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June 12, 2013

What You Need to Know

Shields Mightier Than Lumber

by Daniel Rathman


The Tuesday Takeaway
“He’s baaaaaaack.”

After 41 days on the disabled list and a nondescript, 1-for-4 showing on Monday, Giancarlo Stanton officially announced his return to the Marlins last night. With Jim Henderson, also just one outing removed from a stint on the shelf, on the mound for the Brewers, a runner on, and two away in the bottom of the eighth, Stanton unloaded on a hanging slider to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead.

The 405-foot shot to center field was the first long ball authored off of Henderson this season. It dealt the Calgary native his first blown save of the year. And it breathed life into the home run sculpture adjacent to its landing spot—an ornament that has elicited countless jokes, the hilarity of which has been magnified by the Marlins’ incredible power outage during Stanton’s absence.

Before Tuesday’s victory, Marlins not named Giancarlo Stanton had combined to hit six big flies in their home ballpark all season. That’s six home runs in 31 games, or less than one per five contests, a pace that a dozen individual players routinely eclipse every year. Derek Dietrich delivered a two-run bomb in the second inning to raise the tally to seven, some 90 minutes before Stanton connected on his fourth, which brought the team’s season-long count in Miami to a whopping 11.

Without Stanton and Logan Morrison, who turned in a couple of doubles on Tuesday, his fourth time on the field since September surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee, the Marlins have been a team of Brian Doziers and Pete Kozmas. They have the worst record in baseball at 19-45, and their offense—as a group—owns a collective 610 OPS, a mark that would place 13th-worst among qualifying individuals. Even the returns of two of the most powerful bats in the organization may not be enough to help Mike Redmond’s club escape the OPS cellar.

But for a team searching for little victories, things that the 13,110 fans that paid for a ticket to Tuesday’s game can celebrate while waiting for the Marlins’ outlook to brighten, the return of Stanton is Christmas in June.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/12)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/13)
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The Lineup Card: 9 Fav... (06/12)

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