On Wednesday the Miami Marlins concluded an historic 9-game road trip full of Stanton shots, pristine pitching, and hot tempers in which the team won 7 straight and finished 8-1. Coming off an awful homestand, Miami took to the road and won three straight series in San Francisco, San Diego, and Houston. Over nine days, Mike Stanton hit five home runs, Emilio Bonifacio stole six bases, and Marlins starters amassed five wins.
The Marlins entered San Francisco last Tuesday having won their last 4 at AT&T Park, and were propelled by pitching and clutch hitting to a sweep against the Giants, making it 7 in a row in San Fran. After Tuesday’s win, Miami was ready to close out the Wednesday game when Heath Bell entered in the ninth with a 2-run lead. Two straight hits made it a one-run game and Steve Cishek relieved Bell. Another run in the inning was charged to Bell, but Cishek finished the 9th with the game tied, and went on to pitch the 10th for the win after Giancarlo Stanton’s extra-inning home run.
Cishek carried his mastery into the San Deigo series when the Marlins and Padres went 13 innings on Friday. Working with a 5-run lead after the first inning, Josh Johnson could only survive 2 2/3 as he allowed 6 runs in the third inning. Cishek took over in the 10th with the score tied at 8, and was saved by an Omar Infante RBI double in the 13th. Cishek pitched the 13th and collected another win, his fourth of the year. At that point, Ozzie Guillen made it clear that Cishek would be the new closer until Bell regain his form. Finishing off the Padres on Sunday, the Marlins had their second straight sweep.
The momentum carried over into Houston as Carlos Zambrano tossed a complete game shutout of the Astros on Monday. Hanley Ramirez demolished a 9th inning home run to the train tracks in left-center, the fourth run in Miami’s win. The Fish dropped Tuesday’s contest 3-2. On Wednesday night, Hanley Ramirez was hit by Wilton Lopez on an up-and-in fastball in the seventh inning; Lopez was removed immediately afterward. While returning to the dugout, he flashed the “Lo Viste” gesture at the Marlins’ bench. “Lo Viste” is two fingers forming a sideways “V” shape across an eye. It is Spanish for “Did you see that?” and was coined by Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante last season. Apparently Lopez was disturbed by the celebratory gesture, which Marlins players use after a hit or anything else noteworthy. Miami won Wednesday’s game in 12 innings, as Omar Infante collected two, game-winning RBIs.
As a result of the spectacular road trip, Miami moved ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East standings. The momentum carried over through Thursday’s off day into Friday’s home matchup against New York. Greg Dobbs hit a walk-off single to propel Miami to a 6-5 win. The Marlins are home for the weekend against the Mets, as well as a two-game series versus Pittsburgh.