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After ending slump and losing streak, Hanley Ramirez feels like he can smile again

Hanley Ramirez was all smiles in the Marlins clubhouse Sunday morning.

Hanley RamirezAfter driving in the winning run Saturday night and putting an end to both an 0-for-26 slump and the Marlins six-game losing streak, Ramirez said he feels like he can finally smile again.

"It's not easy when you're losing," Ramirez said of enjoying the game. "You don't want to be smiling out there. People are going to be thinking you don't care about the game. It's different when you're winning."

If you haven't noticed by now, having fun is important for Ramirez's psyche. After the Marlins were shutout Friday, the first thing manager Ozzie Guillen said he was worried about was that his team wasn't having any fun and putting too much pressure on themselves.

Ramirez, 28, has been around long enough where a losing streak or a slump shouldn't have such an affect on him. But it's apparent it still does.

"Good players stay at the same level all year long. You can't get down when you're not good. You have to be the same guy all the time," Guillen said Saturday when asked if he though Ramirez's game-winning RBI would break him out of his funk.

"Hopefully, he stays like that and gets going."

Ramirez said he plans to start having fun "from the first inning" on Sunday.

"I think everyone is relaxed now," Ramirez said. "It was a good win, good for our confidence. Maybe we'll come back with that confidence and enjoy the game."

As for his 0-for-26 slump, Ramirez said: "What can I say? I've been hitting balls right at people. It's not like I was striking out. I was putting the ball in play. I've just got to keep improving and keeping my swing down."

For the record, Ramirez struckout nine times during his 0-for-26 skid and grounded into a double play once.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ramirez's game-winner Saturday marked the longest hitless streak that ended in a walk-off since the Phillies Charlie Hayes ended an 0-for-31 streak in a 10-inning victory over the Rockies on July 25, 1995. Ramirez, by the way, now leads the majors with walk-off hits this season with two. He also hit a game-winner April 15 vs. Houston.

INFANTE BACK IN LINEUP

Despite still feeling tightness in his sore left hamstring, second baseman Omar Infante is back in the lineup Sunday for the Marlins. "I feel better," Infante said before Sunday's game.

Guillen said Saturday his plan was to give Infante two days off to rest because he "didn't like the way he was moving." But it now appears Infante, the team leader in batting average and home runs, is going to try and play through the pain as much as he can and this could end up being a day-to-day situation whether he's in the lineup or not.

As for the pain, Infante said he feels it most when he tries to stop running and when he swings. Every morning, he says, he comes in for extra therapy and stretching. Between how feels and what Guillen thinks ultimately determines whether or not Infante is in the lineup.

TODAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (8-12): 1. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 2. Jose Reyes SS, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. LOgan Morrison LF, 5. Omar Infante 2B, 6. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 7. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 8. John Buck C, 9. Josh Johnson P.

> Diamondbacks (10-11): 1. Willie Bloomquist SS, 2. Gerardo Parra CF, 3. Justin Upton RF, 4. Jason Kubel LF, 5. Miguel Montero C, 6. Cody Ransom 3B, 7. Lyle Overbay 1B, 8. Aaron Hill 2B, 9. Wade Miley P.<.p>

Comments

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Flagstafffishfan

No hitter through 4 for.......Miley?

Flagstafffishfan

Here we go another six game losing streak on tap! Is there any doubt that JJ is not the same pitcher?

Trainer

wait till his shoulder starts hurting again. soon

rbleigh

This is getting out of hand, another guy I've never heard of blanking the Fish deep into a game. Eduardo Perez you're on the clock...

rbleigh

Hmm, if JJ truly isn't right maybe I should recant my comment that the Marlin's FO needs to trade Anibal. I guess this reiterates why they don't like giving long term deals to SPs.

GoFish

Where is the offense, these guy are awful.

Flagstafffishfan

What will Ozzie's excuse be for today. I would agree that Eddie is gone soon. This hitting core is awful. I'm watching here in AZ and even Mark Grace is questioning what's going on with guys like Gaby. Time to move LoMo to 1st? Tomorrow a rookie pitcher for the DBacks, first game in the big leagues and you can bet he'll look like Cy Young. Again the stadium sounds like a funeral home with crickets. They are boorrriiinnnggg!

Justin

Anyone still want to defend and feel sorry for the starting pitching? Didn't think so. Josh Johnson, YOU are the weakest link. Goodbye!

Call A Taxidermist

If you think it's a funeral home now, wait till June...It will be a Mausoleum with few people visiting the dead Fish carcass...

