CINCINNATI -- Rain isn't much of a problem when you have a roof to play under, but the Marlins haven't had that luxury this weekend in Cincinnati.Two delays totaling two hours and 47 minutes caused Friday's and Saturday's games to start late. But while it can be frustrating for fans
CINCINNATI -- Rain isn't much of a problem when you have a roof to play under, but the Marlins haven't had that luxury this weekend in Cincinnati.
Two delays totaling two hours and 47 minutes caused Friday's and Saturday's games to start late. But while it can be frustrating for fans to wait out the delay -- especially if it doesn't end up raining -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly understands the importance of waiting things out.
"The last thing you want is your starter to get heated up, the game starts, we go half an inning, and then you've got a 45-minute delay," Mattingly said after Saturday's 5-4 win. "And now we're both into our bullpens, or we take chances on hurting guys by getting them going again after an hour off or something like that."
The delays didn't slow down Miami, as it shot out to early leads and cruised to wins in each of the first two games of the series. Starter Chris O'Grady did have some issues after Saturday night's hourlong delay, but he attributed it to the humidity caused by the rain rather than the late start.
"I had a lot of trouble gripping the ball," O'Grady said. "It's something I've never experienced before. I had to use rosin for the first time in my career. I've never had to use any kind of substance like rosin or anything like that and had to do it for the first time tonight, and it just took a little getting used to. And then once we got through the second, we kind of figured out a solution that helped out a lot."
Sunday's lineup featured a few changes from the previous two days, as left fielder Marcell Ozuna and catcher J.T. Realmuto were given the day off. Taking their places were Ichiro Suzuki and A.J. Ellis, respectively.
This is just Suzuki's fifth start since the beginning of June. That said, he had pinch-hit in each of the Marlins' past 10 games entering Sunday, hitting .375 with three hits and an RBI.
Ellis entered Sunday having played in seven games in July, hitting .313 with three extra-base hits. He has struggled this season, however, batting just .227 in 75 at-bats prior to Sunday.
Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati who covered the Marlins on Sunday.