Marlins lacking relief, especially when game's close
By Michael Radano
Special to MLB.com |
PHILADELPHIA -- For a team that entered the year with high expectations, the Marlins have found plenty of ways to lose baseball games. They've struggled to get the big hit when necessary, and until recently, haven't hit for much power. More to the point, they've lost four one-run games, and in the end, the biggest issue through the first three weeks of the season has been a bullpen that has struggled pretty much from top to bottom.
"We've had leads and not been able to hold them," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's been tough. Anytime you have a lead or are close late, that will take the wind out of your sails. No doubt."
Through 14 games, the Marlins' bullpen has an NL-worst 5.26 ERA, allowing 29 runs in 49 2/3 innings. In Tuesday's night's 7-3 loss, veteran Mike Dunn entered in the seventh with Miami down one. Dunn surrendered three runs on three hits, and a tight game was now securely in the Phillies' hands.
"Just look at today's game, if I keep it close and do my job, we can take this game," said Dunn, who has allowed six runs in six innings. "I was up in the zone, and it's definitely frustrating, because if I do my job, we can keep the momentum."
Tuesday night's loss was the Marlins' fifth straight, and they fell to 3-11 on the young season.
"We have to find a way to grind things out," Dunn said. "We have a game tomorrow. We're going to have to figure out a way. That's pretty much it. Pressure for me? No. Close games are what we are used to pitching in the bullpen, and tonight was just me not doing my job."
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.