06/27/2002 11:42 pm ET
Colon trade has Marlins concerned
Didn't want a division rival to improve their pitching staff
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- An already frustrating night became even more disappointing when the Marlins caught wind of the news.
Overhearing a broadcast report, the Florida players became aware the Expos acquired right-hander Bartolo Colon from the Indians.
Suddenly, the balance of power in the National League East has shifted, with the Expos securing a top-flight pitcher. The first-place Braves have more competition to contend with.
"I don't care what team you are on," said Marlins pitcher Ryan Dempster, who will start Friday at Tampa Bay. "You can have the worst record in baseball. If you add Bartolo Colon, you're a lot better team."
As part of the deal, the Expos shipped first baseman Lee Stevens and highly acclaimed minor league shortstop Brandon Phillips to the Indians.
On a night the Marlins fell 7-3 to the Phillies and fell eight games behind the Braves, team morale wasn't boosted when they learned of the Expos' trade.
"Definitely, that's an impact trade that will help the Expos," Marlins outfielder Kevin Millar said.
Shaking his head, manager Jeff Torborg said of Colon: "He's tough, boy."
Ever the optimist, Torborg then tried to put a positive spin on the deal.
"Maybe that's what we need," Torborg said. "It will keep (the Expos) closer, and maybe it gives us a chance until we get to full strength."
After finishing up their longest homestand of the season at 7-6, Torborg is more concerned with the health of his team than the improvements being made in Montreal.
"We've got to pitch better," Torborg said.
Right-hander Kevin Olsen scrapped for four innings, but made two key mistakes to Marlon Anderson that resulted in four runs.
Anderson belted a 1-2 fastball 380-feet into the right-field seats for a two-run homer in the second.
Olsen actually was trying to waste the pitch, aiming it inside and off the plate. But his accuracy was too fine as the pitch found the strike zone. The Phillies second baseman crushed it for his fifth homer.
"I didn't necessarily want to throw it for a strike," said Olsen (0-5), who remains winless in the Major Leagues in 10 career starts.
Anderson did some more damage in the fourth inning, driving a two-run double that padded the Phillies' lead to 4-1.
With runners on first-and-second and one out, Olsen was looking for an inning-ending double play. So he threw a two-seam fastball (sinker) on the outside part of the plate to the left-handed hitting Anderson to induce a ground ball to the left side of the infield.
Anderson foiled the plan and smacked a two-run double. His four RBIs ties a career high previously set May 4 against the Rockies.
Philadelphia busted the game open with three runs off Nate Teut in the seventh. Recalled on Wednesday, the left-hander worked two scoreless innings, but got into trouble in the seventh. He walked Pat Burrell with the bases loaded for one run, and then was tagged for a two-run single by Scott Rolen.
Because the bullpen was overworked in the series, no one warmed up as Teut labored.
Leading into the series, the Phillies had struggled at the plate. But against the Marlins, the Phillies averaged 7.75 runs and 11.5 hits in the four games.
"We've got to get our horses back," said Marlins outfielder Kevin Millar, who missed the game due to a bruised left forearm incurred Wednesday when he was struck by a pitch.
Millar and center fielder Preston Wilson (right knee tendon) both were out. Wilson has now missed three of four games.
But the horses Millar is talking about are pitchers Brad Penny (right biceps inflammation) and Josh Beckett (blisters).
Torborg reported good news on Penny. The right-hander, on the disabled list since May 21, threw an impressive rehab assignment in Clearwater Thursday.
He didn't allow a run and just three hits in 4 2/3 innings. In all, he threw 70 pitches and his velocity was clocked between 93-96 mph.
Barring any unexpected setbacks, Penny is scheduled to be activated Tuesday at home against the Cubs.
"We're trying to keep it together, and stay close enough until we get our guys back," Torborg said. "We've done a lot of patching with our staff."
Joe Frisaro covers the Marlins for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.