04/21/2013 1:22 PM ET
Bullpen a bright spot for Marlins on long day
By Tony Meale / Special to MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Despite losing, 3-2, to the Reds in 13 innings on Saturday, the Marlins' bullpen was borderline dominant.
Miami relievers Tom Koehler, Mike Dunn, Chad Qualls, A.J. Ramos, Ryan Webb and Steve Cishek allowed a combined one run on six hits in 8 2/3 innings. They also had 12 strikeouts, led by Ramos' four in two innings.
The bullpen was needed after starter Wade LeBlanc lasted only four innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and threw 85 pitches.
LeBlanc called his performance "terrible" after the game, but he -- not to mention Miami's bullpen -- pitched out of several sticky situations. The Reds left 17 men on base -- their most since stranding 17 in a 19-inning game against Philadelphia on May 25, 2011.
The Marlins lost on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly off Cishek with one out in the 13th inning.
While the bullpen did its job as best it could, Miami hopes its offense can come alive -- or at least not be as silent as it has been. Entering Sunday, the Marlins struck out a whopping 34 times through three games in the series (12 in Thursday's game, 12 on Friday and 10 on Saturday) and scored just five runs.
Redmond excited to meet former team in Minnesota
CINCINNATI -- The Marlins are headed to Minnesota for a two-game series with the Twins on Monday and Tuesday. It marks the first time that manager Mike Redmond will face his former team as a big league manager.
"I'm excited," Redmond said. "I'm excited to go back."
Redmond played for Minnesota from 2005-09. His best season with the Twins was in '06, when he hit .341 (61-for-179) in 47 games.
"The team's changed a lot," Redmond said. "There's only a couple of guys -- just Joe [Mauer] and Justin [Morneau] are really the only two guys that are left there from when I played -- but it's always good to see Gardy [Twins manager Ron Gardenhire] and the coaching staff."
Redmond played at Target Field in 2010 as a member of the Cleveland Indians and even legged out an infield single -- impressive given that he had one steal in his 13-year career.
"Despite what everybody says about my speed late in my career, I was still able to get an infield single," Redmond joked.
Redmond said that he likes Target Field a great deal.
"It's beautiful; it's a great ballpark," he said. "They did a great job designing it. I know guys complain about not being able to hit home runs out of there, but it's a great park and a testament to the fans. They wanted outdoor baseball, and they got it. We'll see how enjoyable that is on Monday and Tuesday."
Temperatures are expected to dip into the low-30s. Nevertheless, Redmond is excited to return.
"I had a great experience there as a player," he said. "Fans there were tremendous, and they appreciated me for my style [of play], what I brought to that team. It'll be fun to go back."
Nolasco prepares for pitching in chilly weather
CINCINNATI -- Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco will take the hill in Minnesota on Monday night with a bit of unease -- and a whole lot of Hot Stuff athletic cream.
"A lot of Hot Stuff on the arm -- that cream that just keeps your arm loose," Nolasco said. "You're going to have to lube that up nice and thick."
Nolasco will need heating cream -- and a lot of it -- because game-time temperatures will be in the low-30s. Rain and snow are in the forecast.
"Baseball is not meant to be played in that weather," Nolasco said.
The Corona, Calif., native has spent his entire eight-year career with the Marlins and is accustomed to pitching in warm weather. Monday will be, unofficially, the coldest temperatures Nolasco has pitched in since April 22, 2009 -- a day game at Pittsburgh. Nolasco allowed five earned runs on eight hits over six innings in a 7-4 loss.
Game-time temperature was 42 degrees.
While conventional wisdom says that pitchers have the advantage in cooler temperatures, Nolasco isn't so sure.
"I don't think anybody has an advantage in that kind of weather," he said. "It is what it is, though. Everybody else has to deal with it, so I'll deal with it and see what happens.
"Hopefully we'll come out on top."
Nolasco, 30, is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA this season. He has 15 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.
Tony Meale is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.