Miami Marlins bullpen delivers in group effort over Atlanta Braves
Four Marlins relievers answered the call, recording the final 14 outs of a win over the Braves.
08/02/2012 12:01 AM
07/31/2014 5:15 PM
With Edward Mujica and Randy Choate no longer around, manager Ozzie Guillen said there are no defined roles in his bullpen anymore.
There’s just one rule: “When the phone rings — get up,” Guillen said.
Each time the phone rang in the Marlins bullpen Wednesday night, every reliever called upon — Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell, Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek — came on and delivered as Miami held on for a 4-2 win over the Braves, snapping Atlanta’s seven-game win streak in front of 18,133 at Turner Field.
“It’s a different ballgame when we score early and have a few runs on the board,” said Guillen, whose team coming in had scored 44 runs since the All-Star break — fewest in baseball.
“Carlos did a good job, and the bullpen did a good job. I know it was very dramatic, but they came out of the jam and came out with zeroes on the board. Then [Steve] Cishek shut it down.”
Miami’s tag-team relief effort locked down the final 14 outs, giving up four hits and one earned run. Zambrano, moved to the bullpen on Tuesday, earned the victory — the second in relief in his career. He gave up two hits and one earned run — an RBI double to Dan Uggla with two outs in the sixth, but survived a tough situation with runners on second and third when he got Paul Janish to line out to left.
Bell (two-thirds of an inning, one hit, one strikeout) and Dunn (1 1/3 innings, one hit, one walk) followed before Cishek picked up his fifth save in the ninth. Dunn escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh when he got Freddie Freeman to line out to right.
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who replaced Zambrano in the Marlins rotation, picked up the first 13 outs for the Marlins (48-56) on 71 pitches, 46 strikes. He gave up five hits, one walk and one earned run with three strike outs, and looked stunned when Guillen came out to get him with a runner on second and one out in the fifth.
“He told me no more than 75 [pitches],” said LeBlanc, who hadn’t thrown more than 31 pitches in 11 relief appearances for the Marlins. “When he came out, I said, ‘I got four left.’ ”
Guillen sent out a lineup card Wednesday featuring four hitters whose batting averages are in the .160s — Donnie Murphy (.169), Bryan Petersen (.169), John Buck (.168) and Scott Cousins (.161).
But the Marlins put up a three-spot in the first on five singles off Ben Sheets, who came in 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA in three starts.
Carlos Lee drove in Emilio Bonifacio on a softly hit ball to right field. Greg Dobbs followed with a liner that just got past Sheets and into center field, scoring Donnie Murphy from second. Bryan Petersen made it 3-0 with a liner to right, scoring Lee from third.
After Paul Janish’s RBI single in the second, LeBlanc added to the lead with a two-out double down the left-field line, scoring Cousins from first.
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a one-out single to center in the fifth.
Join the Discussion
Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.