life. This right here can better all of us in the long run."
Helms, who indicated his interest in managing or coaching after his playing career ends, said tough times show “what you’re made out of.”
“Are you going to go out there and do what you do, or are you going to try to get better?” Helms said. “You don’t want to say it’s fun to watch, but it is fun to watch guys struggle and then all the sudden see them make the adjustment and get out of it. That’s what’s fun about this game.”
VOLSTAD SEEKING CONSISTENCY
McKeon provided a simple answer when asked what he is looking for from Chris Volstad on Sunday, when the righty makes his first start since being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans: “Seven, eight, nine innings out of him, really. Throw strikes. Make them hit the ball.”
Volstad, who made three starts for the Zephyrs and went 1-1 with a 4.42 after being optioned on July 23, provided an equally straightforward answer about what he hopes to accomplish.
“Consistency within the game, and putting together a stretch of innings in a row, as opposed to having three good innings and one bad,” Volstad said. “Or starting off really bad and putting the team in a hole. It's just the consistency part of it.”
McKeon said “hopefully history repeats itself,” referencing Volstad’s demotion last year and subsequent success in the second half.
Volstad added that, though he didn't make any major mechanical adjustments to his delivery, his arm slot tended to waver when he struggled. As a sinkerball pitcher, when his arm slot climbs, his pitches tend to flatten out. He wants to work down in the zone.
"It wasn’t a whole game where my arm slot would be out of whack," Volstad said. "Obviously I would have those good innings and those good games mixed in there, so it’s just a matter of consistency and doing it every time, as opposed to 75 percent of the time or not in the first inning and then being right in the next four innings."
Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 2. Alfredo Amezaga, 2b; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Mike Stanton, rf; 5.Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 7. Bryan Petersen, cf; 8. John Buck, c; 9. Javier Vazquez, p
Giants: 1. Cody Ross, lf; 2. Jeff Keppinger, 2b; 3. Pablo Sandoval, 3b; 4. Aubrey Huff, 1b; 5. Nate Schierholtz, rf; 6. Orlando Cabrera, ss; 7. Aaron Rowand, lf; 8. Chris Stewart, c; 9. Tim Lincecum, p