The Marlins might never be so happy to return home as they will be Thursday, when they open a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park.
Temperatures will be in the low 80s all weekend, and the retractable roof will protect the Marlins from any threat of rain.
It was 34 degrees in Minneapolis when the Marlins recorded the final out Tuesday night in an 8-5 win. That capped a deep-freeze road trip that included a game postponed by a snowstorm Monday and 40-degree temperatures last weekend in Cincinnati.
But it was starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco who endured the chilliest weather for a Marlins game in 13 years in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday night, and he wasn’t happy about it.
“It was as cold as (expletive),’’ he said. “I couldn’t get loose. It got pretty cold.’’
Nolasco was supposed to start the first game of the day-night doubleheader. But on Tuesday morning, someone in the organization decided to start Jose Fernandez in game one instead to give the 20-year-old rookie a break from the worst of the weather.
Nolasco said he was on his way out of the team hotel at 10:30 a.m. when he was told he was starting the second game.
“I’m not going to talk about that situation,’’ he said, trying to avoid discussing his anger over the move.
“I know what I got to do. I still got to go out there and pitch. Happy or not, whatever the situation is, I’ve got to go out there and do my job. It wasn’t fun. But I just grinded it out.’’
After Fernandez lost the first game 5-4, Nolasco benefited from the Marlins’ biggest offensive game of the year. Miami collected a season-high 16 hits while tying a season high in runs.
Catcher Rob Brantly had four RBIs and three hits. Giancarlo Stanton, who has been off to a rough start, looked like his old self for the first time this year, smacking a double to straightaway center field and collecting 2 RBIs.
“I’m not going lie – that was fun,’’ manager Mike Redmond said.
Nolasco threw 99 pitches but only made it through five innings because of some sloppy defense and a tight strike zone.
“With the late switch and it being absolutely freezing outside for him out there, I think he did really well,’’ Brantly said.
Nolasco earned his first win in his fifth start the season. It was the first time since his rookie season of 2006 that Nolasco waited until his fifth start for his first win.
“It felt like forever,’’ he said. “It’s good to get in that win column.’’
The Marlins went 2-4 on the road trip. They are 5-16 this season.
“As tough as it may seem, as tough as it may look, you have to stay positive,’’ first baseman Greg Dobbs said. “You have to stay upbeat because if you let it, it will eat you alive and it will eat from the inside out and you can’t have that happen.
“It’s a long season. A lot can happen. We’re not going to go 4-16 for the rest of the year. We’ve just got to buckle down. We’ve got execute and we’ve just got to make things happen.’’