09/12/12 8:57 PM ET
Stanton a terror for opposing home teams
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
Since returning from knee surgery on Aug. 7, Stanton has slugged a Major League-leading 15 home runs, begging the obvious question of how many he could have had with a full season. As is, he could still catch Braun in the remaining 19 games.
"It's uncontrollable, in my view," Stanton said of missing 25 games from July 8 through Aug. 5. "You can always look back and say I missed a month and all that, but what can you do, really?"
Despite his success with the long ball, Stanton is not exactly pleased with his performance on the current road trip. He homered in four of the first five games of the trip, but he's also struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats and has struggled with situational hitting.
"If I wasn't hitting home runs, then it would be brutal," Stanton said.
But his power numbers speak for themself.
"This kid, to me, is one of the more feared hitters in the game -- at least in the National League, he is," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time he comes to the plate, the pitcher thinks about it."
Ruggiano ejected in second inning vs. Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- Justin Ruggiano was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the second inning of Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Phillies.
Ruggiano took offense to a called third strike by home-plate umpire Clint Fagan. The pitch, which came on a 2-2 count from Philadelphia's Cliff Lee, was inside.
"I just didn't think it was over the plate," said Ruggiano, whose opinion did not change after seeing a replay. "That's basically it. The guy pitching is pretty good already, and when the strike zone widens, it makes it even harder to get him."
Ruggiano wasn't sure exactly why Fagan ejected him. After arguing the call at the plate, he walked to the dugout. He said he said something to his coaches and that's when Fagan ran him from the game. It was Ruggiano's first ejection from a Major League game. Austin Kearns took over for him in left field.
"The coaches are basically who I was talking to when I walked in," he said. "I said if he gets that pitch all day, we're in trouble or something like that. ... I have a feeling he was tracking me all the way back to the dugout and just waiting for me to say one more thing."
Miami skipper Ozzie Guillen came out to briefly argue with Fagan before returning to the dugout.
"I think the reason on why and when he got thrown out, I don't think it was the right way, because he was chirping in the dugout but not to the umpire," Guillen said. "He was talking to himself. He was mad at himself. The umpire thought he was talking to him, and that's the reason I went out."
Murphy suffers concussion on Utley's slide
PHILADELPHIA -- Donnie Murphy left in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 3-1 loss with a concussion, manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Marlins third baseman was inadvertently hit on the head on a slide by Philadelphia's Chase Utley in the sixth inning. The injury occurred when John Mayberry Jr. hit his game-tying RBI single to center field and Utley went from first to third. On his slide into third, it appeared as if Utley's right leg popped up and accidentally made contact with Murphy.
Murphy flied out to right field in the seventh before he was replaced by Greg Dobbs to start the bottom half of the inning.
"We've got to wait and see tomorrow about it," Guillen said. "I talked to the trainer, and he said it might take a couple days. Hopefully days not weeks. We will wait to see what they have tomorrow and wait to see how he feels Friday."
Ozzie conflicted about 2013 return to U.S. Cellular
PHILADELPHIA -- Ozzie Guillen isn't quite sure how he will feel when he returns to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time next May. But the Marlins' skipper is looking forward to it.
Major League Baseball released its schedule for 2013 on Wednesday afternoon, and Guillen's return to Chicago on May 24-26 is arguably Miami's most intriguing Interleague series.
Guillen played for the White Sox from his rookie season in 1985 until '97, and he managed them from 2004 until last season, winning a World Series title in '05. Guillen still lives in Chicago and has a lot of friends there.
"Going there, how I'm going to feel? I don't know," Guillen said before Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies, an hour after the schedule was released. "It might feel weird. Obviously, I grew up in that ballpark. It's like you go to your old house. I grew up there. I have a lot of great memories there. I have a lot of very bad memories there, everything involved."
Guillen will have to wait until the day comes to know how he will respond emotionally. He returned to Chicago to face the Cubs on July 17-19, but that was different.
"You never know," he said. "Maybe I don't even care. Maybe I start crying. I don't know. Maybe I'm nervous. ... To me, I have to wait for that day to know exactly how I'm going to feel about it. I did it before as a player. But we'll see."
It might have been overlooked due to a costly dropped popup on Tuesday night, but Rob Brantly has been hitting the ball pretty well. The 23-year-old rookie catcher has at least one hit in each of his past five games, including two on Tuesday. Brantly is batting .381 (16-for-42) with nine runs scored, four doubles, two home runs and four RBIs over his past 13 games. He did not start Wednesday's series finale.
"One thing about this kid that's going to make him special, this kid wants to be good and he wants to learn," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Guillen said Brantly would benefit from catching a better pitching staff, too.
"To help him, let's get a better pitching staff. He will be one of the best catchers in the game," the skipper said with a laugh. "You're not a good catcher if you don't have a good pitching staff. I don't care if Johnny Bench is behind the plate. If you don't have a good pitching staff, you're never going to be a good catcher. That's going to be your question mark all the time."
Greg Dobbs' .382 road average since June 21 leads the National League and ranks second in the Majors. Dobbs, who got a day off in Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies, has at least one hit in 28 of 33 road games over that same span.
On this date in 1996, Gary Sheffield hit his 42nd home run of the season, which remains a single-season record for the Marlins.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.