It turns out that neither life, nor baseball, revolve around Hanley Ramirez.
Yes, that may seem an incredibly difficult concept to wrap your mind around, but in fact, Hanley was pretty much irrelevant, period, as the Marlins finished up their short series with the Diamondbacks Tuesday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium.
That was partly due to the fact that the Fish had their other "marquee" player on the mound, and Josh Johnson was superb (to borrow an adjective from the Rich Waltzaurus). JJ allowed only two hits to the D-Backs over seven shutout innings, and struck out nine.
And it's a good thing that Josh was able to keep Arizona off the board, because the Marlins offense was rendered utterly impotent by the absence of its superstar in the lineup.
It wasn't easy, but the Fish did manage to scrape together a few runs without Hanley. In the fourth inning, the Marlins scored when Billy Buckner loaded the bases, and walked Brian Barden (who, incidentally, was filling in for Florida's seriously injured All Star shortstop while nursing a sprained ankle). The Marlins added another run in the fifth when Cody Ross doubled and scored on an RBI double from Jorge Cantu.
And then the fun began.
The Marlins jumped all over reliever Saul Rivera for six runs in the sixth inning. Gaby Sanchez and Brett Hayes walked to open the inning, and Brian Barden collected his second RBI of the game when he singled to drive in Gaby. Cameron Maybin and Dan Uggla went back-to-back with a three-run shot and solo shot respectively to put the Marlins up 7-0.
In the eighth, the Fish loaded the bases on a single from Chris Coghlan and walks to Maybin and Uggla, and made it 8-0 on an RBI single from Cody Ross.
Brian Sanches and Clay Hensley closed out the game with scoreless innings in relief of JJ, and the Marlins--maimed as they were without the scowling face of the franchise in the lineup--were somehow able to scratch out a win.
It's a miracle.