MIAMI GARDENS A key part of Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire's job is to know what he can and can't say to pitchers during games.
Visits to the mound do not happen when things are going well, and St. Claire said it is important not to make things worse.
"As a whole, guys don't like it," St. Claire said. "You have to pick and choose how difficult you want to make it."
St. Claire was referring to the advice he gives when on the mound. Obviously the pitcher is struggling if St. Claire is there, and the question is what can be done to salvage the situation.
On June 3 Ricky Nolasco was laboring, and St. Claire went to the mound in the third inning.
"His front side was throwing open. It was the same problem he had in the previous game, and we fixed it in the bullpen," St. Claire said.
So he told Nolasco what he was doing, and Nolasco, who needed 70 pitches to get through the first three innings, allowing four runs on six hits, shut down the Brewers the next three innings, needing 31 pitches and allowing one hit.
"It is difficult to make changes out there on the mound, but he is able to do that," St. Claire said.
Batman and Robin? Going into Sunday's game, Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton had hit three home runs in the last three games, upping his total to a team-leading16, and prompting teammate Logan Morrison to say that Stanton should be in the home run derby that is part of the All-Star game.
And if Stanton goes, Morrison wants to go with him, and said he would provide Stanton with a Superman cape if he brought him along.
The two batted ideas back and forth and settled on Batman and Robin instead of Superman.
Morrison said Stanton had only squared up on one of his home runs, the long blast to dead center Saturday.
Stanton said that was not entirely true. "Maybe six or seven," he said about how many of his home runs have come from full contact on the barrel of the bat.
Offensive woes: Morrison was planning on attending the Heat/Mavericks game after Sunday's game with the Diamondbacks.
He had a seat courtesy of a Marlins fan he met last year during a gathering of season ticket holders.
Asked about the Heat, Morrison had this assessment: "They are settling for too many jump shots. They don't know how to run an offense."
And, given the Marlins current slump, highlighted by a lack of clutch hitting, Morrison followed up with this: "Kind of like us. We can get them on but can't get them in."