Marlins' bullpen crew stepping up of late
MILWAUKEE -- As the starters go, so have the Marlins' relievers.
For several weeks now, Miami's bullpen has been a strong suit. Even in the weekend series at Milwaukee, the relievers have stepped up.
Despite losing the first two games at Miller Park, Miami's 'pen combined for seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts.
"A successful 'pen kind of goes hand-in-hand with the starters," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "What's happened is, as the starting pitching has improved, so has the 'pen. They haven't had the stress on them that they did before, handling the innings."
For the most part, Miami's starting pitching has been highly effective -- and dramatically improved -- since June 1. Their collective ERA of 3.60 in that span is middle of the pack in the National League.
By going deep into games, the rotation has eased the burden on the bullpen. For instance, the Marlins' bullpen since June 1 has thrown 132 1/3 innings, which falls near the middle in the Major Leagues.
"Even when we've played these extra-inning affairs, or whatever, they've done a good job handling multiple innings," Beinfest said. "I think they've come together nicely."
Manager Mike Redmond has the luxury of two lefties -- Mike Dunn and Dan Jennings.
Closer Steve Cishek has been effective, and veterans like Chad Qualls and Kevin Slowey have performed in whichever roles they have been assigned.
"Having two lefties out there has been helpful to Red," Beinfest said. "They've kind of fit into roles and done a good job."
Ryan Webb and A.J. Ramos are two right-handers who throw in the mid-90s.
"It's all 92 [mph] and up out there, by and large," Beinfest said. "So there are some good arms."