Crazy Guggenheim

Marlins made the D-Backs bring in a bartender from the Clevelander to pitch the 9th inning so they could score some runs.

Baseball Stew

Marlins send down Dunn and Cogz...bring up Petersen and LHP Dan Jennings....not much help

Alex

Hanley Ramirez is terrible. His swing is lousy, and his baseball IQ is less than zero. Bottom of the 9th, Hanley leading off, the team is losing by 7 runs, and he SWINGS AT THE FIRST PITCH. Unbelievable. Of course he popped out to right, which is what he mostly does these days with that ridiculously long, one handed swing.

Alex

Anibal Sanchez needs to be re-signed ASAP. As for JJ, there's nothing wrong with him, he just doesn't have that old 95-97 mph heater anymore. That doesn't mean he can't be successful; look at Halladay, he doesn't throw 95 mph either. JJ just has to learn HOW TO PITCH all over again. He was a THROWER; now he has to learn how to be a pitcher.

The good news is that this starting staff is performing really well. If the offense ever gets in gear, this team will do well. Eduardo Perez, however, is terrible. Bring back John Mallee.

Alex

Another thing killing this team is the OF defense. Lomo is a first baseman and should be moved there, maybe as part of a right/lefty platoon with Gaby. Or maybe Gaby needs to be traded for a bona fide Left Fielder. This team cannot afford to have two defensive liabilities in the OF; Stanton in RF is bad enough. Lomo has absolutely no speed and balls routinely fall in front of him. We can tolerate Stanton's miscues if he starts hitting. But he has gone backwards defensively this year.

Justin

Nice to see The Whiffer come through with one of his patented meaningless home runs. This is the worst team in the major leagues and it's not even a contest. Fire sale commencing in five, four, three, two, one....

rbleigh

Alex, ditto on the Marlins D, can't say anymore about guys playing out of natural positions.

Alex

Justin, that was moronic. Obviously you have ZERO baseball smarts. The starting pitching has been excellent; the team just isn't hitting. I expected that with the team relying so much on Hanley Ramirez returning to form. He is not the Hanley of old; not even close. His swing is horrendous. If they finally start hitting, this team can do well. They are far from "the worst team in the major leagues" and for you to say that it shows that you are either very ignorant, or you are just a troll or a hater.

Flav C

Great to see Stanton swinging hard and hitting a HR off of a recent AAA call up(Zagursky). Now if he can only do the same against major league pitchers, it would be nice.

Flav C

Alex, your point is taken. However, statistically speaking, the Marlins are 2 games ahead of the 2 worst team in the majors (Twins/Royals). Not as far as one could think.
Now, if you're saying that "on paper" the Marlins is far from the worst teams, i agree. Unfortunately they are not playing as such.

Alex

There are times in baseball when you have to look BEYOND the statistics and look at how a team is playing. This team is NOT getting blown out night after night. Quite the contrary, they have been in almost every game they have played. They are losing a lot of games by a run or two because the offense is not doing it's job, and because our "closer" has blown several games. The starting pitching has been excellent, and that is NOT the mark of a bad team.

Alex

The problem with this team is that it was built around JJ and Hanley returning to form, which was a very risky move considering JJ was injured and considering Hanley is a slug. Their free agent signings showed that was their philosophy, to add players around JJ and Hanley, rather than signing #1 type starters and big run producing hitters to take the place of Hanley & JJ should they NOT return to form.

The Marlins also decided to be CHEAP when they went into the free agent market, just like they did last year when they signed Buck. Heath Bell was a 34 year old fat overachiever on the way DOWN. They could have signed Papelbon, a 31 year old guy in his prime, but they didn't want to spend the money.

Glags

Alex, paying a guy nine million to pitch one inning in 50 games, give or take, is not cheap. If you think that's cheap I've got a couple of cheap bridges to sell you. As for closers available they got the better of the three based on past performances. After all when you give a guy a big contract you're ultimately paying for past performances. See John Buck and JJ and at least with Hanley we got one good year out of him. Jose is next on this list.

This organization probably needs better evaluators but to say that they cheaped out on us is wrong.

Alex

Sorry, but the Marlins have a track record of doing that. They have been CORRECTLY criticized in the past for not spending money. Now when they DO spend it, they try to spend as little as possible. You are crazy if you think that the Marlins got the best closer out there. Anyone taking an honest look at the stats would see that Bell was a 34 year old fat boy OVERACHIEVER who benefited from pitching in a huge ballpark and whose velocity has been DECLINING. These are not my opinions; they are FACTS. Papelbon was 31, in much better shape, and at the top of his game having pitched in tiny Fenway Park against American League batters. Look at their records so far: Bell has two losses, two blown saves and an ERA over 9. Papelbon has 7 saves and and an ERA of 1.13. Case CLOSED. The Marlins got exactly what they paid for - a second rate closer.

