After losing Saturday, the Marlins owned not just the worst record in the majors at 13-36. They owned the worst record in all of professional baseball in North America.
Worse than the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League.
Worse than the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League.
Worse than the Toledo Mud Hens of the International League.
Worse even than Petroleros de Minatitlan of the Mexican League.
They became the lowest of the low on baseball’s food chain with Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, three full games lousier than any Marlins team ever at the 49-game mark of the season.
Moments after Derek Dietrich tied it for the Marlins with a one-out home run in the ninth off Jake Peavy, Conor Gillaspie won it in the bottom of the inning with his game-winning single off Ryan Webb.
“We finally get a big hit, and I was thinking the momentum was finally switching to our side, and they come back on four pitches and win the ball game,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Webb was on the mound for the Marlins in the 11th inning on Friday when they lost and was on the hill again Saturday when, in a matter of four pitches, Dewayne Wise doubled to start the ninth and scored on Gillaspie’s winning single to left.
“It [stinks] losing two games in a row like that,” said Webb, who had been one of the Marlins’ most successful bullpen arms this season up until his past few relief outings. “It’s frustrating to battle back like that and lose it in one minute. I definitely didn’t do my job the last couple of nights.”
Ricky Nolasco, who was bidding for his 80th career victory with the Marlins, was spared the decision when Dietrich came through in the ninth.
Nolasco’s only mistake: giving up a second-inning RBI double to Alexei Ramirez.
The Marlins have scored 19 runs this season for Nolasco in his 11 starts, giving him one of the lowest run-support figures of any major-league pitcher.
“Everybody sees what’s going on,” Nolasco said. “But it’s no time to sit here and think about anything else. Everybody’s frustrated, not just me. Nobody wants to lose.”
White Sox starter Peavy held the Marlins to only six hits, with two of those coming on back-to-back singles by Marcell Ozuna and Chris Coghlan to start the second.
But Justin Ruggiano promptly bounced into a double play, Greg Dobbs struck out, and the Marlins threatened only once again, in the eighth inning when Dobbs doubled with one out.
But Peavy worked out of trouble in the eighth as well, as the Marlins continued on their long sink to the bottom-most depths of the National League East. Dietrich spoiled Peavy’s shutout bid with his third major-league home run.
Dietrich has now reached base in all 14 of his games since being called up from the minors.
Nolasco has held the opposition to one run in three of his past four outings but has only one win to show for it.
Coming off an 11-strikeout performance in his win over Arizona, Nolasco was not quite as dominant Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field, striking out six. But he gave up just the one run while scattering eight hits over 7 2/3 innings.
And with a 3.65 ERA that would represent his lowest in five seasons, Nolasco continued to position himself as a prime trade candidate leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on our pitchers to be perfect,” Redmond said. “I know I say it every single night, but it’s the truth. He’s got every reason to be frustrated. So do a lot of our pitchers. But none of those guys complain. They understand we’re going through a tough patch, and it’s going to get better.”
The right-hander could come off the disabled list in early June and join the Marlins’ starting rotation.