As the Marlins have struggled through yet another June swoon, Ozzie Guillen has kept himself busy by changing his lineup on a daily basis. Only once during the team's 5-16 start to the month has the Marlins manager put the same lineup on the field on back-to-back days.
He finally broke the habit Monday. After the team's most lopsided win of the season Sunday against the Blue Jays, Guillen put the same guys out on the field and in the same order one through eight against the Cardinals. That's something he hadn't done since June 1st at Philadelphia, when he had the same lineup on the field for five games in a row.
"You're not going to change lineups -- unless there's a lefty pitching -- after you score nine runs," Guillen explained. "I think if we continue to play like this, this is the lineup we're going to keep to be honest... I don't think anybody here right now should be asking for playing time. I would have a lot of balls asking my manager for playing time if I was playing the way they're playing."
Guillen said Greg Dobbs, who got his second straight start at first base Monday, "is swinging the bat better." Does that mean Gaby Sanchez could see himself in a platoon situation moving forward? Guillen didn't elaborate. But the with Marlins struggling at the plate this month and Sanchez hitting .195 with two homers and 16 RBI that could be a possibility.
"I think the way we played yesterday, everybody should be back in the lineup and that's the reason we did it. If they win again today, that same lineup, the 90 games we have left, that's going to be the same lineup," Guillen said. "That's the way it goes. I got to put the guys who have the best chance to win for us."
Here's a link to every starting lineup the Marlins have used this season.
> While the Marlins bullpen -- with the exception of closer Heath Bell (no earned runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings) -- has had a month to forget (1-2, 6.72 ERA), Guillen doesn't put all the blame on his relievers.
"I think the reason we had a couple rough weeks -- if you can put it that way -- was because our starting pitching put us in a hole," Guillen said. "When you have good starters, your bullpen is going to look awesome. Because then, they're not going to be overworked. We're going put them in the right matchups. We're going to put them facing the people they should be facing, and everything is going to be set in the right place."
With Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle giving the Marlins back-to-back quality starts of seven innings, Guillen is hopeful the struggling Ricky Nolasco (0-3, 8.80 ERA over his last three starts) will follow suit tonight against the Cardinals.
"I'm looking for Ricky Nolasco to stick his [pause] in the dirt," Guillen said. "Got to pitch better... JJ was very good. Buehrle was great. I expect Ricky to follow them. This can be a good competition between those five guys to see who pitches better. It's not about it's my turn, let me see what I got. How about 'I'm going to be better than you tomorrow.' I remember the Braves' five guys. It was a very friendly motivation to go out and be better than the other guy."
> Asked if he's seen the worst from his team this month, Guillen said: "If something is worse than this, let me know. I don't want to manage that team. Believe me. Everything was bad. It wasn't like we caught a bad break here, the ball bounced this way. No. The pitching was bad. The hitting was bad. Defense was okay. The bullpen was a complete disaster... But I think we've played our worst and hopefully we'll not play like that again."
> Outfielder Justin Ruggiano said Monday he still feels soreness in his left shoulder from the diving catch he made Saturday to save two runs off the bat off Brett Lawrie. The catch was considered the Best of the Best this weekend by ESPN.
"I robbed one last year in Baltimore from JJ Hardy. But this one, now that I've had time to think about it, is probably the best [catch I've made as a pro] because of the degree of difficulty," he said."This one was more diving straight back, sacrificing the body."
> Emilio Bonifacio said he's having a specially designed protective wrap made to fit his surgically repaired left thumb when he runs the bases when he returns after the All-Star Break. Bonifacio said it will be similar to one worn by Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal. In fact, Bonifacio said he got a photo from Furcal of the wrap to show the Marlins what he wanted his to look like.
Bonifacio will see a doctor Tuesday before receiving the green light to start swinging off the tee as well as his rehab regiment.
> Reliever Ryan Webb, who gave up a career-high six earned runs over two innings of relief last Friday's 12-4 loss to Toronto, said he's working with pitching coach Randy St. Claire to adjust his delivery.
"I think I might have been having a problem with even when I was having success. I'm not really throwing the way that I used to," Webb said. "It's a part of my delivery, staying closed with my front body and shoulder. It's something I kind of got away from over the course of two years, trying to make little adjustments. It's kind of put me in the direction where I wasn't entirely comfortable everytime throwing... I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out."
> Cardinals (38-35): 1. Rafael Furcal SS, 2. John Jay CF, 3. Matt Holliday LF, 4. Carlos Beltran RF, 5. Allen Craig 1B, 6. Yadier Molina C, 7. David Freese 3B, 8. Daniel Descalso 2B, 9. Jake Westbrook RHP.
> Marlins (34-38): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Logan Morrison LF, 5. Greg Dobbs 1B, 6. Omar Infante 2B, 7. Scott Cousins CF, 8. John Buck C, 9. Ricky Nolasco RHP.