The Florida Marlins missed out on perhaps the biggest prize at Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
But instead of lamenting the fact that Manny Ramirez isn’t headed to South Florida, they continued to prove why they may not need the slugger to contend in the NL East.
The Marlins will look to build on a blowout win over Colorado when they continue their four-game series with the visiting Rockies on Friday.
No Florida player was happier that Boston ended up shipping Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers than outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who had been widely rumored to be headed out of Miami as part of a deal involving the former Red Sox slugger.
Hermida celebrated by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs in the Marlins’ 12-2 win over Colorado Thursday.
“It was just a good all-around day today,” Hermida said. “It happens every year and guys’ names get brought up. It’s just part of the business that you learn to deal with the longer you’re in it.”
Florida did get a different sort of boost as right-hander Anibal Sanchez pitched for the first time in more than a year, lasting 5 1-3 innings to earn the victory in his return from shoulder surgery.
The Marlins (58-51) had also been hoping to add a right-handed bat at the deadline, but their only trade Thursday featured left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes, acquired from Seattle for minor leaguer Gaby Hernandez.
Instead, they’ll have to hope their current powerful lineup will be enough to keep pace with Philadelphia and the New York Mets. Led by Dan Uggla’s 26 homers and Hanley Ramirez’s 25, the Marlins lead the majors with 153 home runs.
“We’ve been winning,” first baseman Mike Jacobs said. “If people aren’t believing in us yet, they haven’t been watching baseball.”
Florida is 1 1/2 games behind the Phillies and a half-game behind the Mets. After this series, the Marlins begin a six-game road trip at Philadelphia and New York.
First, they’ll have to focus on the Rockies (49-61), who went 17-10 in July, but lost three of their last four games to fall eight games behind Arizona in the NL West. They’re 4-3 on their current road trip, but still have the worst road record in the majors at 18-39.
Florida’s lineup will look to slow down red-hot Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who has won three straight starts for the first time in his career. Jimenez (7-9, 3.80 ERA) went 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in six starts in July.
“I have to say thank you to July,” Jimenez told the Rockies’ official Web site. “Things have changed.”
In his only previous start against Florida, Jimenez allowed five runs - two earned - in three innings of a 10-2 loss last September.
He’ll face rookie Chris Volstad (2-1, 2.38), who has pitched well in his first four appearances with Florida. The right-hander tossed two shutout innings and earned a win in relief in his major league debut at Colorado on July 6, and has made three quality starts since then.
Volstad notched Florida’s lone win in a four-game series at Coors Field, but with a win on Friday, the Marlins can even the all-time series against the Rockies at 68-68. Both clubs were established in 1993.