07/04/12 5:30 PM ET
Defense letting down Marlins lately
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
But four innings before Aramis Ramirez's walk-off two-run homer took place at Miller Park, the Marlins committed a costly error.
Shortstop Jose Reyes dropped a sure out flip from second baseman Omar Infante. It was doubtful the Marlins would have turned a double play, because the speedy Carlos Gomez hit the grounder to Infante.
But the forceout wasn't in doubt. The error was crushing because the Marlins gave up six runs in the sixth inning, with four of them unearned.
Sloppy defense hurt the Marlins in each of their first two losses at Milwaukee. The team committed three errors in each game.
If the Marlins are to get back into contention, the defense has to improve.
"I don't think we had time to double up Gomez in that situation," Reyes said. "I just dropped the ball. I took my eyes off the ball before it got into the glove. Things happen in the game. But that's the play I have to make."
After going 21-8 in May, the Marlins have been on a slide, and the defense has had its struggles. In their 29 games since June 1, the Marlins have committed 22 errors, which is tied for the ninth most in that span in the Majors.
Disappointing is how manager Ozzie Guillen described the defense of late.
"I think we built this team around good defense," Guillen said. "I think the guys on the field are pretty good defensive players. ... I think everybody on the field is pretty decent, and I expect them to make the plays."
Ozzie praises banged up LoMo for toughness
MILWAUKEE -- Sore knees have been an issue for the Marlins at Milwaukee.
Giancarlo Stanton is missing at least three straight days with a sore right knee. And on Tuesday, Hanley Ramirez did not start because, he too, has a sore right knee.
Logan Morrison, meanwhile, played despite battling through a sore left knee. The left fielder was laboring in the 13-12 loss in 10 innings to the Brewers. At one point, manager Ozzie Guillen considered taking Morrison out of the game.
With the Brewers starting lefty Randy Wolf on Wednesday, Guillen opted to give Morrison the day off.
Basically, the fact Milwaukee went with a lefty made it easy for Guillen to rest Morrison, who had surgery on his knee in December.
"He's banged up," Guillen said. "I almost took him out of the game yesterday. I was two seconds away from taking him out, because it was very uncomfortable watching him play."
Before Wednesday game, the manager praised Morrison for his toughness.
"LoMo is the best guy, I believe, to be 'the man' on this ballclub," Guillen said. "Not the captain, but the leader. Overall, he's a guy who shows up every day the same way. I don't know if I'm wrong or right. This kid has got great potential to be a good leader on any ballclub."
Morrison has gotten periodic rest all season, and he's hitting .238 with nine homers and 30 RBIs in 75 games.
Morrison is expected to play on Thursday.
Ozzie emphasizes Bell not only culprit in loss
MILWAUKEE -- When Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen went on a rant following Tuesday's 13-12 loss in 10 innings at Milwaukee, he was sending a message.
In the clubhouse, with players and media present, Guillen made it clear there was plenty of blame to go around.
Heath Bell gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Aramis Ramirez, which rallied the Brewers to the walk-off win.
Asked on Wednesday who he was sending a message to, Guillen said: "The team, teammates, ownership, fans, the media. It's easy to kick the guy [in the rear end] when you're down. That kid gave up two runs in one inning. People point at him like he's a villain. How about all the guys who pitched from the first inning through the ninth before that kid got in there? That's why I think baseball is unfair."
Guillen noted he wasn't apologizing for Bell's performance. But the team committed three errors, and several other pitchers also gave up runs.
"It felt good," Bell said. "I knew exactly what he was saying. Even though I said I lost the game, it wasn't just me. It really was me, because I threw the pitch. But it really was a team effort.
"I think everything he was talking about is, it's the team. If we lose, if we win, it's the team."
Guillen made it clear he will not tolerate a clubhouse where players criticize each other.
"Look at yourself in the mirror before you look at this kid like a ghost," the manager said. "What happened before that? My point was not protecting him. My point was, this kid gave up two runs at the wrong time, yes. But there are a lot of guys who gave up runs before that.
"If I see some teammates criticize him, they're not going to be on this ballclub any more. I don't care if you're Hanley [Ramirez], or you're [Jose] Reyes. If you're making $100 million, if I hear somebody criticizing their teammate, I'm going to make sure I make your life miserable and get you out of here."