Glags

Yeah but If GMs has crystal balls we'd probably be managing an organization rather than bickering pointlessly on a blog. They went out and got guys that they thought would help this team win. It hasn't panned out but you can't put that on Samson, Ozzie or Loria. While there's enough blame to go around you have to think that Beinfest and Hill have to share the majority of it.

Alex

And the signing of John Buck is yet another example of that. The Front Office signed Buck for 18 million for three years because they HOPED that he could replicate the one good year he had in Toronto. They knew damn well that you can't get a top of the line catcher for 6 million a year, but they gambled on Buck being able to continue playing well. If he HAD continued playing like he did in Toronto, he would be a STEAL at 6 million a year and the Marlins would have gotten the best of that deal.

Unfortunately Busk is a COMPLETE BUST both offensively and defensively, and the Marlins actually got LESS than what they paid for - a mediocre catcher who doesn't hit well enough or play good enough defense. Instead of the Marlins getting over, Buck and his agent got over on the Fish! JUST BECAUSE YOU SPEND MONEY DOESN'T MEAN YOU AREN'T CHEAP. Not if you spend it unwisely!

Glags

Ill put it this way. Had they landed Pujols you'd still be criticizing them for spending so much money on a guy who looks older than his age and at times looked like an aging player.

Alex

First of all, PAL, you don't know me, so you're making an ass out of yourself by predicting what I "would be saying". I will tell you what I WAS saying this off season: I was extremely critical of the Front Office's approach this off season because they ASSUMED that Hanley and JJ would return to form, and nothing I saw showed me that was going to happen. I was against signing Reyes for that exact reason. What's the point of signing another "table setter" when you are lacking HITTERS who can drive them in. Signing Reyes meant that the FO had faith in Hanley's rebirth and Stanton and Lomo and Gaby's continued improvement. I have watched Hanley since Day One, and he is a complete SLUG. I have been playing, coaching and watching baseball for 56 years, so I think I have a little bit of an eye for talent. Hanley has squandered the talent he came here with and has actually gotten WORSE.

Now I am still a Marlins fan, and I like the moves they made getting Buehrle and Zambrano, and I hope the team turns it around, but as for their off season moves, I was very skeptical, and so far I was right.

Glags

Look here partner. The fact of the matter is that the front office did what they said they would which was open the wallet once they got their stadium. So for anyone to sit at home on their computer and criticize something that they nothing about, myself included, is unfair.

And as much as an ass as I may sound, I absolutely guarantee you that people, maybe not you because well you can predict what a player will or won't do, but other people would be screaming to the high heavens had Pujols come here and put up the numbers that he's put up so far. That's what we do. We criticize when the moves go wrong and proclaim ourselves geniuses and we look for reasons to criticize when things go seemingly well. Unfortunately, we haven't had an opportunity at the latter.

Glags

If you have such a good eye for talent you should be a scout for this team. Lord knows they can use your smarts.

Alex

Fair enough, Glags; perhaps I came off too harshly. My apologies. But you act as if us fans have no right to be critical of our teams' moves! That's crazy, man; arguing and debating these trades and deals is EXACTLY what being a baseball fan is all about. It's as American as Apple Pie; that's why we have all those "Hot Stove League" debates in the off season.

And I thank you for the compliment, but I do not claim to be a baseball genius; I did however raise serious concerns about the Marlins' off season moves, and I was FAR FROM THE ONLY ONE! By signing Reyes the Front Office was saying that they believed that they had enough run producing sluggers ALREADY on the team, and all they needed to do was ADD SOME MORE COMPLEMENTARY PIECES. I thought that was crazy, because Hanley Ramirez has been HORRIBLE since the end of the 2009 season, and counting on a return to form by him was a huge gamble. So was not signing a #1 type starter; by not going after Wilson the Marlins were basically saying that they EXPECTED JJ to return to form, and anybody who knows baseball knew that was a major gamble with his injury history.

These were my opinions BEFORE we actually signed any free agents, BTW. I'm not saying these things NOW that it looks as if Hanley is going to have yet ANOTHER bum season and JJ can't throw hard anymore. This team can still be successful, and I like the Buerhle and Zambrano signings, and Anibal is pitching for a new contract, so the starting pitching looks good. It's the offense that worries me; we put all our eggs in the Hanley & Stanton basket, and so far they are NOT producing.

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