Early exits by his starting pitchers are starting to wear on manager Mike Redmond. The latest quickie came Sunday when Tom Koehler was lifted in the fourth after giving up seven runs in the inning while recording only one out.
“We’ve got to get this pitching straightened out and get these guys deeper into games,” Redmond said. “We don’t have enough pitchers down [in the bullpen] to have guys warming up in the fourth inning every night, and we’ve seen that all week.”
The bullpen had to cover more than five innings Sunday.
Of the four pitchers who started for the Marlins in the Mets series, the only one to make it into the sixth was Jarred Cosart on Thursday. The others (Mat Latos on Saturday and David Phelps on Friday) were out early.
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“At the end of the day, you can’t win at the big-league level if your starter’s going three innings,” Redmond said.
Sunday was one of the better days so far this season for the Marlins bullpen, which delivered more than five innings of scoreless baseball and enabled Miami to mount a comeback bid.
It had been rough going until then, though.
The bullpen has been struggling for the Marlins despite a corp of relievers that is largely the same as last year’s largely effective group. But nobody expects it to continue.
“If you’re asking me if I’m concerned, no,” said closer Steve Cishek, who has yet to record a save.
The Marlins entered Sunday with a bullpen ERA of 5.44, which ranked last in the National League and 29th in the majors. Last year, the bullpen ranked 13th in the majors with an ERA of 3.33.
“If we’re at 162 [games] and we’re still down there, there’s a problem,” left-hander Mike Dunn said. “But I don’t think anybody thinks that’s going to be the case.”
Dunn said he doesn’t think the relief corps has pitched as poorly as the numbers suggest.
“I go back to what I did last year,” Dunn said. “My April last year was one of the worst of my career. But when I went back and looked at the video, I was making some of my best pitches. And in May, I had one of my greatest months of my career and I was missing my spots. I was getting away with it.”
Said Cishek: “I think guys are making their pitches, it’s just not going our way right now. Obviously, the arms are there. We were great last year and I expect it to all turn around.”
▪ Dee Gordon’s five-hit performance Saturday was the first for a Marlin in a nine-inning game since Giancarlo Stanton recorded five hits in a 2010 game.
Gordon became only the 10th Marlin ever to register five hits in a nine-inning game.
▪ Monday: No game.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Dan Haren (1-0, 2.08 ERA) at Philadelphia Phillies RHP Jerome Williams (0-1, 4.09), 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.76) at Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (0-2, 5.00), 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.