The Marlins gambled knowingly when they signed Carlos Marmol, whose frequent late-inning meltdowns drove Chicago Cubs fans bananas and led to his ouster in a July trade last year.
Now the Marlins are cutting ties with him, as well, after the San Diego Padres unloaded on him in a four-run sixth inning of their 9-3 victory.
Following the game, the Marlins said Marmol would be designated for assignment on Sunday and another reliever would be promoted from the minors to take his place in the bullpen.
"It's been a struggle for him," said manager Mike Redmond. "It just hasn't worked."
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The Marlins signed Marmol to a 1-year deal worth $1.25 million thinking he had overcome the issues that plagued him with the Cubs. But that turned out not to be the case. Marmol is 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA in 15 relief appearances.
"Couldn't get people out," Marmol said. "I did the best I could, but it didn't work out good. It's tough. You try to do your best and it didn't work out."
The Marlins have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 23-24, and the Padres got the job done on successive night against two of the Marlins’ best starters in Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi.
But neither Fernandez on Friday nor Eovaldi on Saturday played the part, the Marlins didn’t get much going at the plate for the fifth straight game, and they will now need a win Sunday at Petco Park just to salvage a series split.
For Marmol, it was another unsuccessful outing.
After Eovaldi labored through five innings in which he threw 112 pitches, Marmol was summoned to begin the sixth and promptly retired the first two San Diego batters.
But then matters began to unravel.
Everth Cabrera dropped down an unplayable bunt in front of the plate for a base hit, stole second, and advanced to third when Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s high throw sailed into center for an error. Marmol walked Seth Smith intentionally before giving up a RBI single to Jedd Gyorko to give the Padres a 3-2 lead.
Chase Headley, who came off the disabled list on Saturday, took one of Marmol’s fastballs and deposited it into the right field bleachers for a 3-run homer that expanded the lead to 6-2.
The Marlins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on Casey McGehee’s first home run of the season. McGehee’s teammates, who have been ribbing him about his lack of a homer, gave him the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout before jumping up at once to congratulate him.
But the lead was short-lived.
Smith cut the lead in half with a RBI triple in the first and tied it in the third with a solo homer as Eovaldi labored to record outs. Smith later added a 2-run double off Brad Hand, leaving him only a single short of becoming the first player in Padres history to complete the cycle.
Eovaldi struggled to put hitters away, went deep into counts, and ran up his pitch count in a hurry. He ended up surrendering seven hits and walking four with three strikeouts.
After Marmol’s sixth-inning implosion, the Marlins got a run back on Reed Johnson’s RBI double.
But the Padres scored twice in the seventh off Hand, who is also having his issues coming out of the bullpen. Hand gave up a pair of runs in Friday’s 10-1 loss and his ERA climbed to 7.00 with Saturday’s performance.
The bullpen blues didn’t end there for the Marlins. Carter Capps gave up a run in the eighth.