Tom Koehler got his K’s on Wednesday.
More importantly, he got a W.
Koehler matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in the Marlins’ 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers and, in the process, brought his long losing streak to a halt. The win for Koehler was his first since July 23, ending a drought of eight outings in a row in which he had come up empty.
“I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t felt like a long time,” Koehler said. “It felt like two seasons.”
The Marlins took two of three from the Brewers, giving them three consecutive series wins.
It’s been a rough second half for Koehler, who went 0-6 in August to become the first pitcher in Marlins history to lose six decisions in a single month.
September is looking better.
Though he didn’t receive a decision in his previous start on Sept.1, he allowed only two runs in what resulted in a no-decision. On Wednesday, in front of another paltry crowd at Marlins Park (15,316 was the announced figure), Koehler completed eight innings, making it his longest outing of the season.
He didn’t allow a hit after giving up an infield single in the third to Ryan Braun.
“He was just filling up the strike zone all night,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “He was in attack mode.”
The Marlins were trailing 2-0 in the third when Dee Gordon’s speed came into play. With two aboard and two outs, Martin Prado singled to center. Koehler scored easily from second.
But Gordon, who got a huge jump on the pitch, scored all the way from first.
It remained tied until the seventh when the Marlins put three runs on the board, all coming with two outs on back-to-back doubles by Christian Yelich and Prado off Brewers reliever Will Smith.
this and that
▪ While the jury is out on the trades made by the Marlins before the July 31 deadline, one of their acquisitions — reliever Kyle Barraclough — has turned heads so far.
“He’s opened all of our eyes,” Jennings said.
Barraclough took over in a tough situation on Tuesday, entering with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. But he struck out the next two batters to get the Marlins out of the inning.
The 25-year-old Californian has made 15 appearances for the Marlins since the trade, going 2-0 with a microscopic 0.56 ERA. He has 23 strikeouts (to go with 10 walks) in 16 total innings.
Even though he’s made a strong first impression, Barraclough said he’s not thinking about his chances of winning a spot in next year’s bullpen.
“I’m just worried about getting outs,” Barraclough said. “Let next year work itself out.”
▪ Pity the Washington Nationals.
They will be facing Jose Fernandez not once but twice in the coming days and week, as they try to make up ground on the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.
Fernandez returns to the mound on Saturday when the Nationals are in town, and he will likely face them again when the Marlins travel to Washington next week.
Fernandez is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals.
▪ Late-inning reliever Carter Capps is probably “one bullpen away” from getting back on the mound, Jennings said.
▪ Thursday: Off day.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (1-4, 5.04 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.96), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.