Somewhere between first and second base the mob engulfed Rafael Furcal. They ripped at his jersey, punched him, grabbed him and made the little shortstop a throw toy.

Thanks, the Cardinals were saying, for breathing life back into a season.

An out away from suffering one of the worst in a long line of bullpen-related atrocities, the Cardinals rescued themselves Sunday with a string of dogged at-bats against Miami Marlins closer Heath Bell.