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Post-game nuggets following conclusion of Marlins best road trip ever

HOUSTON -- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said what was most encouraging about the way the team's 8-1 road trip ended Wednesday was seeing two of the team's most important pitchers -- Josh Johnson and Heath Bell -- regain their form.

"I think the best news I saw was Bell and JJ throwing the ball outstanding. I mean that to me, that's very important. I want those guys to go out there and have some success, help this ballclub win some games. I know how much it means to them too. JJ threw the ball great and Bell threw the ball great when we needed him to."

Could Bell's scoreless inning of relief in the 10th get him back into the closer's role immediately? Maybe.

"Now, it's up to him to see how he's going to handle it," Guillen responded when asked if Bell's scoreless inning of relief gave him confidence to put him back in the closer's role.

"I want to see him throw the ball the way he did today with confidence. When you get [the game] on the line, he has to have our back and we have to have his back. I believe we're a better ballclub with him as the closer."

Bell's response: "Ozzie is going to put me in there to try and help the team win and I'll get up to pitch when Ozzie calls down for me. I want my job back. That's all I'll say. I want my job back. It's up to Ozzie when I get my job back. Plain and simple."

JOHNSON HAPPY WITH EFFORT: Johnson didn't get the win Wednesday -- he had a chance to pick up his first 'W' since April 19th of last year. But he didn't seem to care the Marlins blew their eighth save opportunity of the year (now tied with Colorado for the most in baseball).

"We got the win, that's all that matters. Unbelievable road trip -- eight out of nine games," Johnson said. "I feel like we've been on the road for the last month now and we get to go back home for five days. Maybe we'll start something there and keep winning ball games."

Johnson said he felt great using all of his pitches and made simply one mistake -- the solo home run by Chris Johnson in he second inning.

"Threw my fastball and located it. That's my game. That's how I get outs -- with that," Johnson said. "When I don't do that, that's how I get in trouble.

"Three punch outs with my curveball. That's probably the first time I've ever had three strikeouts with my curveball. So, something to build with that. Threw some good changeups, some good sliders. It was a good day."

Johnson, whose ERA is now 5.87, said he felt like he learned something watching Carlos Zambrano on Monday. Who would have ever imagined that?

"Watching Big Z helped," Johnson said. Every time he made a bad pitch, he just calmed down and relaxed.

"You can tell by the hitter's reactions I'm throwing the ball good. Saint was saying 'You've just got to trust it, throw it out there and trust it. I've been doing bullpens and feel good. I go out to games and then I'm like 'I have to get after it, get amped up.' Today, I made sure I stayed calm and relaxed and enjoyed myself out there."

> Second baseman Omar Infante, charged with two costly errors in Tuesday's loss, was happy to deliver his second game-winning hit in less than a week and make up for his mistake.

"Now I feel better because I made a big hit to help the team," said Infante, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 11th and struckout looking. "I just wanted to make contact in that situation. I didn't want to strike out again. It's not easy pinch hitting. The second at-bat I felt more comfortable."

> Guillen didn't think the antics of Astros reliever Wilton Lopez was very cute. Lopez plunked Hanley Ramirez with a fastball on his left arm then turned to the Marlins bench on the way to his own dugout and flashed the team's rally sign 'Lo Viste.'

"Very immature, that's all I can say. Very immature," Guillen said. "He's lucky I wasn't Hanley. I would have chased his ass all the way to Puerto Rico."

Comments

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Flav C.

Was Bell fired? He keeps saying he wants his job back.
I thought his job was being a pitcher. Go out there and get some outs. That is his job.
He did a good job last night on whatever role he was put into and that's how it should be with every single pitcher.

George S

NJice overal win for the Marlins. Thought that Johnson's stuff finally looked better; good velocity, good movement, good location. Nice to see Bell pitch the way he's supposed to (shut out 10th) and nice to see Infante continuing his dominance and consistency at the plate.

Cishek giving up that bot.9th hit makes me wonder why it is that anyone in our closer role can't have an easy time out there. Yes, I realize that Stanton's diving (and missing) of that Carlos Lee fly was huge but still. He did strike out the next guy and against Bugosevic he gave up that bloop single. Is that closer role just becoming too mental for the pitchers in that spot?

What?

Why the Herald's censorship of the Ozzie outburst on monday.It was national news,and covered by every south Florida news media,except the Miami Herald.

georgeB

Flav C... for a good laugh google Herman Munster plays baseball...hits like Stanton...unfortunatly, fields like him too.

Flav C.

georgeB, that was excellent! Only Herman Munster to hit HRs at the new Marlins BallPark!

Stan M

I am so happy to see Mattison coming up to the big club. He's too old to be a "prospect" any more at 26, but he did very well in AZ ball last Fall. He was doing poorly in AAA ball until recently. He is almost hitting .400 in May. He hits lefthanded, plays CF and can really, really run. However, the best thing about him is his mustache if he still has it.
Dunn? Being brought back up? He has pitched 4 innings and given up 6 hits and 6 WALKS. Is this another Pinto? There have to be better choices.
Twice I've mentioned a kid named Keys who is now in low A ball. He's now hitting .368! Watch him. Yelich, our top prospect, hit 2 HRs last night, I hope they move him to AA ball pretty soon. This kid can really hit and he is only 20 YO. He could be in LF half way through next year.
There is much to be thankful for right now, but this next series will tell us a lot about our future this year. The Mets are a hot team that is playing well.
Why didn't Kearns stay in the game and play LF last night. It almost cost us the game. LoMo had to make a circus catch or it was all over.

laurelbowie

Stan M,
Is Kearns a good outfielder? I honestly don't know, but I've seen him look pretty clumsy on a couple of plays this year. I think, considering the way the leftfield fence is configured in Houston, I'd rather have a guy out there who's had a few games to get used to it rather than bringing in somebody new. Anyway, it worked out.
I agree that bringing Dunn back this quickly, considering the way he's stunk it up in AAA, is one of the mysteries of this century. Where the hell are you going to feel confident enough to use him?
I'll tell you one thing, though — Dunn is no Pinto. He can't even peel a baseball, much less draw on one.

Alex

"Johnson, whose ERA is now 5.87, said he felt like he learned something watching Carlos Zambrano on Monday. Who would have ever imagined that?"

What an incredibly stupid remark. Zambrano has over 125 wins in the big leagues; the man can PITCH. He's not some BUM that never had any success. The only complaints about Big Z was about his attitude. And don't forget, that's 125 wins with the Cubs, a bad team; I don't blame Z for having a bad attitude over there! JJ hasn't accomplished a quarter of what Big Z has done; of course he can learn about pitching from him! JJ is trying to finally become a pitcher, not a thrower; he's lucky to have both Z and Buerhle here to learn from.

Alex

Yeah, I greeted the news of Dunn's return with a loud moan. He's just terrible.

cantstandim

when Dunn comes in to pitch they play the horror film music... dunn dah dunn dah....

TONY SPARANO LOVES FIELD GOALS

There has too be some sidearmed funky lefty in our system that is better than Dunn.

Beinfart

Yeah there is ..He sells peanuts with a propeller hat on his head during the game. That's about all there is.

Flav C.

Beinfart, is it that guy with the Groucho Marx mask? He has a mean motion while throwing peanut bags 8-10 rows up. Always on target.

Beinfart

sign im up

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