Marlins lose 100th game, fall to Phillies 2-1
Mike Redmond remembers how difficult it was to lose 100 games in a season, and how enjoyable it was to go from baseball's laughingstock to its champion.
He's hoping the Miami Marlins can one day follow that path.
The Marlins are 100-game losers for the second time in franchise history, reaching that most unwanted mark with a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night. The then-Florida Marlins of 1998 lost 108 games, and Redmond was a rookie who played in 37 games for that team.
''People forget about the 108 losses that I endured,'' said Redmond, the Marlins' first-year manager. ''Nobody talked about that in 2003 when we won the World Series.''
These Marlins are a long way from baseball's mountaintop, but Redmond insists that strides were made this season, even though the record won't necessarily support that theory. Miami has baseball's worst offense by just about any measure, and once again, it didn't take much offense for the team in the other dugout to beat the Marlins.
The Phillies got both their runs in the first inning, without as much as a run-scoring hit. Darin Ruf drew a bases-loaded walk, Kevin Frandsen followed with an RBI groundout and that was all the offense that the Phillies would need.
The Phillies are now 6-47 this season when scoring two runs or less, and two of those wins are against the Marlins.
''It's more fun when we win,'' Phillies starter Zach Miner said.
Michael Stutes (3-1) got the win by working a scoreless fifth inning in relief, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 36 chances.
Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez (4-6) allowed five hits and struck out five in seven innings. Justin Ruggiano had two hits for Miami, one of them an RBI double where he was thrown out at third.
It was the 44th time this season the Marlins (58-100) have scored less than two runs. They're 2-42 in those games.
''I don't think we're going to lose 100 games next year,'' Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich said. ''No one thinks that way.''
Alvarez gave up a one-out double to Jimmy Rollins in the first, then walked the next three batters - Chase Utley, Domonic Brown and finally Ruf, the last two of those free passes coming on 3-2 pitches, and the one to Ruf allowing Rollins to score. Frandsen's ground ball brought in Utley, and Alvarez got another grounder to escape without more trouble.
The Marlins answered in the second with a run off Miner. Giancarlo Stanton singled to start the inning, and scored on Ruggiano's double to left-center. But the relay from Brown to Rollins to Freddy Galvis caught Ruggiano trying to get to third, and the potential for a bigger inning ended there.
''That was big at the time,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''A runner would have been in scoring position, that came in handy. Jimmy got the throw right down there on the bag. Good alert play.''
Miner left after working four innings, giving up four hits and striking out three.
He also got the second big-league hit of his career after an odd sequence - he fouled one off the backstop in the second inning and nearly hit teammate Cesar Hernandez, then lined the next pitch right up the box, narrowly missing Alvarez.
''I wasn't sure what to expect coming in as far as the players and how many games we would lose, whatever,'' Redmond said. ''Obviously, nobody wants to be a part of that. I guess if there was anybody who was prepared for this season out here, it was me - since I've been through it.''
Those `98 Marlins finished 52 games back in the standings.
Five years later, the franchise won its second World Series.
''I was trying to come up with something clever to say, when you lose your 100th game of the season,'' Redmond said. ''All I could come up with is, at least it was by one run.''
NOTES: Sandberg is now 19-18 as Philadelphia's manager. ... Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, who left Monday's game with arm fatigue, was not experiencing any pain Tuesday. ''Classic dead arm. It happens,'' Sandberg said. ... LHP Cole Hamels (8-14, 3.62) makes his final start of the season for the Phillies on Wednesday against Miami LHP Brad Hand (1-1, 2.92). The Phillies haven't had a pitcher lose 15 games since Mark Leiter in 1997. ... Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (right forearm discomfort) threw a bullpen session that was intended to serve as a confidence booster heading into the offseason. He hasn't pitched in a game since July 25. ... Cameron Rupp got his second start of the season at catcher for the Phillies.